I have just read a fairly surprising study concluded and published by Microsoft. Statics now show that the average human attention is about 8 seconds, more precisely 8.25 seconds, which is 4 seconds shorter than it was in 2000. It doesn’t look that bad, but if you compare this number with the attention span of a goldfish, then it’s not so flattering. Because goldfish can focus a stunning length of 9 seconds.
Read and download the whole report and additional infographic of: How does digital affect Canadian attention spans?
The subjects of the research were Canadians, so now I desperately hope that since I am not Canadian, maybe…just maybe, I can keep my attention on one single topic longer than 8.25 seconds. Although, if I want to be completely honest with myself, it sounds about right.
This raises one important question: What caused it?
Can the culprit be the information overload we face these years? It would make sense, since discovering new data releases dopamine, which makes us addicted to seeking more and more information.
It increases your general level of arousal, motivation, and goal-directed behavior. It’s not only about physical needs such as food or sex, but also about abstract concepts. Dopamine makes you curious about ideas and fuels your search for information.
The urge to look for novelty and the overwhelming amount of information can be reached might have triggered the attention span reduction.
What do you think caused the drop?