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Flashcards in Attention Deck (21):

Wiliam James

"Everyone knows what attention is. It is the taking possession by the mind in clear form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought...It implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others, and is a condition which has a real opposite in the confused, dazed, scatterbrained state."


Selecting information to attend to

we select information that is relevant to our goals.


Irrelevant Stimuli

acts as noise that can make it difficult to identify and attend to important information.


Automatic Processes

are triggered involuntarily by external events and triggers the capture of attention. Operate in a fact, efficient and obligatory manner.


Controlled Proceses

voluntarily guide attention and consciously to the objects of intent. Operate slowly because they require more cognitive effort.

It's difficult to attend to many aspects of a task environment at the same time because the resources for controlled processes are limited.
As demands for attention increase, you must make adjustments to compensate.
Intimately linked with learning - some cues lead to stronger and quicker associations


Spotlight Model

there is an analogous process to visual attention - attentional spotlight focuses on only part of the environment at a time.
can be hijacked by unconscious process that can quickly grab your attention.
objects within the spotlight and processed preferencially


Cueing Paradigms

quicker response when target appears in flashed box - automatically attracts attentional spotlight and attention will amplify the perceptional processes of that target
slower response when target appears outside of flashed box because attentional spotlight will be directed away from the target


Cocktail Party Effect

surrounded by many sounds competing for you attention - despite noise, you can still single out the voice of your conversation partner.


Filter Models

sifts away distractions and only allows important information through


Broadbent's Single Filter Model

the attentional filter selects important on the basis of physical characteristics and allows that info continue on for further processing (info that doesn't pass through is completely eliminated)


Dichotic Listening Paradigm

subjects remember nothing about unattended information and rarely noticed changes in the message in unattended ear - attentional filter only allow info from attended ear to proceed


Limitations of Broadbent's model

assumes that there s absolutely no additional processing of unattended signals - some say that some info is processed even in unattended ear



participants are able to remember important info in an unattended stream - they responded to conditional stimuli even in unattended ear and some info about sound and meaning is able to pass through the filter


Triesman's Dual Filter Model

based on physical and semantic filters


Physical Filter

importance of incoming stimuli based on physical cues and passes them along to semantic


Semantic Filter

semantic evaluated for meaning and takes into account the weights assigned by the physical filter and considers the deeper meaning and relevance of the stimuli and chooses which info will be attended to while the rest is discarded. Can override early filtering decisions by the physical filter.


Stroop Task

say the colour and ignore the word - faster for congruent and slower for incongruent, where various proportion congruent manipulations lead to an increase in the effect when congruent>incongruent, and a decreased effect when congruent


Set Size Effect

the number of items to search through - increase in set size leads to an increase in difficulty


Pop-Out Effect

when the object of a visual search is easily found regardless of set size.


Single Feature Search

looking for only one difference makes it easy to spot (colour is easier than feature)


Conjuction Search

looking for more than one feature to search for, it becomes a lot harder