Daniel Berlyne  

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"Psychologist Daniel E. Berlyne credits the first extended treatment of attention to philosopher Nicolas Malebranche in his work "The Search After Truth". "Malebranche held that we have access to ideas, or mental representations of the external world, but not direct access to the world itself." Thus in order to keep these ideas organized, attention is necessary. Otherwise we will confuse these ideas. Malebranche writes in "The Search After Truth", "because it often happens that the understanding has only confused and imperfect perceptions of things, it is truly a cause of our errors.... It is therefore necessary to look for means to keep our perceptions from being confused and imperfect. And, because, as everyone knows, there is nothing that makes them clearer and more distinct than attentiveness, we must try to find the means to become more attentive than we are". According to Malebranche, attention is crucial to understanding and keeping thoughts organized."

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Daniel Ellis Berlyne (April 25, 1924 – November 2, 1976) was a British and Canadian psychologist and philosopher. Berlyne worked at several universities both in Canada and the United States. His work was in the field of experimental and exploratory psychology.

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