Easterbrook's Hypothesis

Easterbrook’s hypothesis posits that arousal causes a narrowing down of attention to more important information. For instance, you became more alert after hearing a gunshot. You then looked and waited for pertinent cues such as a person holding a gun, a cry for help, or a law enforcer. This term was attributed to J.A. Easterbrook, a psychiatrist who introduced the concept in the 1950s.

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