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Lecture

Attention

3 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
Psychology 2135A/B
Professor
Robert Brown

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Lecture 5 - Attention - really hard to define, even operationally What is Attention? - William James had a reasonable definition - two different systems: - Focal attention - controlled internally by intentions and goals - Automatic attention - controlled externally by sensory events that demand attention Attention is about choice - more on focal attention - some things relevant to survival - before choose what to attend to, how do we select it on a basis without attention - what information can be gotten from stimulus without attention so that we know to attend to it - based on physical qualities like colour or direction of movement [meaning of object is not considered]? or abstract qualities like name or categories [select based on meaning] Choice can be governed by what is out there in the world - behaviourist view; behaviour controlled by things in world - earliest cognitive models adopted this Broadbent's early filter model - early is soon after stimulus occurs; before much processing has occurred - shape, size, colour, direction of movement generated; not meaning - filter means only one stimuli will be processed for meaning and other stimuli will be ignored; physical characteristics may be processed - Evidence: - dichotic listening studies; participants only able to report on physical aspects of voice on ignored track but unable to report on meaning - Split-span task: separate series of 3 digits in each ear; simultaneous pairs of digits sounded; people better reporting by ear, like right ear first then left, than by pairs; easy to pickup physical properties; filter messages on which channel they come in - respond to the loudest, brightest, etc. stimulus - not much more complex than standard stimulus-response theories Problems with Broadbent's model - some people fail in attempt to select input attention on some physical basis; i.e. Stroop effect; colour words printed in different ink, respond on word, not colour - some people get meaning information about stimuli that appear in unattended channel; i.e. produce conditioned response with word and electric shock, conditioned response will occur on some occasions even if words appear in unattended ear - when messages change mid-sentence, people continued to shadow original message after it was switched; not supposed to have meaning in that ear Treisman's Attenuation model - can give more or less attention to a stimulus; not all or nothing - selection decision has effect on availability of stimulus; other factors that affect availability include familiarity and salience ---> ---> - -> ---> senses ---> attenuating filter ---> semantic analysis filter ---> input to attention ---> ---> - - > - filter does not let stimulus through or totally reject it; let it through "more or less" - unattended stimulus can still influence behaviour i.e. familiar and salient - familiarity and salience of a stimulus are facts about one's experience i.e. name - what happens inside head is important Choice can be governed by internal mental states Deutsch and Deutsch's late selection model - all stimuli are analyzed for meaning; selection for attention appears after - selection is about responding; respond to one - do we have to select a stimulus to respond? - Allport et al. (1972) showed no cost to dual-task performance when compared to when each task is performed alone; two stimuli can be respo
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