Think back to the last time you went to a party or social gathering. There were probably tens and maybe hundreds of students in a relatively small room. Maybe music played in the background, and you could hear chatter all around. 

Yet, when you talked to your friends, you were able to figure out and even concentrate on what they said, filtering out all the other conversations that were going on in the background. Suddenly, however, your attention might have shifted because you heard someone in another conversation nearby mention your name.

What processes would have been at work in this situation? How were you able to filter out irrelevant voices in your mind and focus your attention on just one of the many voices you heard?

And why did you notice your name being mentioned, even though you did out of many voices is one of the most striking phenomena in cognitive psychology and is known as the “cocktail party effect. “Cognitive processes are continuously taking place in your mind and in the minds of the people around you.