Talk:Information overload

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This page strikes me as ironic and definitely needs to be cleaned.

You utterly fail to point out just how this appears to you as ironic. I have read it and reread it and still seems to me to be clear, consise, factual and neutral. Unless the claim above is substantiated I propose we remove the cleanup tag. 21:27, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
I believe the cleanup tag should stay. This prose is simply too dense and unreadable for an encyclopedia. Problems include: (1) paragraphs and sentences that are too long; (2) word choice that is too abstract (which only compounds the difficulty of comprehending such an abstract concept); (3) overuse of the passive voice; and (4) chaining of too many nouns and verbs as adjectives. The basic problem here is the use of too many abstract words to get across what could be done with a few concrete words.
The article as written constitutes precisely the kind of pompous, ornate writing that is still too common in academic ivory towers not yet penetrated by the plain English movement. A lawyer who regularly writes that badly (yes, I just graduated from law school) would be fired for failing to persuade anyone of the merits of his cases. --Coolcaesar 16:23, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

I took some time to clean up the page, and although it isn't perfect, I went ahead and removed the cleanup tag. I had to remove quite a bit of (IMHO) sensationalized and POV material to do so; if anyone thinks that material had a place in the article and wants to see it back in, feel free to include it if it can be done in a matter appropriate to the Wikipedia. ArrowmanCoder 18:25, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

I don't understand why things aren't referenced normally in this article. It is redundant to provide the reader with the source in parentheses as well as a footnote and sometimes even a link. I agree with the first poster. This seems like an attempt at irony i.e. presenting too much information on an article about being presented with too much information.

I agree and judging from the citation method, it looks like APA style. I applied this style when I added the historical section. If I am incorrect in the citation method, please let me know. ST2526 (talk) 13:56, 25 October 2011 (UTC)


Mindfulness meditation and increased sleep help.Romanfall (talk) 03:19, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

I know this may not be the correct location for this but as an article on information ‘overload’ it gives no hint or direction as to how someone experiencing it may elevate it? (Even temporally) – Devan

Information Overload != Information Pollution[edit]

Why does the word information pollution redirect to information overload. Information pollution and information overload are not the same thing. They are entirely different things in entirely different contexts.the out come is untabulised

I propose that the two be seperated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:07, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Human Cerebral Cortex Overload[edit]

This page fails to clearly list the most important sub-heading of information overload, where a human being's brain literally "shuts down" in a coma-like state when the cerebral cortex is given too much information (through a large number of variables and possible scenarios which contribute to this phenomenon) to process. Whoever has the best knowledge, or any working knowledge whatsoever on the subject, should seed a topic to be perfected over time, at least to give people a general sense on how to spawn this new sub-heading of Information Overload.

I added the psychological perspective in the lead paragraph distinguishing it from the library and information sciences definition. I am hoping others will elaborate on the psychology definition of information overload. I have working knowledge in the area, but I have not found more references to add for a possible new section. ST2526 (talk) 14:07, 25 October 2011 (UTC)


An aggregator and couple of RSS feeds can get you information overload.

For that matter Wikipedia can overload you with information too!:P Yipely 00:42, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Revert of possible copyright violation[edit]

Since this was listed for deletion, I've reverted to the version before the suspected copyright violation. It does mean the article loses 2 years worth of edits, but since edits made after this one could be seen as derivative works of that, I think the safest option is to restart the article from the point before that violation. Angela. 05:29, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Continuous Partial Attention[edit]

Why does "Continuous Partial Attention" redirect here? It's not the same thing ... it's not even MENTIONED in this aritcle. Scix 23:58, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

+1 Reference[edit]

Shali Wu, Boaz Keysar: The Effect of Information Overlap on Communication Effectiveness (PDF), In: Cognitive Science 31 (2007) 169–181

10 Tips[edit]

"Managing Information Overload: 10 Tips for Survival in an Information Age" press release (Free registration required for full article) -- Cherubino 11:31, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

contested research[edit]

I added a "although this is contested" and a link to It seems like Dr Wilson does not approve of the way his findings were reported: "This infomania study has been the bane of my life. I was hired by H-P for one day to advise on a PR project and had no anticipation of the extent to which it (and my responsibility for it) would get over-hyped in the media." So it seems that receiving lots of email does not lower tour IQ in such a spectacular way. Evert Mouw 2007-04-01

This page _is_ information overload. It doesn't make sense in any way. What about the psychological effects of too much information?


I decided to spend some time giving this page a clean up and better structure. It seemed like it lacked some sort of order.

I've pretty much kept everything in that made sense, apart from a couple of sections that didn't read well or weren't relevant to the topic. As well as dividing up into sections, I also included the References section at the bottom.

There is still a lot of potential for this page, and I would like to see more information added. I still don't think it reads too well, but I didn't want to go too far and rewrite everything that was there before. John d 1943 (talk) 20:16, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Work place interuption is not Information Overload[edit]

If somebody is geting interupted by a telephone ring in the next cubicle, how is that information overload ?.. What is the information that is being received ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:05, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

I propose deleting the analysis section of this page. It is not for a wikipaedia page to analyse anything. It is to provide information. Plus there are no references, and really, it can be classed as information overload itself. Historical information is a cause of information overload? The section is poorely written, we do not know if it's someones opinion or an actual scientific theory. I also extend the deleting of sections to what is currently below this section. Please add here if you think I shouldn't delete anything. Remember the saying "no information is better then wrong information". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Silverxxx (talkcontribs) 18:20, 27 December 2008 (UTC) ps I deleted some stuff already

no more links[edit]

Deletion of entire Information Overload page[edit]

OK, I agree this article needs some serious revision, but the comments / reasons for doing so given by Scientus are is not exactly constructive.

