Now scientists have found a reason why people can be so easily be distracted.
A new report published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General claims that one’s level of distraction is determined by how engaged one is with the task at hand.
Psychologists from the University of Illinois, professors Simona Buetti and Alejandro Lleras have tested the accepted theory that the more difficult a task, the more distractions the human brain tries to find.
Participants were asked to complete a maths problem, while photographs of neutral scenes (fields, cows, flowers etc) flashed up on a computer screen at three-second intervals.
A device that tracked their eye movements recorded how often they looked up from their maths problems, and for how long.
Contrary to the accepted theory, the results showed that participants were more likely to become distracted when the problems they were solving were easier. Read more