I remember reading at some point in the literature that humans are unable to avoid distraction from a certain primary task if this task isn't using up close to all available 'resources' - basically meaning that everytime the human brain has cognitive resources left, they'll be allocated to one thing or another.

Is that right? If not, at what point is my understanding wrong? Can you give a relevant reference concerning this question?

Edit: I'm referring to distraction in the context of traffic from the perspective of the individual driver.

See Hancock, P. A., Mouloua, M., & Senders, J. W. (2009). On the philosophical foundations of the distracted driver and driving distraction.

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    $\begingroup$ I think you've got some good questions here (and your others as well). Check into some of the available databases (Google Scholar or PsychArticles or PubMed) to see if you can narrow down your interests a bit - some articles are behind a paywall, but you can read abstracts for free normally) $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 26, 2012 at 16:12

1 Answer 1


I think you probably need to more clearly define what you mean by distraction - what sorts of events or objects in the world distract, and what does it mean to be distracted? - but between subjects differences in susceptibility to distraction have been noted in the literature on field dependency at least http://www.amsciepub.com/doi/abs/10.2466/pms.1965.20.3.805

  • $\begingroup$ edited my question to state the context of my question $\endgroup$
    – deemel
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 9:58

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