FOCUS was developed by Afriforte, a business arm of the University of the North West, South Africa, on request of Deon and Karin Visser (Biolink & FocusAttention) and Dr Wilma Coetzer (Industrial Psych & FocusAttention). Afriforte has several patents in the field of psychometric testing and more than 400 peer-reviewed articles on their developments in this field.
FOCUS is a computerised measurement of Attentional Control, i.e. an individual’s capacity to choose what to pay attention to and what to ignore. Attentional control is the ability to remain focused on goal-relevant stimuli and information in the presence of potentially interfering distractions (visual and auditory). FOCUS tests are norm-referenced. FOCUS is not a psychometric assessment and cannot be utilised for diagnostic purposes and can only be administered and interpreted by accredited professionals
Consistency is the measurement of the quality of reacting or performing in a similar way in terms of accuracy and responsiveness when having to execute boring, mundane or repetitive tasks. Consistent behaviour results in achieving a level of performance which does not vary greatly in quality over time. Inconsistent behaviour results in a fluctuation of the quality execution of the task due to the individual having trouble maintaining his or her focus, especially when the task at hand is boring or repetitive.
Performance is the accomplishment of a given task measured against pre-set known standards of accuracy and speed, i.e. being attentive to completing the task accurately and on time. Overall performance of the individual is measured in terms of being accurate versus inaccurate and being on-time.
Impulsivity (or being impulsive) involves a tendency to act suddenly and without careful thought, reflection or consideration of the consequences. Impulsive actions are typically poorly conceived, prematurely expressed, unduly risky, or inappropriate to the situation that often result in undesirable consequences. Impulsivity is both the tendency to respond prior to the evoking stimuli being presented (i.e. guessing which stimulus is presented) and the tendency to respond when he or she should not (i.e. incorrectly responding to the non-target).
Distraction is the process of diverting the attention of the individual from the desired area of focus and thereby blocking or diminishing the reception of desired information.
Visual distraction – determining the impact of visual changes in the environment on the individual’s performance.
Auditory distraction – determining the impact of auditory changes in the environment on the individual’s performance.