Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  .This section is about attention.  Topics include: ( ) Attention.  ( ) Focus.  ( ) Interest.  ( ) Concentration.  ( ) Consciousness and attention.  ( ) Thinking and attention.  ( ) Sense and attention.  ---  1/24/2006

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  (1) Consciousness and attention.  Does one have to be conscious to pay attention?  (2) Thought and attention.  Does one have to be thinking to pay attention?  (3) Sensation and attention.  At the very least one has to sense to pay attention.  (4) We either attend to the internal world of our minds or we attend to the external world of our senses, including senses about our body.  Anytime you are attending to something that is not there in front of you, you are attending to the internal world of the mind.  ---  5/28/2005

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  (1) Is it possible to talk about attention apart from consciousness?  Or should we say that simple animals have simple forms of attention and simple forms of consciousness?  (2) Is it possible to talk about attention apart from thinking?  Or should we say simple animals have simple forms of attention and simple forms of thinking?  (3) How does the concept of attention differ from the concepts of sense and perception?  I can be sensing one thing and thinking of another thing via the process of attention.  ---  5/29/2005

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  (1) To a certain degree we can control our attention, and this is a freewill aspect of consciousness.  (2) To a certain degree our attention is not within our conscious control, for example, one's attention can be captured if an unbelievably loud or incredibly close object looms in front of us, even if that object is not particularly interesting.  ---  5/30/2005

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  (1) What feats are capable by people with above average attention ability?  Do they acheive above average attention to detail?  (2) How is above average attention ability different from above average memory ability?  ---  5/29/2005

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Are attention, focus and concentration issues of consciousness, and thus should be moved to the consciousness section?  ---  5/29/2005

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) defined as being unable to concentrate relative to the average person.  (2) ADD defined as being unable to concentrate enough to make a living.  (3) ADD defined as being unable to concentrate enough to enjoy life.  ---  5/29/2005

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Attention to movement vs. stillness.  Sound vs. quiet.  Something vs. nothing.  (1) Our attention is captured by movement because we animals evolved that way, but important answers come to us in stillness.  (2) Our attention is captured by sound because we animals evolved that way, but important answers come to us in quiet.  (3) Our attention is captured by something (objects) (especially bright shiny objects) because we animals evolved that way, yet nothing is also useful (for example, minimalism, voluntary simplicity, etc.).  ---  8/28/2000

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Attention, interest, sense, perception.  (1) Sense, perception, attention.  (2) Interest (unconscious and conscious).  (3) Concentration, focus and distractibility.  (4) Boredom and fascination, curiosity, and apathy.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Attention, perception and sense.  (1) In a simple way, if you are sensing it then you must be perceiving it, and you must be paying attention to it.  (2) In another way, our senses take in raw data, then our brains perceptive abilities form that raw data into a picture, and then we direct our attention to any part of that picture.  We can "tune out" some things and "tune in" or focus on other things.  ---  6/10/2004

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Attention, types of.  (1) Innate attention: things that capture our attention without our control.  (2) Learned attention: things that we learn to give our attention to or not.  ---  5/15/2001

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Attention, types of.  Natural, chosen vs. forced.  Momentary vs. long term.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Attention.  (1) We focus our attention on things that interest us.  Things that don't interest us fail to hold our attention.  (2) Attention is the direction of our senses onto things, and also the direction of our minds onto ideas.  (3) What interests us?  Things we need and desire.  Things we enjoy.  Things we feel important.  (4) Sometimes we pay attention to things that do not interest us, like our jobs.  (5) Attention is a concept often used in discussions of consciousness.  (6) Things that fail to hold our attention we deem boring.  Things that capture our attention we are curious about or interested in.  (7) Related terms: Fascinating, enthralling, compelling.  Boring, stultifying.  (8) Sustained attention to ideas is a feat necessary for advanced thinking.  However, some people can only pay attention to what is in front of their faces.  (9) How is attention related to perception and the senses?  (10) How is attention related to obsession and attention deficit disorder?  ---  6/14/2004

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Attention.  Definitions of attention.  (1) Attention as things you direct your senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell) toward.  (2) Attention as what you direct your mind toward.  ---  5/15/2001

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Attention.  Duration of attention.  Fast and slow cultures.  ---  11/17/2004

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Attention.  Hearing without listening.  My wife was talking, but I did not hear a word she said.  The music was on, but I was reading.  ---  04/24/1997

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Attention.  In a culture that does not let us sit still, how can attention deficit disorder be a disease?  ---  1/25/2000

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Attention.  Levels of awareness: unconscious to conscious.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Attention.  Most people live their lives like dazed drivers on the highway, only occasionally "coming to", only rarely grasping their life situation.  When they do snap out of the trance or fog, they call it artistic inspiration, Zen enlightenment, flow, or peak experience.  ---  02/01/1994

