Attentional Bias

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Attentional Bias is “the tendency to pay attention to some things while simultaneously ignoring others. This impacts not only the things that we perceive in the environment, but the decisions that we make based upon our perceptions.”1 For example, a parent or early learning professional may pay attention to the fact that a toddler’s recently been biting others while ignoring factors that may contribute to the biting spree. (Is the child hungry or tired? Have there been changes to the environment? Has the child been showing signs of illness?)

Attentional Bias can be countered by pausing and acknowledging that you’re probably not seeing the whole story in situations like the one above.2 Seeing beyond what initially draws your attention (the biting) will help you see a fuller picture of the situation (maybe the biter has two new teeth pushing through and really needs something to chew on). This will make it easier to see solutions and plot a course of action.

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Jeff is an early learning speaker, toymaker, podcaster, content creator, author, and founder of Playvolution HQ who is really bad at getting his picture taken.


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