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PSY20006 Assignment 2.docx - Exploring why sustained...

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Exploring why sustained attention and vigilance is interesting and important, based on threedifferent attentional measuresSubmitted as PSY20006 Assignment 2Due Date: 20/10/2021Words: 2980
AbstractThe study aimed to explore why sustained attention and vigilance are interesting andimportant in everyday life, based on three different attentional measures.Participants for thestudy were 107 undergraduate university students who completed an online experimentcontaining the Sustained Attention Response Task (SART), a vigilance task in the RapidVisual Information Processing Task (RVIP) and a self-report scale through the CognitiveFailures Questionnaire (CFQ).Previous research has examined sustained attention, but littlehas explored its importance in everyday life.The present studies first hypothesis that theSART will significantly correlate with everyday attentional failures as measured by the CFQbut performance on the RVIP will not, is not supported.The prediction that there will befaster responding prior to SART errors is supported.These results suggest there is nocorrelation between SART and CFQ and automaticity affects our ability to sustain attention,thus, more research is required to further understand how sustained attention affects everydaylife.
Attention is made up of many different aspects which have been developed to explainthis cognitive process, providing the ability to focus on specific stimuli or locations in ourenvironment.Selective attention involves attending to one thing while ignoring others.Divided attention is paying attention to more than one thing at a time. Attentional capturedescribes a rapid shifting of attention generally caused by a stimulus such as a loud noise,bright light or sudden movement, whilst visual scanning explains eye movements from onelocation or object to another (Goldstein, 2019).One interesting construct of attention issustained attention, which Robertson et al. (1997) defined as “the ability to self-sustainmindful, conscious processing of a stimuli whose repetitive, non-arousing qualities wouldotherwise lead to habituation and distraction to other stimuli.”Deficits in sustained attentioncan result in slips of action as automatic, unintended action sequences are triggeredinappropriately.These deficits in some instances can have particularly disastrousconsequences, for example a long-haul truck driver who has a lapse in attention could crash,or a nuclear power plant worker who misses a warning sign, could both cause severe injury ordeath for themselves and others.Thus, constant vigilance, which is detecting the appearanceof a stimulus and concentration by focusing on the stimulus or activity is required over a longperiod of time when an individual is involved in a largely boring or monotonous task withlow cognitive demand, highlighting the importance of being able to explore and measuresustained attention in everyday life(Robertson et al., 1997).

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