“Judgment” by Maggie Jackson

Zachariah James Watson

Maggie Jackson’s take on judgment is referring to the “better judgment” in terms of how we focus our attention. She begins the article on this topic with a discussion over a study done by Dan Anderson, a psychology professor at the University of Massachusetts. The study revolved around how much “people in general, both children and adults, look at and away from nearly any visual set up (TV) to one hundred and fifty times an hour” (Jackson). If a look lasts fifteen seconds or longer are we more likely to watch for up to ten minutes at a stretch. This is a phenomenon known as “attentional inertia.” The main point is that we have more control over how we are able to focus our attention than we realize.

Whenever any type of moving imagery is either too fast and stimulating or too calm and slow, our attention starts to slip away. Quick cuts and rapid imagery are designed to keep tugging on our natural tendency to focus on anything that is shiny, bright, and mobile. It is essentially a means of grabbing our attention by appealing to out basic survival instincts. With this in mind, it is important to maintain diligence and awareness of how these things affect our minds so that we can maintain a clear and concise sense of judgment when we make our choices.




Discussion Questions:

1) What is your standpoint on this study of the relationship between imagery, focus, and judgment?

2) Do you believe that moving imagery has an undeniable amount of strength when it comes to grabbing our attention? Why or why not?

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