The mind likes to wander, thinking about things such as homework or an argument with a spouse rather than the task at hand, so it is difficult to remain focused. In essence, people have what experts call limited channel capacity in that they can only hold a certain limited amount of information in their mind at one time. For example, part of the reason phone numbers are 7 digits long is because typically people can only remember about 7 discrete pieces of information without forgetting important portions of it. Because the mind has a limited capacity, what it pays attention to is extremely important. Paying attention to relevant or appropriate cues and eliminating inappropriate cues is critical for high-level performance.
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