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Chapter 4

chapter 4- paying attention

14 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB57H3
Professor
Gabriela Ilie

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PSYB57- Chapter 4- Paying attention Selective attention- we usually focus our attention on one or a few tasks or events at any given time Divided attention- a person can do another task simultaneously with an automatic task Spatial attention- attention can be focused on objects and events of interest in our environment in order to aid in our ability to recognize them amongst other events and objects William James argued that only one system or process of conception can go at a time very easily; to do 3 or more things at once required that the processes be habitual Selective attention We focus on one or a few tasks rather than many; we shut out competing tasks. We process information differently depending on whether or not we have been actively focusing on a stimulus Dichotic listening task- a person listens to audiotapes over headphones; there are 2 different recordings on each tape while they are played together. Participants are asked to repeat aloud one of the messages being played. Information is presented at a rapid rate. At the end of the task the participants are asked what they remember from either message. The person must concentrate on the message to be shadowed, which requires a lot of mental resources. Thus, fewer mental resources are available to process information from the non-shadowed, unattended message Participants could not recall the content of the unattended message or the language in which it was spoken. Even when the language was changed the participants could not notice the change in the unattended message Filter theory States that there are limits on how much information a person can attend to at any given time. The person uses an attentional filter to let some information through and block the rest. The filter is based on some physical aspect of the attended message: the location of its source or its typical pitch or loudness. Only material that gets past the filter can be analyzed later for meaning. The filter selects information for later processing www.notesolution.com This theory explains why so little of the meaning of the unattended message can be recalled. The meaning from an unattended message is simply not processed. Attentional filter is set to make a selection of what message to process early, typically before the meaning of the message is identified. It should not be possible to recall any of the meaning of an unattended message, according to this model. 2 messages that contain little information or that present information slowly can be processed together. In contrast, messages that present a great deal of information quickly overcome the filter; fewer of them can be attended to at once Thus, the filter protects us from information overload by shutting out messages when we hear too much information to process all at once Other research has shown opposite effects from the filter theory; ex. The cocktail party effect: shadowing performance is disrupted when ones own name is embedded in either the attended or the unattended message. Also the person hears and remembers hearing their name Filter theory predicts that ALL unattended messages will be filtered out, which is why participants in the dichotic listening task can recall little information about such messages The cocktail party effect shows something completely different: people sometimes do hear their own name in an unattended message or conversation and hearing their name will cause them to switch their attention to the previously unattended message Moray concluded that only important material can penetrate through the filter and hearing ones name is important. But what is left unanswered is how does the filter know what is important However, participants didnt always hear their name in the unattended message Wood and Cowan experiment: 2 groups engaged in the dichotic listening task were presented one message in the attended channel (right ear) and another message in the unattended ear (left ear). After 5 mins, the speech in the unattended channel was turned backwards for 30 seconds. The 2 groups differed only in how long the normal speech was presented after the backward speech. They first asked whether the people who noticed the backward speech in the unattended message showed a disruption in their shadowing of the attended message. In other words, did this processing have a cost to their performance on the main task? Yes it did. The percentage if errors rose during the 30 seconds backward speech. Control www.notesolution.com
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