Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
How to Cite
Cheyne, A. 2010. Attention Lapses. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1.
- Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Attention lapses are a frequently annoying fact-of-life with which we all have firsthand experience. Technically, attention lapses are taken to be failures of sustained attention. The lapses referred to are therefore usually defined as temporary and often brief shifts of conscious attention away from some primary task to unrelated internal information processing. This sort of definition of attention lapse has the advantage of specifying research paradigms as well as relating absentmindedness to the important practical issue of understanding cognitive and action failures during instrumental tasks (Reason & Mycielska, 1984).