Attention management

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Attention management refers to models and tools for supporting the management of attention at the individual or at the collective level (cf. attention economy), and at the short-term (quasi real time) or at a longer term (over periods of weeks or months).

The researcher Herbert A. Simon pointed out that when there is a vast availability of information, attention becomes the more scarce resource as human beings cannot digest all the information.[1]

According to Maura Thomas, attention management is the most important skill for the 21st century. With digital revolution and the advent of internet and communication devices, time management is no longer enough to guarantee a good quality of work. Allocating time to perform one activity does not mean that it will receive attention if constant interruptions and distractions come across. Therefore, people should stop worrying about time management and focus on attention management.[2]

The ability to control distractions and stay focused is essential to produce higher quality results. A research conducted by Stanford[3] shows that single-tasking is more effective and productive than multi-tasking.[4] Different studies have been conducted in using Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for supporting attention, and in particular, models have been elaborated for supporting attention (Davenport & Beck 2001) (Roda & Nabeth 2008).

Supporting the management of attention the objective is to bring a certain number of solutions to:

Tools can be designed for supporting attention

These tools are often adaptive hypermedia, and often rely on profiling the user (Nabeth 2008) in order determine how to better support people's attention.


A certain number of projects have been conducted to investigate how to use ICT to support attention such as:

  • AtGentive – Attentive Agents for Collaborative Learners.
  • SAKE – Semantic-enabled Agile Knowledge-based eGovernment (IST 027128)
  • SUITOR (Maglio et al. 2000)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Economist profile on Herbert Simon (20th of march, 2009). Accesssed May 13th, 2017.
  2. ^ Thomas, Maura. "Attention Management Website".
  3. ^ Gorlick, Adam (2009). "Media multitaskers pay mental price, Stanford study shows".
  4. ^ Thomas, Maura (2015). "Time Management Training Doesn't Work". Harvard Business Review.

External links[edit]