Active attention is the first and essential ability on the path of obtaining and memorizing information!


Attention is the ability to focus on some external or internal stimulus. It is important in all activities related to language and communication and higher cognitive processes (thinking, learning, deduction, memorizing, etc.). The more consciously attentive we are, the deeper our perception is. The deeper our perception, the more sensible the subject matter becomes. The more sensible the subject matter, the more sensible the connections with the new subject matter become. It is possible to distinguish between passive (involuntary) and active (voluntary, intentional, conscious) attention (Mravlje, 1999).



Active attention or concentration is the ability to focus on work and on a stimulus. It is consciously directed and maintained. In doing so, the individual must consciously restrain themselves from focusing on stimuli which can be irritating. (Mravlje, 1999)

With this ability, we gather our thoughts on a desired spot and leave them there. Just a couple of seconds of concentration on a chosen object will hardly be of any use. The point of active attention is the ability to focus our thoughts on a specific spot for a longer time. (Beyer, 1992)

We are able to fully concentrate for a limited period of time only. The first signs of reduced attention during concentrated mental activity can be seen after 20 to 30 minutes already. This is why it is important to allow for short breaks between activities which require active attention. During these breaks we gather our strength, and the concentration grows. (Keller, 2000)




Beyer, G.(1992). Urjenje spomina in koncentracije. Ljubljana: DZS.
Keller, G.(2000). Boljša motivacija – uspešnejše učenje. Ljubljana: Center za psihodiagnostična sredstva, d. o. o.
Mravlje, F. (1999). Pozorno poslušanje z razumevanjem. Nova Gorica: Educa.