June 11, 2016

23 Attention Grabbing Attention Span Statistics


When you're bombarded by dozens of things that need your attention, it's tempting to tune them all out and play another game of Candy Crush instead. Before you get too distracted by your smartphone, however, take a look at what the numbers reveal about who is (and isn't) paying attention.

© John Spade (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

  1. How long is the average human attention span?
    Being attentive is more challenging for some people than others. Overall, the average person can pay attention for only a mere eight seconds according to one study that focused on 3 types of attention: sustained, selective and alternating.

  2. What's the average attention span of a goldfish?
    Think you can pay attention longer than a goldfish? Think again. They beat us humans out, with an average attention span of nine seconds.

  3. How long do college students pay attention on average?
    Between classes, work and social activities, college students are juggling a lot. And their attention span understandably takes a hit. When it comes to sitting in on lectures, the typical student is able to pay attention for only 10 minutes on average.

  4. What's the average attention span of men?
    Ladies, listen up. When it comes to talking over relationship issues, men only have an average attention of span of six minutes. Interestingly, they're able to talk football with their friends for 15 minutes straight without losing focus.

  5. What percentage of women test their significant others to see if they're listening?
    The majority of women have caught on to the fact that their boyfriends or husbands may not be fully dialed in. Just over half (55%) of women test their mates every once in a while to see if they're really paying attention.

  6. Who's better at multitasking?
    Being a good multitasker might make you feel like you're getting more done - and if you're a woman, you're more likely to get away with it. In one study, men slowed down by 77% when multiple tasks were thrown their way while women slowed down by just 69%.

  7. Is the average attention span getting shorter or longer?
    Over the last 15 years, the average attention span has been on the decline. It's gone from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds now, marking a 33% drop.

  8. How many people forget at least one thing on a weekly basis?
    A lack of attention causes one in five people to forget something simple at least once a week, like where they put their car keys. It's a problem that can add up to some real cash - one study determined that Americans forfeit an average of $5,591 because of misplacement mishaps.

  9. What percentage of American adults have an attention deficit disorder?
    Approximately 4% of adults aged 18 and older deal with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms on a daily basis.

  10. How many kids in the U.S. have ADHD?
    As of 2011, 6.4 million kids in the U.S. have been diagnosed with ADHD.

  11. Are boys or girls more likely to be affected by ADHD?
    Being a boy increases the odds of being diagnosed with ADHD. 13.2% of boys versus 5.6% of girls are said to have this condition.

  12. How many children take medication for ADHD symptoms?
    In the United States, 6.1% of children take medication to treat ADHD symptoms, and most of these children are receiving some sort of treatment. Research suggests that 17.5% of kids with ADHD aren't taking medication or receiving any type of mental health counseling at all.

  13. What's the median age of diagnosis?
    ADHD symptoms can develop at an early age, but for most children, an official diagnosis doesn't come until age 7.

  14. How much does ADHD cost each year?
    In terms of the social cost, ADHD costs the U.S. an estimated $52 billion annually. Around $1.6 billion of that is related to the cost of treatment of patients.

  15. Are ADHD children more likely to end up in the hospital?
    A lack of attention can lead to an uptick in the risk of injuries. Compared to children who do not have ADHD, those who have it are more likely to end up in the hospital with major injuries (59% of ADHD-ers vs. 49% neurotypical children), and a higher percentage (4.5% compared to 2.5%) report non-fatal injuries per year.

  16. How many days of lost productivity are caused by ADHD?
    On a global scale, low attention levels result in 143.8 million lost days of productivity annually. Workers with ADHD are more likely to take at least one sick day a month compared to those without it.

  17. What percentage of people say they have to make an effort to concentrate?
    Staying on task can be tough, and 44% of people say giving something their undivided attention requires a dedicated effort. Interesting note: 67% of those who struggle are heavy social media users, which may partly account for why they struggle to focus.

  18. What percentage of people say their attention gets sidetracked by daydreams?
    Daydreaming can be a way to tap into your creative side, but for 45% of adults, it derails their ability to pay attention at work or at school.

  19. What percentage of people are mismanaging their time due to a lack of attention?
    When you're not paying attention, time can easily run away from you. For 37% of adults, mismanaged time causes them to stay up later to get things done.

  20. How many people are killed or injured by distracted drivers?
    Distracted drivers represent a significant danger on the roadways. In 2014, 431,000 injuries and 3,179 deaths were associated with car accidents caused by drivers who weren't paying attention.

  21. For how long does the average distracted driver take their eyes off the road?
    On average, distracted drivers are driving blind for 4.6 seconds every time they send a text while they're on the road. That's like driving the length of a football field (at 55 miles per hour) without even realizing it.

  22. How many drivers don't pay attention because they're tired?
    Your smartphone isn't the only thing trying to steal your attention when you're behind the wheel. The sandman is after you too: 60% of Americans drive while drowsy and 37% have actually fallen asleep while driving.

  23. How many accidents occur as a result?
    An average of 83,000 car accidents are reported in connection with fatigued drivers each year. Unfortunately, these accidents result in an annual total of 37,000 crashes involving injuries and 886 fatal crashes.

Conclusion

Whether you're on the job, in class or on the road, a lack of attention is no laughing matter. Making sure you get enough sleep, meditating, and turning off your smartphone once in a while may also help you to get better at staying focused.

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