Class 3, Lecture 5, Chapter 4: Paying Attention
Selective attention refers to the skill through which one focuses on one input or one
task while ignoring other stimuli
The brain is able to see an entire scene and fills in the missing components
Attention studies sometimes employ a task known as shadowing.
o Using headphones, different information is presented to each ear. This is
known as dichotic listening.
o The participant pays attention to the information presented to one ear (the
attended channel) while ignoring information presented to the other (the
It is possible to tune out the stimulus from the other ear, able to switch
and just attend to one channel
Results from these studies suggest that unusual characteristics of the
unattended channel go unnoticed
If you are told to listen to one channel and in the other ear the
story changes topic completely you will not notice.
Shows that we are not processing what we are not paying
There are some important exceptions, where certain pieces of information will be
noticed even if presented to the unattended channel.
o The participants own name, or any words of high personal significance, will