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PSYC 221 (62)
Chapter 4

Chapter 4 Notes

5 Pages

Course Code
PSYC 221
Richard Wright

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Ch. 4 - Attention Selective attention - the focusing of attention on one specific location, object, or message Overt attention - process of shifting attention from one place to another by moving the eyes Covert attention - attention is shifted without moving the eyes, commonly referred to as seeing something “out of the corner of your eye” Divided attention - attending to two or more things at once (can be overt, covert, or a combination of the 2) Dichotic listening - different messages are presented to the 2 ears. In a selective attention experiment, participants are instructed to pay attention to the message presented to one ear (the attended message), repeating it out loud as they are hearing it, and to ignore the message presented to the other ear (the unattended message) (Cherry) Shadowing - the procedure of repeating the message out loud. It is used to ensure that participants are focusing their attention on the attended message Early selection method - introduced the flow diagram which proposed that information passes through the following stages: (Broadbent) 1. Sensory memory: holds all of the incoming information for a fraction of a second and then transfers all of it to the next stage. 2. Filter: identifies the attended message based on its physical characteristics - things like the speaker‟s tone of voice, pitch, speed of talking, and accent - and lets only this message pass through to the decetor. All other messages are filtered out. 3. Detector: processes information to determine higher-level characteristics of the message, such as its meaning. Because only the important, attended information has been let through the filter, the detector processes all the information that enters it 4. Short-term memory: receives the output of the detector. Short- term memory holds information for 10-15 seconds and also transfers information into long-term memory, which can hold information indefinitely. Broadbent‟s model = bottleneck model (because the filter restricts information flow) Cocktail party effect - phenomenon when a person is selectively listening to one message among many yet hears his name or some other distinctive message (“Fire!”) that is not being attended Participants were presented with “Dear 7 Jane” in one ear, and “9 Aunt 6” in the other, and reported hearing “Dear Aunt Jane”. (top-down processing) Because of this, Anne Treisman proposed modification of Broadbent‟s theory. She proposed that selection occurs in 2 stages, and replaced the filter with an attenuator. Attenuator - analyzes the incoming message in terms of 1) it‟s physical characteristics - whether it is high-pitched of low-pitched, fast or slow; 2) its language - how the message groups into syllables or words; 3) its meaning Treisman‟s attenuation theory of attention - similar to Broadbent‟s, but language and meaning can also be used to separate the messages Dictionary unit - contains stored words and thresholds for activating the words. Helps explain why we can sometimes hear a familiar word, such as our name, in an unattended message. Therefore, our names have a low threshold, so even a weak signal in the unattended channel can activate that word. Uncommon words have high thresholds. Late selection models - proposed that most of the incoming information is processed to the level of meaning before the message to be processed is selected Cognitive resources - the idea that a person has a certain cognitive capacity, which can be used for carrying out various tasks Cognitive lead - the amount of a person‟s cognitive resources need to carry out a particular cognitive task Low-load tasks - use up only a small amount of the person‟s cognitive resources High-load tasks - use up more of a person‟s cognitive resources Flanker compatibility task - a task in which participants are told to carry out a task that requires them to focus their attention on specific stimuli and to ignore other stimuli Compatible flanker - associated with the same response as the target Incompatible flanker - associated with a different response than the target Neutral flanker - not associated with any response at all Stroop effect - a person is instructed to respond to one aspect of a stimulus, such as the color of ink that a word is printed in, and ignore anothe
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