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Why Your Attention Sucks — Chris Atherton at Presentation Camp London
 

Why Your Attention Sucks — Chris Atherton at Presentation Camp London

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Slides from my talk at Presentation Camp London, held at the Salmon Centre in Bermondsey on Sun 17th Jan, 2010. ...

Slides from my talk at Presentation Camp London, held at the Salmon Centre in Bermondsey on Sun 17th Jan, 2010.

This presentation was adapted from my TCUK09 talk on about half an hour's notice as I hadn't planned to present anything at PCL1! Interesting experience :)

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  • I adapted this presentation from my TCUK09 talk, hence their alarming similarity (though this one had less audience participation and ran for just over 20 minutes. Boy, do I talk fast.) I turned up at PCL1 not thinking I was going to talk at all, and then somehow my arm got twisted. Whoops. Note to self: next time, go prepared. PCL was a great event (and free!) and I would encourage anyone interested in watching, giving, or thinking about presentations to give it a go at the next possible opportunity :) Huge thanks also to The Salmon Centre (http://www.salmoncentre.co.uk/) for hosting us and for doing such excellent community work.
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Why Your Attention Sucks — Chris Atherton at Presentation Camp London Why Your Attention Sucks — Chris Atherton at Presentation Camp London Presentation Transcript

  • Why your attention sucks (mind-hacks to avert Death By PowerPoint) Chris Atherton School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire
  • your brain is lazy, shallow, and easily distracted.
  • (but ultimately, also hackable)
  • So, what do you do? http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephangeyer/3020487807/sizes/o/
  • thinking perception attention memory
  • University of Central Lancashire
  • Preston
  • Where is the educational merit ... • ... in row after row of bullet points? • Students are expected to sit there for two hours • I get antsy if I don’t check Twitter for 10 minutes
  • education as endurance event http://www.flickr.com/photos/infomatique/1800877044/
  • http://identity20.com/media/OSCON2005/ http://randomfoo.net/oscon/2002/lessig/free.html
  • “why can’t education be like that?”
  • modern psychology http://www.gentlemansemporium.com/webimages/gallery_1850_gents.gif
  • Gestalt grouping principles
  • continuity
  • similarity
  • proximity
  • 9-dot problem
  • 3 2 4 1 start here
  • there is no box!
  • we group objects faster based on proximity ...
  • ... than we do based on colour or shape (Quinlan & Wilton, 1998)
  • for what/where decisions, the brain hacks itself!
  • what/where pathways where? visual cortex what?
  • farming out tasks to separate pathways buys more processing power
  • “attentionomics”
  • the “magic number 7” (± 2) (Miller, 1956)
  • magic number 4 ? (Cowan, 2001)
  • subitization
  • subitization
  • subitization
  • max. working memory load: 4-5 things
  • working memory capacity is limited — but hackable.
  • cognitive load = amount of work needed to understand or learn something
  • intrinsic cognitive load: how inherently difficult something is
  • C B D B C A A F E
  • extraneous cognitive load: extra work imposed by the thinking/learning environment
  • A has a reciprocal relationship with B and with C. B C B has a reciprocal relationship with A but only receives incoming information from C A C has a reciprocal relationship with A but not with B, to which it feeds forward.
  • good communication is all about reducing extraneous load
  • the hack: farm out work to the brain’s different pathways
  • visual/auditory pathways visual cortex auditory cortex
  • we LOVE audiovisual stimulation! http://moviescreenshots.blogspot.com/
  • so why isn’t this any good?
  • does pictures does language (spoken or written)
  • Death by PowerPoint: bored overloaded
  • ... our research
  • study 1 (in the lab)
  • identical spoken presentations about advertising
  • multiple choice questions
  • 9. If an advertising campaign has 60 Gross Rating Points (GRPs), the advert could reach: traditional (a) 60% of the target audience once, or 15% of the audience four times (b) 30% of the target audience once, or 15% of the audience two times sparse text (c) 30% of the audience twice, and 40% of the audience four times (d) 60% of the audience once, and 10% of the audience four times sparse text, graphics
  • ... no difference between groups
  • Essay answer performance
  • What do you remember about the main part of the presentation? Please be useful to a product but How advertising can write as much as you can ... that there is a fine line between successful and negative advertising. Identified key factors affecting the success of advertising, such as exposure and an adverts relation to the product. Frequency of exposure can have a detrimental effect on the success of an advert. Consumers should be made aware of a product but not bombarded. Advertisers must concern themselves with selecting suitable mediums to reach desired audiences at the right frequency of risk the advert not affecting the consumer
  • number of themes written about * = significant difference
  • In other words, slides that look like this: help students learn better than slides that look like this:
  • study 2 (in the lecture theatre)
  • Again, students either saw slides like this ... ... or slides like this:
  • multiple-choice performance = same
  • Essay answer performance
  • significant (p < .05) no. of themes written about 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 traditional sparse slides slides
  • either ... (a) sparse slides challenge our attention less
  • and/or ... (b) sparse visuals make it easier to absorb stuff
  • less is more! max. working memory load: 4-5 things
  • split the load pictures words
  • make the brain’s native skills work for you
  • your brain is lazy, shallow, and easily distracted.
  • (but ultimately, also hackable)
  • finiteattentionspan.wordpress.com Twitter: @finiteattention