Focusing on attention

The economics of attention: Is there an appropriate balance between the interests of information providers and users?

Attention has become a critical resource for decision-making in the digital age. But differing approaches in economics present widely different understandings of the role attention plays in modern life, argue Agnès Festré and Pierre Garrouste. There are risks in confining the field to be concerned solely with information provision and noise filtering, without recognising how attention shapes problem-solving and rationality. The “economics of attention” has increasingly gained importance in academic research since the first appearance of the term in 1997 in a seminal on-line article by Michael Goldhaber where he defined it as a sub-field of the “Internet economics”, focusing on the time-consuming dimension of overflowing information. ….[READ]


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