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Psychology (5,220)
PSYCH 1X03 (1,058)
Joe Kim (989)


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Joe Kim

Chapter 4: Attention 10/24/2011 12:10:00 PM Selection  Attending to something that causes the object of attention to be selected apart from the rest of the unattended objects Automatic & Control Processes  Automatic Processes o Involuntary, and capture your attention. o These processes are assumed to operate in a fast, efficient manner. o Salient  A piece of information is one that appears to naturally pop-out at you.  Controlled Processes o Conscious attention. o These processes are assumed to operate in a slow, effortful manner. o Voluntary towards objects of interest. o You build strategies in your head to operate more efficiently. o Not being automatically lead by the cue. Cocktail Party Effect  Despite competing background noises, a listener can focus on a single channel and still pick out relevant information from the background.  Example: you are at a restaurant talking to a friend, when you hear a ring tone that reminds you of your old boyfriend go off. All of a sudden your attention is switched from listening to your friend to focusing on the ring tone. Dichotic Listening Paradigm  Headphones are worn so that one message can be presented to one ear and a different message can be presented to the other ear. The participant is instructed to “shadow” or immediately repeat the messages in the attended ear.  Attention can be switched between ears at random or periodic intervals demonstrating flexible control over attention.  Some information is still processed in the unattended ear.  Where semantic information from unattended channels are remembered in addition to information from attended channels.  Example: subjects can report the physical features such as pitch and tone of the voice in the message presented to the unattended ear. Early Filter Models  Allows us to ignore everything around the object, but not the object itself.  Attention acts like a bottleneck filter. This allows us to only allow certain information to pass on to conscious awareness.  Broadbent’s Early Selection Theory o Suggests physical information is filtered before semantic processing. o Information that does not pass through the early physical filter was assumed to be completely eliminated and unavailable for deeper analysis. o However, this was proved to be untrue because clearly some information about sound and meaning is able to pass through the filter. o His theory does not agree with the cocktail party effect but agrees with the shadowing effect. o Broadbent used data from behavioural experiments to infer the functional stages of cognitive processing. o The limitation of Broadbent‟s model is that it assumes that there is no absolutely additional processing of unattended signals. Late Filer Models  Suggests filtering occurs after physical and semantic analysis and only selected information goes on for further processing due to limitations.  Accounts for the cocktail party effect.  Treisman’s Attenuation Theory o Attempted to compensate by suggesting physical information is just attenuated and if relevant may be brought to the focus of attention. o All information is passed but the information is assigned weightings depending on whether the information is physically similar to the target or not. o Has two filters, the early filter deals with physical characteristics, while the late filter deals with semantic characteristics. o Breakthrough  Occurs when participants are able to remember important information in the unattended stream. This is particularly common when the unattended information is highly relevant. Stroop Paradigm  Text of colour words are presented in coloured ink.  Trials in which the word matches the ink are called congruent.  Trials in which the word didn‟t match the ink are called incongruent.  Not all complex processes require attention, numerous experiences or practice with tasks allow us to perform them almost automatically.  Proportion Congruent Manipulation o Change the ratio of congruent to incongruent trials. o More congruent trials lead to increased stroop effect; while more incongruent trials lead to a decreased stroop effect. o Word reading facilitates colour naming where word-reading impedes colour naming.  Automatic o Word reading influences performance even when the word is to be ignored. o Increased Stroop effect.  Controlled o People can adopt consciously controlled word reading strategies that modulate the Stroop effect. o Decreased Stroop effect. Visual Search Paradigm  Has been used to model how we search for items in our environment.  Performance is measured by response time as a function of set size.  Set Size o The number of items to search through.  Set Size Effect o Increase in difficulty as set size increases. o Example: You are trying to find a red circle among a set of blue circles.  Pop-out Effect o Reflects the bottom-up capture of attention driven by the most noticeable physical properties of the target. o When a target “pops out” the time it takes to respond to it is independent of set size such that processing of the whole set of items seems to happen simultaneously. o Rapid visual search regardless of set size. o Easily induced by colour. o Example: Trying to find your friend in a yellow shirt in a crowd of people wearing black shirts. Bottom-Up Processing  Raw information is gathered through the senses (reflexive).  Refers to a stimulus-driven mechanism in which attention is captured by the most noticeable change in the environment.  Bottom-up processing automatically captures your attention to alert you to a police siren, telephone ring, fire alarm or your name being called. Top-Down Processing  Interacts with information already stored in memory.  You strategically direct (consciously) your attention to match your current goals and expectations from past experience through memory.  We can directly observe how goals shape attending strategies by monitoring where a subject looks by using eye-tracking technology.  Example: You always put your keys in the same spot so the next time you need your keys you can easily find them. Orienting  Where attention moves across a scene. Overt Attending  The direction of attention is made clear through eye movements. Covert Attending  Direction of attention not guided by eye movements but can by eye movements but can be measured by spatial cuing where cues lead to faster target detection in periods too short for eye movement. Inhibition Of Return  Occurs when you attempt to redirect to a previously attended location at which the target was not found.  Example: You are looking for your friend in a crowd, and you are aware that your friend is wearing a blue shirt. You won‟t look in places where you have already looked for your friend. Exogenous vs. Endogenous Cues  Exogenous Cue o Physical cues that orient you to a specific peripheral location. o Capture automatic attention. o Bottom-up processing is better suited for exogenous cues. o Example: If you are looking at two computer screens and one of them flashes with a single white light quickly, you will turn toward that screen.  Endogenous (Symbolic) Cues o Requires interpretation. o They can be ignored if they conflict with task demands. o Top-down processing is more suitable for endogenous cues. o Example: Having a left arrow on the screen will cause you to look to the left of the screen. Spatial Cuing Paradigm  Measures the movement of attention across a scene and factors involved.  Target detection is quicker when it is correctly cued than when it is uncued. This is because of automatic detection of attention. Conjunctive Search  You are searching for a target defined by a combination of features.  Takes a long time to process.  Example: trying to find your friend wearing a white shirt and hat among people that are all wearing white shirts and a coloured hat. Contextual Cueing  Familiar environmental setting and our general knowledge about their contexts (SCHEMA) guide our attention in a more efficient matter.  Top down processing.  Example: if you want to find a hairdryer, you are more likely to look in the bathroom rather than the kitchen. Inattentional Blindness  Demonstrates that our limited attentional processes can be susceptible to missing out on some very important and most noticeable things.  Example: The person swap, in the video we watched in class tourists were asking locals how to navigate through the city and halfway through them explaining the tourist was switched and the local had no idea.  Example: When you are driving you unconsciously swerve your car to avoid hitting a cyclist. Change Blindness  When you are looking for change you might not see it.  Benefits of top-down directed attention.  Demonstrates that noticeable changes in the environment often go unnoticed even when we are looking for them.  Example: You are looking for your keys, you may fail to notice them when they are right in front of you. Spotlight Model  Focus moves towards different stimuli and when in the focus of the
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