Replacing the entire article with one 27 word definition taken from a 2003 academic paper does not really qualify the entry as an encyclopaedia article - I feel sure that this particular paper is not universally accepted as THE definitive definition of information overload.

I have reverted to the pre-deletion page (with all of its faults) and posted an explanation on Scientus' talk page. I am not sure if the comments at the top of this page are from Scientus, but even if they are, I don't think this was the right way to approach a clean-up

Compo (talk) 11:40, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

The "Impact on society" section of this article is the most poorly written thing I have come across on this site, and should be deleted. Agreed?

Good God, this entire page is unreadable trash. I'm begging someone to fix it. (talk) 23:48, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Toffler didn't coin the term, and the phenomenon predates the Net[edit]

Plato, Aristotle ? Wrote about this problem. Romanfall (talk) 03:17, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

I did a little work on the first paragraph. Toffler popularized the term, but it had been coined earlier. The earliest I can find is in a book by Bertram Gross, which I have cited.

The article makes it sound as if info overload is an Internet Age idea. It's not. It comes straight out of the Information Age. I've added a brief reference to the idea's origins in the sensory overload trope.

This article does need some serious work, though. And, much as I love Clay Shirky, don't you think that having a section pointing to one of his wise aphorisms is a little out of place? dweinberger (talk) 05:37, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

When it costs $16,000,000 a year to maintain Wikipedia, has the idea crumbled? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:28, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Add Data Overload?[edit]

In New Military, Data Overload Can Be Deadly

Same concept? Hcobb (talk) 04:39, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Historical context of information overload[edit]

The Ancient Greeks thought the amount of knowledge was greater than what could be read in a lifetime. Romanfall (talk) 03:16, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

I see information overload that could be further examined throughout history in society and propose a historical section in the article. I have an interest in seeing the phenomenon recurring as new forms of information technology affect information overload. ST2526 (talk) 11:42, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

I have added a history section with some sub-sections. Please feel free to suggest any changes. There are likely other examples of information overload associated with each new innovation in production of information or communications within the library and information science literature (i.e., Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society ~1665) but I can not locate the references. ST2526 (talk) 12:18, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
I am not sure how to integrate the existing information under Origin into the History section, if someone can assist in this for the next edit, that would be wonderful. ST2526 (talk) 11:49, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Signal-to-Noise link[edit]

I would like to propose changing the link to the page signal-to-noise. The type of ratio it refers to in the article is the s.-to-n. ratio of a scientific signal measurement, not the measurement of useful to junk information, which is being used in this article. There is a reference to this at the top of the page, but it is very concise and is only mentioned there. I propose either 1, removing the link, 2, extending the summary at the top of the s.-to-n. page, 3, creating a new section within the article about the s.-to-n. mentioned here, or 4, creating a new article about the s.-to-n. mentioned here.

PS, sorry if I messed up on some wikipedia formatting rule, this is my first time editing. Frizbee2 (talk) 00:36, 10 February 2012 (UTC)Frizbee2

Attention philanthropy[edit]

The below paragraph, in how to deal with IO chapter, appears to fall out of context, I suggest it's removed.

Attention Philanthropy is considered to be a gift of notice [43] that is “focused on shining a light on work that’s worth supporting, yet falls outside the notice of the usual sources of funding or acclaim.” It places an importance on money, but more important than the money is the exposure and the attention for good initiatives. In the midst of all the initiatives that are created, there is an emphasis placed on the “little guy.” Attention Philanthropy does face some difficulties. For example, certain initiatives can turn into popularity contests where feel-good ideas are supported. That is not to say that these initiatives are bad but that a popularity contest between initiatives don’t guarantee the effectiveness of the initiative. The desired outcome of attention philanthropy is to “increase the flow of world-changing projects and people into the system... [and] connect the mainstream to the leading waves of innovation and speeding the uptake of good ideas throughout society.” (talk) 05:20, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Merge with Data Smog?[edit]

I propose that Data_Smog be merged into this article. Data smog is a very similar term and its article is mostly about one book so it would be easy to be included in this article. There is also some information overload specific stuff (the Bucy quote) that isn't found here. (talk) 16:41, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Good idea. My one reservation is that Data Smog is an article about a specific book. I'll add a link to the See also section for now. Paul2520 (talk) 15:42, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

As a general-public-casual-reader, I dare say History section may be improved by mentioning means of conveying information other than the written e.g. radio, television, signage, advertising. It strikes me as odd the long jump from XVIIIth century book publishing to internet, obviating altogether XIXth century and proliferation of newspapers, journals, magazines, almanacs. As relevant comment from this period I would point to mind attic theory from massively influential master of information processing Sherlock Holmes :) What I was musing about when first came to this article was the perplexing relation between the necessity of perfect information as to market efficiency and the unperfecting infoverload mature markets seem to downpour. Wonder this could be something linked to Tainter's diminishing returns from complexity. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:14, 6 February 2014 (UTC)