Attention span of humans is now 8 seconds vs. 9 for a goldfish, says study

In 2000, attention span of humans was 12 seconds.

By Raif KareratCommon_goldfish

WASHINGTON, DC: The attention span of individuals is just eight seconds, says a new study.

Microsoft surveyed 2,000 people and used electroencephalograms (EEGs) to monitor the brain activity of another 112 in the study, which sought to determine the scope of how pocket-sized devices and the increased availability of digital media and information impact our daily lives.

It found that while out ability to multitask has improved significantly, our attention spans have taken a drastic hit.

In 2000 the average attention span was 12 seconds, but this has now fallen to just eight. The goldfish is believed to be able to maintain a solid 9, according to The Independent.

Another recent study by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information and the National Library of Medicine in the US found that 79 per cent of respondents used portable devices while watching TV (known as dual-screening) and 52 per cent check their phone every 30 minutes, reported the British news outlet.

One professor believes it’s an entirely natural response – as we consume an increasing volume of information and digest it faster, our appetite for it grows.

“When we first invented the car, it was so novel. The thought of having an entertainment device in the car was ridiculous because the car itself was the entertainment,” Bruce Morton, a researcher with the University of Western Ontario’s Brain & Mind Institute, said to The Independent.

“Just because we may be allocating our attention differently as a function of the technologies we may be using, it doesn’t mean that the way our attention actually can function has changed” he continued. “Digital technologies dovetail seamlessly into the information processing abilities of our brain.”

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