WASHINGTON — Human attention span is now lower than a goldfish, shortening from 12 to eight seconds in over a decade as the rise of smartphones and technology has made it difficult for us to stay focused, a new study has found.
The study by Microsoft Corporation collected data from surveys of more than 2,000 Canadians over the age of 18, who played games online to determine the impact of pocket-sized devices and the increased availability of digital media and information are having on everyday life.
Researchers also monitored over 100 people's brain activity with in-lab monitoring, using electroencephalograms (EEGs).
The findings show human attention span has fallen from an average of 12 seconds in the year 2000 to just eight seconds today.
Humans now have less of an attention span than a goldfish (nine seconds average), researchers found.
The decrease was seen across all age groups and genders in the study, 'Medical Daily' reported.
Those in the age bracket of 18 to 34 had a 31 per cent high sustained attention span compared to those age 55 and over at 35 per cent.
Males (33 per cent) had a better attention span than females (31 per cent), researchers found.
On a positive note, the researchers found the ability to multitask has significantly improved.
"Heavy multi-screeners find it difficult to filter out irrelevant stimuli they are more easily distracted by multiple streams of media," researchers said.
The researchers also found that young respondents were more likely to display addiction-like behaviours when it came to their devices.