PSY270H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Donald Broadbent, Parietal Lobe, Stroop Effect

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2 Feb 2013

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Chapter 4 Attention
Attention: The ability to focus on specific stimuli or locations
Selective Attention: The focusing of attention on one specific location, object or
Overt Attention: The process of shifting attention from one place to another by
moving the eyes
Covert Attention: When attention is shifted without moving the eyes (seeing
something out of the corner of the eye
Divided Attention: Attending to two or more things at once
4.1 Selective Attention
Selective Attention as Filtering
Demonstration: Focusing on One Message
Method: Dichotic Listening
Shadowing: A procedure is used to ensure that participants are focusing
their attention on the attended message
Early Selection Model: Information passes through the stages
1. Sensory Memory: it holds all of the incoming information
2. Filter: processing information in physical characteristics (the tone of the
voice, pitchetc.)
3. Detector: processing information in higher-level characteristics, such as
4. Short-term memory: receives the output of the detector
Bottleneck model: Broadbents filter model; its just like the neck of a bottle
restricts the flow of liquid.
Cocktail Party effect: the phenomenon which a person is selectively
listening to one message among many yet hears personal messages or fire
that is not being attended.
Dear Aunt Jane experiment: the phenomenon occurs because the subjects
were taking the meaning into accounts
Attenuator: It analyzes the incoming message in terms of:
1. Its physical characteristics
2. Its language how the message groups into syllables or words
3. Its meaning how sequences of words create meaningful phrases
Attenuation Theory of Attention: Language and meaning can also be used
to separate the messages
Dictionary Unit: The final output of the system of attenuation theory of
attention; it contains stored words, each of which has a threshold for being
Words that are common or especially important, such as the listeners name,
have low thresholds.
MacKay: Late selection models: it proposed that most of the incoming
information is processed to the level of meaning before the message to be
processed is selected (throwing rock at the bank experiment)
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