Ours is an era of noise and distractions. How well do you handle them? This psychology exercise tests your ability to filter out distractions and focus on the task at hand. It's a short, simple game from New York Magazine, based on classic tests used by psychologists:
A classic test scientists used for studying an individual's selective attention — in other words, the ability to tune out irrelevant information and focus squarely on the task at hand — is something called the Stroop Colour and Word Test, the efficacy of which has been replicated in hundreds of scientific studies. Try it for yourself with our version below, which itself is based on a game designed by Boston College psychologist Joshua Hartshorne.
In the game, you have to click the left arrow if the word is coloured white and the right arrow if it's orange — regardless of what the word says. That is, ignore the fact that the word says "orange" or "white" and choose the correct arrow based on the text colour.
Your correct guesses and the time it takes you to answer are both tracked and then you'll get a short summary of your results.
If you find out you're easily distractible, you could try taking up meditation to improve your focus or look on the bright side: people who tend to be easily distracted also tend to be more creative than those who are more focused.