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Chapter 4

PSY270 Chapter 4.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Christine Burton

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 message  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, pitch…etc.) 3. Detector: processing information in higher-level characteristics, such as meaning 4. Short-term memory: receives the output of the detector  Bottleneck model: Broadbent’s filter model; it’s 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 activated.  Words that are common or especially important, such as the listener’s 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)  Cognitive Resources, Cognitive Load, and Task-Irrelevant Stimuli  Cognitive Resources: it refers to the idea that a person has a certain cognitive capacity, which can be used for carrying out carious tasks  Cognitive load: the amount of a person’s cognitive resources needed to carry out a particular cognitive task  Low-load tasks vs. High-load tasks  Method: Flanker Compatibility Task  Flanker Compatibility task: a task in which the participants are told to carry out a task that requires them to focus their attention on specific stimuli and to ignore other stimuli  The reason incompatible flankers cause longer time to response is because that there are some cognitive resources still available, the incompatible flankers intrude and cause slower responding.  Demonstration: Stroop Effect  The task-irrelevant stimulus is really powerful (reading words is highly practiced and has become so automatic that it is difficult not to read them) 4.2 Divided Attention  Divided Attention: the distribution of attention among two or more tasks  Schneider and Shiffrin’s (1977) experiment  Divided Attention Can Be Achieved With Practice: Automatic Processing  Keep practicing consistent mapping condition would make the processing into automatic processing  Automatic processing: a type of processing that occurs 1. Without intention 2. At a cost of only some of a person’s cognitive resources  Divided Attention When Tasks are Harder: Controlled Processing  Controlled processing: participants had to pay close attention at all times and had to search for the target among the distractors in a much more focused an controlled way  Participants never achieved automatic processing in varied mapping condition  Distractions while Driving 4.3 Attention and Visual Perception  Inattentional Blindness  Arie
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