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Chapter 3

Chapter 3

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Western University
Psychology 2010A/B
Terry Biggs

Psych 2010A Chapter 3 - Attention • two characteristics of attention: focalization and concentration • focalization implies selectivity • selective part of attention prevents us from being overload with information • bottleneck theories: a theory that attempts to explain how people select information when some information-processing stage become overloading with too much information • concentration: investing mental effort into a task • mental effort: the amount of mental capacity required to perform a task • mental effort can be measured using the fMRI - uses blood flow to detect activity • capacity theory: a theory that proposes that we have a limited amount of mental effort to distribute across tasks, so there are limitations on the number of tasks we can perform at the same time • as the number of items increase, a limited amount of attention must be distributed over more patterns Bottleneck Theories • Broadbentʼs Filter Model • the proposition that a bottleneck occurs at the pattern recognition stage and that attention determines what information reaches the pattern recognition stage • limited-capacity perceptual channel: the pattern recognition stage of Broadbentʼs model, which is protected by the filter (attention) from becoming overloaded with too much perceptual information • takes time to switch attention (the flap, filter) • the shift has to occur before the information entering the unattended ear decays from the auditory sensory store • limitation: sensory store would have to last fairly long to operate as proposed, otherwise the information would decay before it could be recognized • Treismanʼs Attenuation Model • shadowing a message provides proof that the listener is following instructions and attending to the correct ear - requires the people to repeat the message out loud • contextual effects: the influence of the surrounding context on the recognition of patterns • the contextual cues were not sufficient to cause subjects to change permanently to the unattended message in order to follow the meaning of the passage • proposed that the model consisted of two parts: a selective filter and a dictionary • the filter in this model does not completely block the message, but rather attenuates it, making it less likely to be heard • the recognition of a word occurs in a dictionary when the threshold of a word is surpassed (the loudness the word needs to be said in order to be recognized) • The Deutsch-Norman Memory Selection Model • the two former models proposed that the bottleneck occurs after the pattern recognition stage • this is an example of a late-selection model • says that all patterns are recognized, but only words selected into LTM can be recalled Capacity Theories • mental effort (capacity) is required for late selection after pattern recognition than for early selection before pattern recognition • example of a capacity model: • capacity theories are concerned with the amount of mental effort that is required to perform a task • his capacity model was designed to supplement, rather than to replace the bottleneck theories • a
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