Why write when you can get prominent celebrities to act out your psychological theories?

Psychological theory really got its start with Plato’s dialogs.  In that tradition I’ll have Larry King introduce both you and Sarah Palin to this week’s theory. Don’t be too distracted by Sarah’s presence.  This isn’t primarily about her and her astonishing declaration last week that the founding fathers wanted to mix church and state.  Rather, Attention Difference Syndrome is a common problem, one you probably dealt with even today.  It’s simply what I’d call it when we differ about how much attention we care to give a topic.  One person’s crucial details are another person’s trivialities. When we disagree with each other over how much attention to give something, we have many ways to interpret the disagreement as evidence that our conversational partner is poorly or maliciously motivated.

If you feel a line of reasoning needs to be followed out and tested further than I do, I can dismiss you as nitpicking, trying to compete with me, or trying to make me look dumb.  If you feel an issue deserves less attention than I want to give it, I can dismiss you as being evasive, lazy, stupid, uncaring or obstructionist.

Attention Difference Syndrome is a simpler, more agnostic diagnosis attributing the problem merely a difference between us regarding Halting Moves.

Of course, sometimes differences of attention are poorly or maliciously motivated. Sometimes our conversational partner is really poorly or maliciously motivated. All false accusations are next door neighbors to true accusations. If that weren’t, the false accusations would never ring true enough to stick.  Since there’s such a strong tendency to assume that a difference of attention means the other person is wrong, it’s useful to start with the simpler, more agnostic diagnosis.

But I don’t to steal my celebrities’ thunder.  Take it away, Larry and Sarah:



The software I used to do this is free at http://www.xtranormal.com/ Learning curve aside, it took about an hour to make this animation and I think this technology shows great promise for us social interaction fanatics. I’ll try to do more essays in this format because, in this the 21st century ADD, who has attention enough to read?