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Attention.  Problems with attention.  (1) Some people's attention is captured by whatever is in front of their faces.  These people lack the ability to focus on anything beyond their immediate environment.  (2) Attention deficit disorder.  Inability for sustained attention.  (3) Absent mindedness.  Inability to attend to immediate environment.  Lost in thought.  The opposite of problem 1.  (4) Tangent mania.  Inability to follow a train of thought.  ---  11/17/2004

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Attention.  Two cases.  When you attention is captured by something vs. when you direct your attention toward something.  ---  6/10/2004

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Attention.  Types of attention.  (1) Attention can shift from one thing to another.  This is a low level function that enables animals to scan their environment.  (2) Humans can consciously and intentionally shift their attention from one thing to another.  In addition, humans can shift their attention from the physical world to the mental world of memories, emotions and thoughts.  ---  11/17/2004

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Attention.  What captures our attention?  Things we think are interesting capture our attention.  Things we think are important capture our attention.  Things we enjoy capture our attention.  Things we think are problems to be solved capture our attention.  Things that get in our view capture our attention.  ---  11/17/2004

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Curiosity, a definition.  If you have a great curiosity then you find many things to be very interesting.  ---  5/30/2005

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Distractibility.  (1) Causes: what distracts a person, and doesn't.  (2) Level of a person: how much, how soon distracted, how long for.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Distractions and distractibility vs. single mindedness and focus.  ---  04/30/1993

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Focus and drive are contingent on perception of importance, urgency, goodness of act or thing, usefulness, pleasure, wants/desire/needs.  I.e. ethics: values, priorities.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Focus means intensity and duration of attention.  Focus as intensity of attention means not letting other things distract you.  Focus as intensity of attention means single mindedness.  Humans have the ability to multi-task, for example, to rub belly and pat head at same time.  Focus means single tasking, not multi-tasking.  ---  11/17/2004

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Focus.  (1) Area of focus.  How wide or narrow.  (2) Direction of focus.  Sense of purpose or meaning.  Focus is directing your view.  ---  06/01/1994

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Focus.  (1) Degree and intensity.  (2) Endurance and duration.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Focus.  (1) Focus.  (A) Pro.  Hunkered down.  (B) Contra.  Blinders on, tunnel vision, one track mind.  (2) Open mind.  (A) Pro.  Exploring mind discovers.  (B) Contra.  Distracted, scatter brain, spread too thin.  ---  04/23/1994

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Focus.  (1) Ultimate focus and concentration.  I love x.  I desire only x.  I see only x.  Only x exists.  Only x makes me happy.  X makes me very happy.  X is vitally important.  I want to do x and can do x.  X all day long.  I can't wait to do x.  Give me more x.  (2) No concentration.  I can't see or do x.  ---  07/03/1994

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Focus.  (1) Unfocused.  (A) Contra: drifting in circles.  (B) Pro: wandering into new areas.  (2) Focused.  (A) Contra: blinders on.  (B) Pro: sticking to and solving problems.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Focus.  Do not focus on what you were, are, or will be (some imperfect thing).  Focus on what you want to be (ideal).  See yourself as what you want to be (ideal).  Do not let being realistic and practical destroy your dreams and visions.  ---  06/10/1994

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Focus.  I don't need rest so much as I need to renew focus, sense of importance, urgency.  Each day and over a life time.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  How easily are you distracted?  How often and far does your mind wander?  The extremes are bad.  Someone who cannot be distracted puts themselves in danger.  Someone who cannot focus also faces problems.  ---  3/11/2007

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interest and curiosity.  (1) What destroys curiosity?  (A) Fear.  (B) Learned helplessness.  (C) Depression.  (D) School -- rebellion against forced learning.  (E) "My brain is full".  Better organization and storage lets you fit more in.  (F)  "I can't tell truth from lies".  Improving critical thinking skills makes you more open.  (2) What improves or encourages curiosity?  (A) Bravery.  ---  02/05/1998

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interest depends on (1) How important we think it is (vs. it actually is).  (2) Energy.  When you have no energy, due to hunger, over work, or lack of sleep, nothing interests you.  (3) Ability (potential, vs. actual), we are more interested in things we can affect.  (4) Competing things.  (5) Drives.  (6) Emotions.  Especially likes and dislikes ratios (for individual thing, and comparison of things), and reasons.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interest, a definition.  If you find something interesting then you have a desire to pay a lot of attention to it, either because you like it or because you think its important even if you don't like it.  ---  5/30/2005

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interest, types of.  (1) Passing interest.  Interest fling.  Passing fancy.  (2) Enduring interests.  ---  3/11/2007

