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Chapter 4

PSYB57H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Misled (Celine Dion Song)


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB57H3
Professor
George Cree
Chapter
4

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Chapter 4 Paying Attention
Selective Listening
- Shadowing: Participants hear tape recording of someone speaking and must echo this speech back word
for word, while they are listening to this,
- Attended channel: In experiments, the attended channel is presented through stereo headphones so that
participants hear attended channel through 1 earphone
- Unattended channel: Presented in another earphone, participants are instructed simply to ignore this
message
- Dichotic Listening: Overall setup of the event
- Cherry, 1953: In experiment: Participants follow 1 messaged and their shadowing performance is generally near
perfect, they hear little from the unattended channel. If we ask them, after 1 minute of shadowing, to report what
unattended channel contained non-words/words.
- Similar results w/ visual inputs, watched TV screen that show team of players in white shirts passing ball back
and forth; the participants had a signal each time the ball changed hands. Another team wears black shirts also
passing back and forth; they are supposed to ignore them. Some people couldn’t see other things b/c they were so
attention (i.e. player wearing gorilla costume walking through middle of the game)
Some Unattended Inputs are Detected
- Cocktail party effect: You are at party, engaged in conversation, many are taking place in room, but
somehow able “to tune them out”, you can hear only the single conversation in the room but then you hear
a name of close friends of yours and your attention is immediately caught by it
- How can we explain both our general insensitivity to the unattended channel and also the cases where
unattended channels “leak through
Perceiving and the Limits on Cognitive Capacity
- We have 2 broad options for how we might think about attention, 1 option focuses on what we do with
unattended input
- Filter: Shields us from potential distracters, desired information/attended channel is not filtered out and
so goes on to receive further processing
- We can shut out distracters in this way, but this ”shutting out” seems to work on a distracter-by-distracter basis.
In other words, we can inhibit our response to this distracter and do same for that distracter, and these efforts can
be quite successful. However, the same efforts are of little value if some new distracter comes along; we need to
develop a new skill aimed specifically at blocking the new intruder
- Further evidence indicates that this is only a small part of the story blocking processing of distracters and
promote the processing of desired stimuli
Inattentional Blindness
- In 1 experiment, participants were told they would see large “+” shapes on computer screen, presented for 200
ms, then pattern mask. If horizontal bar of “+” was longer than vertical, participants were supposed to press 1
button; if vertical was longer, that had to press a different button - participants weren’t allowed to look directly at
the “+”
- Fixation Target is the fixated/pointed their eyes at a mark in the center of computer screen
- First 3 trials were easy, during 4th trial while “+” was one screen, fixation was replaced by 1 of 3 shapes and then
entire configuration was replaced by a pattern mask STILL GOOD THOUGH
- Some researchers propose that participants did see target shapes but couldn’t remember what they had just seen
- they noted that the participants were not expecting any shapes to appear and were not in any way prepared for
these shapes participants literally failed to see shapes even though they were staring at them inattentional
blindness

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Conscious Perception, Unconscious
Perception
- Mack and Rock argue there is no
conscious perception w/o attention
- Experiment: Participants were shown
series of images on computer screen.
Each contained 2 horizontal lines w/
pattern of black and white dots, task was
to decide which 2 lines were longer, the
top or the bottom. For3 trials, background
dots on computer screen were arranged
randomly. On Trial 4, the patterns of dots
shown, creating stimulus configuration
that reproduces a standard geometric
illusion, but participants didn’t perceive
this pattern 90% selected incorrect
Change Blindness
Change Blindness”: Observer’s inability to detect in scenes they are not looking directly at.
i.e. the various experiments in class
Pattern emerges when participants watch movies not able to detect subtle changes in clothing, plates, utensils
and positioning
Same result pattern can documented with live door experiment w/ person going in b/w person and switching
places. ~1/2 of participants failed to notice this switch
Early Vs. Late Selection
- People seem to be oblivious to stimuli that are directly in front of their eyes
- Early Selection: The attended input is identified and privileged from the start so that unattended input
receives little analysis/is never perceived. It is only attended input that reaches consciousness or it is only
attended input that is remembered
Hypothesis somewhat true there are cases where some people are oblivious for late selection, where distracters
were perceived but perception was no conscious
Other evidence for early selection with distracter stimuli receives little analysis, and falling out of stream of
processing at very early example
Neurons in Area V4 of visual cortex show that neurons are more responsive to attended inputs than to unattended
ones, almost as if attention made light areas seem brighter and dim areas seem darker, studies suggest that
attention may modulate neural events even earlier in the stream of visual processing as early as LGN
HOWEVER, HTINGSA ARE CONFOUNDING AND CONFUSIN
Selective Priming
- People can prepare themselves for perceiving by priming the suitable detectors (i.e. why participants notice the
shapes in inattentional blindness studies, they may not expect any stimulus, so no reason to prepare!)
- Does attention “leakso we hear some aspects of unattended input? Maybe?
- Two Types of Priming
- Resources are needed to prime detectors, and that those resources are in limited supply
i.e. Snyder 1975 gave participants a straightforward task: A pair of letters was shown on a computer screen and
participants had to decide whether they were different of same. Conditions were neutral, primed and misled
Accuracy rates high be sipped of responding varied form condition to condition.
By comparing response times/RTs in primed and neutral conditions and misled and neutral is there a
benefit to prime?
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