The Latin term attentio is where the etymological origin of the term attention is found, which we are now going to proceed to analyze in depth. A word that is made up of three parts: the prefix ad – which is synonymous with “towards”, the verb tendere which can be translated as “stretch” and finally the suffix – tion which is equivalent to “action and effect”.
Attention is a term with different meanings and that can be used in different areas. For psychology, attention is a quality of perception that functions as a kind of filter for environmental stimuli, evaluating which are the most relevant and prioritizing them for deeper processing.
On the other hand, attention is also understood as the mechanism that controls and regulates cognitive processes. There are times when she even acts unconsciously.
Psychologists establish two types of determinants of attention: internal determinants (those that are specific to the individual and that depend on him) and external determinants (that come from the environment).
In the first group, we can mention the organic state (the drives that the subject experiences when receiving the stimulation), the interests (related to what attracts the person. For example: a sports lover will pay close attention to a football match ), social suggestion and courses of thought.
Among the external determinants are the power of the stimulus (for example, a strong sound), change (an alteration in the field of perception), size (an imposing image), repetition (a weak stimulus that gains strength by being constantly repeated), movement (a movement that generates a reaction), contrast (a stimulus that contrasts with the environment) and structural organization.
In addition to all the above, it is important to determine that this term that we are now dealing with is also used in the field of health. Specifically, we talk about what is known as primary care, which is the medical assistance that a person with a health problem receives at first.
In the same way, in the colloquial sphere the expression “attracting attention” is used. With it what comes to be said is that a person or a specific element manages to awaken the curiosity or interest of another. Thus, for example, a phrase that would explain this meaning would be the following: “The spectacular showcase of that store managed to attract the attention of all passersby”.
And all this without forgetting the existence of another very common expression which is that of “attention call”. With it, what is defined is the warning that someone carries out to another person. One of the most common places where it is used is in education, since it is common to hear the following phrase “The teacher made a call to Manuel about his bad behavior in class and the consequences that this would have if he continues to act that way”.
Other uses of the word attention refer to courtesy (attention as a show of respect) and the call to the soldiers in training to begin an exercise or a maneuver.