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interest.  (1) Healthy interest means curiosity.  (2) Unhealthy interest means obsession, fanaticism, escapism.  ---  09/20/1993

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interest.  (1) Healthy vs. unhealthy.  (2) Desire vs. useful (ethics).  (3) Causes vs. effects.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interest.  (1) Interest: (A) New and novel.  (B) Challenging activities.  (C) Wants and needs.  Important.  (2) Boring: (A) Old and familiar.  (B) Easy and simple.  (C) Do not need it.  ---  10/1/1998

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interest.  (1) Likes  vs. dislike.  (2) Curious vs. not.  (3) Fear vs. no fear.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interest.  (1) Phases are about interest.  (2) Interest is related to mood.  To say, "I am not interested in that", is akin to saying, "I am not in the mood for that".  (3) To some degree, we do not choose our interests and we cannot control our interests.  People often say of an interest, "It picks you, you don't pick it", or "Its in my blood".  (4) The keys are to (A) Try to broaden your interests.  Get a bunch of different types of interests.  (B) Develop your interests.  Make the most of them.  Do not stagnate.  Grow.  (C) To the extent that you are able to choose what you are interested in, consider what things are worth being interested in.  (D) Consider how what you are interested in relates to the big wide world.  Do not hide in your little world.  ---  9/26/2000

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interest.  (1) When does an interest turn into an obsession?  Ask a hobbyist.  (2) What, beyond OCD, can cause obsession?  Massive sublimation in the Freudian sense.  ---  5/7/2005

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interest.  Change in interests (true interests) of a person, (1) For better (healthy) or for worse (unhealthy).  (2) How quickly, to what degree.  (3) Cause and effects on psychological and behavior.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interest.  Degree something did, does, or will impact the situation, or one thinks it could.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interest.  Environment, experiences.  Thoughts, attitudes.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interest.  We are only interested in unknown things we are curious about.  The known has less interest.  Work/burn through your interests quickly.  Figure shit out.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interest.  What accounts for enduring interests?  What explains sudden obsessions that are just as quickly dropped?  What is a healthy interest?  When does an interest become pathological, in subject or degree?  What explains curiosity, disinterest, boredom, and interest change?  ---  07/27/1993

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interest.  What interests you, and what doesn't, and why does it interest you, or not?  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interest.  What interests you?  Most people are interested in the goals they want to achieve.  Some people are interested in the values they hold.  A few people have the problem of having no interests.  ---  3/11/2007

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interest.  What would you be interested in if you had a million dollars and didn't have to work for a living?  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interest.  Why people find things (1) Interesting due to psychological needs (catharsis) or (2) Worthy of time due to development of personal ethics.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interests.  (1) Progression of my interests shows no pattern.  (2) Neither are interests predictable.  (3) I can't think or do anything I am not interested in.  (4) This makes living tough.  (5) What to do?  How to take advantage of my shifting, strong interests?  ---  07/30/1993

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Interests.  Rapidly changing interests.  One day X is interesting and Y is not interesting.  The next day Y is interesting and X is not interesting.  What could possibly cause this phenomenon?  What use is this phenomenon?  Perhaps this phenomenon produced the Notes.  ---  6/3/2002

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Problems (see also pathological psychology).  (1) Sense, perception, attention.  (A) Too much attention, to unimportant things.  (B) Not enough attention, to important things.  (2) Interest (unconscious and conscious).  (A) No interests.  (B) Interests too broad, many vs. too narrow, few.  (C) Interests not practical.  (3) Concentration, focus.  (A) Can't concentrate on anything.  (B) Can't concentrate on important things.  (C) Can't concentrate on desired thing.  (D) Can't concentrate on some thing.  (4) Distractibility.  (5) Boredom.  (6) Fascination, curiosity.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Related terms: Focus, Attention.  Distraction.  Concentration.  Boredom and curiosity.  Frustration and perseverance.  Mental energy and fatigue.  Motivation.  Attention Deficit Disorder.  ---  1/25/2000

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  Somehow in a situation we dub certain things "background" and certain things "foreground or focus of interest".  We are able to ignore the background music, conversations, etc.  ---  9/30/1998

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  The fog.  Preoccupied.  Being somewhere else in mind, not in here and now.  Is it good or bad?  What is it a sign of?  ---  5/20/1998

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  The simplest animals attend to their environments in simple ways.  The more complex animals attend to their environments in more complex ways.  Humans attend to their environment in their own human ways.  ---  5/29/2005

Psychology, mind, attention.  ---  To "concentrate" on something means to attend to it completely for a long period of time.  ---  5/29/2005

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Paul Nervy Notes. Copyright 1988-2007 by Paul Nervy.