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A Better Way to Pay Attention

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Two friends talking while drinking from gold mugs.
Photo: Carlina Teteris/Getty Images

In 1958, a British psychologist named Donald Broadbent posited the “filter model” of attention (also known as the “bottleneck model”). The world floods our senses with data, like a fire hose. Our brain’s ability to process this data is limited, so it deploys attention as a means to prioritize all that information, to control the fire hose.

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Eric Weiner

Eric Weiner

Philosophical Traveler. Recovering Malcontent. Author of four books, including my latest: “The Socrates Express.”