How does our attention work? How many types of attention are there? Cristina Minotti , developmental psychologist, explains it to us.

How does your attention work?

“How careless! I did everything wrong, I wasn't careful!”

“Can we even talk among all these people?” "Of course! Just tell me!”

These two situations show us how much attention is a protagonist process in our everyday lives .

Without attention we would not be able to memorize , communicate , learn and perform survival tasks.

We often use the term “Attention” as if it were a single concept.

Actually, in our days we work on different types of attention.

Focused attention

It represents the ability to respond to a specific stimulus . It is necessary to ignore other stimuli to concentrate only on the selected one . To have a good performance it is important to have a high level of concentration .

Sustained attention

We find it in the execution of activities and tasks that require intense and prolonged concentration . It helps us persist in an activity. Let's think of a student concentrated during a written exam that lasts 1 hour, for example.

Divided attention

Can we do two activities at the same time ?


Thanks to our dividing attention! We would not have optimal performance for both tasks, which do not have to be complex. This is the case with simple activities: for example when we clean while listening to the news. We can focus well on both cleaning and listening!

Alternating attention

It allows us to change our attentional focus . Attention can be directed to one stimulus then to another quickly.

Have you ever noticed these differences in your attention?

Minotti Cristina

Developmental psychologist

Registered in the Order of Psychologists of Tuscany with the
number 8365.


E-mail: cristinaminotti90@gmail.com

Book your consultation: https://cristinaminotti.it/consulenza-psicologica-online/