Arbitrary attention is one of the types of attention of a person, manifested by a free focus when using volitional efforts that direct him to the necessary, obligatory activity or object, its individual qualities or manifestations that do not cause natural interest. Arbitrary attention of a person always goes as opposed to involuntary and is considered a higher form of development of mental functions based on the performance of conscious activity. It is always determined not by interest, but by a deliberately set task, in which it is directed to objects marked in advance or their characteristics. It is such a conscious and anticipating immediate effective activity, the setting of the task and the limitation of perception that distinguishes voluntary attention from other types.
Arbitrary attention is a mental function that allows you to listen to not very interesting reports; drive a car without being distracted; consider certain objects in a clearly defined sequence, rather than in a chaotic order, and many other operations. At the household level, it can manifest itself when reading a note or a book, meaning is attached to the content, and the font or handwriting usually eludes evaluation and perception in general. If, on the other hand, the task of estimating calligraphy, font, letter size or spelling correctness (for training or publishing) is intentionally set, but due to voluntary attention, additional parameters will be assessed in advance.
Keen voluntary attention at almost the same level, regardless of external factors. The focus of this type of attention is due solely to volitional efforts; therefore, louder sounds, bright visual images or your own distracting thoughts only slightly correct the success of the activity. In principle, the very feature of an arbitrary direction allows you to minimize the number of distractions in advance, or choose another convenient time for the necessary concentration.
If we take into account the conditions of occurrence, then the important point is its lifetime formation and the possibility of development when using tools of historical development, and not innate parameters. The emergence of this type of attention due to certain stages of personal development, including the physiological processes of activation of brain structures and psychological causes.