PS 200 Discussion Board Unit 3

Lindsay Godsil PS 220 Psychology Discussion Board Unit 3

Divided attention, when academically spelled out, seems like a complicated task, one in which you would find little success.  Divided-attention, for a mother, is quite differently just the way life is. Divided-attention occurs when you are engaged in two or more tasks at the same time (Farmer & Matlin, 2016). Splitting your attention into different areas and expecting the same result as if you had given your undivided attention, is unlikely. This is because during divided-attention tasks your speed, accuracy, and memory are likely to suffer. This is because when you are multitasking to engage in multiple thing simultaneously, you are pushing your abilities of attention and focus to the limit (Farmer & Matlin, 2016). As a mother, engaging in divided-attention is a daily requirement and is more likely to occur than having the ability to provide your undivided attention to tasks.

This morning I had to complete six loads of wash, mop the kitchen, and clean the bathrooms all before going to work at 2:30pm. This is no easy task for anyone with toddlers because they are into everything. While completing my house work and being in different rooms throughout the morning, and having to stick to a time restraint to get completed what I had planned, I also had to watch my sixteen month old daughter, six year old daughter, and my three year old niece who spent the night. While sorting laundry and making sure not to add the wrong detergents, or adding hang dry only into the dryer, mopping the floor and keeping the children off of it, I was also engaged in keeping an ear to ensure no one gets quiet (quiet children means trouble) or no one gets into something they shouldn’t. It is increasingly difficult to focus on a task of any sort while internally panicking that one of the children may be chewing a plugged in charger, climbing the walls, or worse, but as a mother you must engage in divided- attention to maintain life.

I do not think that all individuals have an ability to successfully divide their attention or multitask, however I do think that most people do, when they apply themselves. There is no doubt that providing undivided attention to a task will produce a better outcome. Most people in society do not have the ability to do this too often. Life is very busy, therefore divided-attention seems to be the most efficient way to complete tasks. Determining whether benefits out weight the risks when measuring the accuracy or time taken to divide your attention (Farmer & Matlin, 2016).


Matlin, M.W. and Farmer, T.A. (2016).  Cognition (9th ed.) Hoboken, NJ:  Wiley.!/4/2/2/2/6@0:0!/4/2/2/2/6@0:0 

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