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The Female Vision by Julie Johnson, Sally Helgesen

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CHAPTER FOURBroad-Spectrum Notice

The first component that shapes our vision is our capacity to notice. What we notice determines what we see. What we notice also informs how we understand events, order information, and assign value. Our individual style of noticing is an expression of our character, our talents, and our interests. What we notice makes us who we are.

Men and women often have different styles of noticing—not always, but often enough to make a meaningful distinction. As noted in chapter 1, researchers find that men tend to focus deeply and narrowly on a single perception or task, whereas women’s attention is often simultaneously engaged by many different things.1 In one of his last stories, Saul Bellow memorably described one of ...

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