- Cognitive process of concentrating on one aspect of the environment
- Selective (we decide consciously what to pay attention to while ignoring other things) vs.
Non-selective (certain things in the environment forces us to pay attention to it often for
the sake of our survival (attentional capture)
- Dichotic listening is where there are two messages being inputted through headphones,
where one ear had one message and the other ear had a different one. They must
attend to one and ignore the other
Selective Attention: Filter Theory
- A lot of information on one end comes in, but only a small amount gets in via a filter. This
is known as a bottleneck. Humans can only attend to one channel of information at a
time and they filter out other information.
- The diagram for filter theory is first information from sensors, then gone into the short-
term store. This goes to the selective filter, in which once filtered will go to the limited
capacity processor. This either goes to an output system to effectors, or can be put into
long term storage
Sensors short-term storage selective filter limited capacity processor output system OR
long term memory
However, the filter theory does not explain the cocktail party effect, where in a highly social
setting, all unattended filtered information should not be heard, although in some cases this is
Selective Attention: Attenuation Model
- Unattended message is not ignored, but rather attenuated.
- Amount of effort required for the task (if we perform difficult tasks and allocate all