Sonntag, 20. Mai 2018

James on Attention:

"Geniuses are commonly believed to excel other men in their power of sustained attention. In most of them, it is to be feared, the so-called 'power' is of the passive sort. Their ideas coruscate, every subject branches infinitely before their fertile mind, and so for hours they may be rapt. But it is their genius making them attentive, not their attention making geniuses of them. And, when we come down to the root of the matter, we see that they differ from ordinary men less in the character of their attention than in the nature of the objects upon which it is successively bestowed."


  1. I read somewhere that lower short term memory is strongly correlated with both creative achievement and higher scores in divergent thinking tests.

    But we have the problem of unidimensional view of attention. Most highly creative people is obsessed with specific subjects. Also we have inner attention which is basically the default network. So maybe that guy or girl look like innatentive with exterior stimuli but not with interior.


    1. I have heard that too (that there is a positive relationship), but I doubt it. To my knowledge, general intelligence is the best single predictor of lifetime creative achievement. (Even if life-time creative achievement could be better predicted by combining multiple predictors.) And the size of short term memory // working memory capacity is closely related to thinking capabilities.

    2. ''And the size of short term memory // working memory capacity is closely related to thinking capabilities.''

      Yes... but you're comparing general population with highly creative subgroup. Among general population this correlation is expected to be high. Among highly creative subgroup i don't know if you have any evidence.

      We are centralizing on this subgroup. If among them we have higher correlation with this ''deficit', so...

      I don't know what would be this ''multiple'' predictors.

      Most higher IQ people is not highly creative, the threshold hypothesis is not totally wrong, but many highly creative people is likely to score higher on IQ tests, but i doubt that they will be likely to score higher in all tests.

      Just like, you have a minority within another minority.

      I don't understand your first part, do you heard* seems, there are studies showing lower short term memory and or attention with high creativity potential and achievement, strong positive correlation.

      I don't said ''lower short term memory is the best predictor of high creativity'' but i doubt higher general... cognitive skills is the best one, if majority of people who score higher in IQ tests is not the most creative, indeed, if there is something like ''below creativity index'', i bet will have a positive correlation with higher IQ.


    3. Perhaps that phenomenon should be labeled as "low latent inhibition" but not as poor working memory performance or as low intelligence. If there are two individuals who have IQ's of 140 and one of these individuals is characterized by "low latent inhibition", probably this individual shows poorer working memory performance in certain situations although his thoughts are generally more unusual or creative.

    4. Well, i know it's look like completely anecdotal but i'm highly creative and i'm not exactly the ''dumbest'' person in the room, my general cognitive skills are not high, very likely to be little above average, but i don't have a equally avg verbal IQ, on my mother tongue. I no have a good short term memory, why**

      Because i spend big part of my time thinking about my specific interests. This is just like ''multitask'' and we know that it's tend not to be good because we are fractionating our attention with two or more things, or introspectively and extrospectively.. I believe my lack of attention is more due to explicit informations i'm dealing specially when i'm not interested but i'm attentive with implicit informations or another stuff most people around me are not interested.

      A difference between someone as me who are more ''daydreamer'' and someone who are not very very attentive and without this introspective ''investment''.