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The attention span myth

The attention span myth, claiming humans now focus for only 8 seconds, arose from a misinterpreted 2015 Microsoft Canada report. This report cited dubious statistics from an unreliable source, which were then amplified by media outlets seeking sensational headlines. The myth persists due to its seeming plausibility in our digital age and its memorable comparison to goldfish. It feeds into existing anxieties about technology's impact on cognition, making it feel intuitively true. Despite being debunked by researchers who traced its origins and found no scientific basis, the myth continues to be cited in marketing, education, and popular media. Its longevity demonstrates how easily misinformation can spread and take root when it aligns with cultural concerns and preconceptions.

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