May 23, 2008

Masters Thesis: A Framework of Attention as a Medium of Exchange

Filed under: Attention,Research — admin @ 8:12 pm


Research in the economics of attention generally approaches attention as a scarce resource and the design of systems to efficiently allocate that resource. This paper approaches the topic with a slight twist. Instead of designing systems to allocate attention, we look to designing systems where attention is a medium of exchange. This does not advocate that attention isn’t scarce, but, much like money, we can use attention to exchange for and allocate the goods that we really want (i.e. information goods). From this basic premise, this paper presents a conceptual framework and some insights into the nature of attention as a medium of exchange. The utility of the conceptual framework is derived from broad applicability, and this is accomplished in several ways. First, it adds coherence to an array of seemingly disparate research papers on the economics of attention. Second, existing systems currently using attention as medium of exchange can be described using the framework. More interestingly, though, the framework provides a common language to visualize new systems or augment existing systems. Lastly, the framework allows for decomposing systems in a way that is amenable to economic analysis. With that, we can compare the efficiency of differing systems or simply understand the implications and dynamics of a given system.

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And the presentation I gave using Google Docs