The 'cocktail party' effect explains a phenomenon that occurs when focusing on a single source of auditory stimuli among the multiple sources of noise. When focus is applied, everything outside the range of focus is effectively tuned out of the individual's perception. This does not mean that the brain stops processing the background stimuli. A word or phrase of importance to the individual will catch their attention and shift their focus. This effect highlights how information is filtered to our conscious or subconscious.
The harder we try the less we shall succeed. This is the most simple way to explain the law of reversed effort. The 'backwards law' is talked about by two influential philosophers, Aldous Huxley and Alan Watts. These two philosophers took notice to the phenomenon that occurs when conscious will is applied to achieve results. If one is to apply more conscious effort in hopes of increased results, he will run into diminishing returns for his effort. More effort does not equate to better results.