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Lecture_4-_Theories_of_Attention - Theories of Attention...

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Unformatted text preview: Theories of Attention What is Attention? Attention (broadly defined) "It is the taking possession in the mind, in clear and vivid form, of one out of several simultaneous possible objects or trains of thought. Focalization, concentration of consciousness are of its essence. It implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others" (James, 1890). Information Processing Approach Humans process information similar to a computer Input Process Output Information Processing Approach (cont.) Three stages Stimulus identification (Perception) recognize & identify input Input Perception Decision Action Output Response selection (Decision) decide what response should be Response programming (Action) organize motor system to produce desired movement Theories of Attention Single-Channel (bottleneck) Theories Limited Capacity Models Multiple Pools Theory Theories of Attention (cont.) Single Channel Theory (Broadbent, 1958; Treisman, 1960) Processing of information occurs through a single channel Individuals have difficulty doing several things at one time - need time to perform functions first before processing new information System does only one thing at a time Little research support Theories of Attention (cont.) Limited Capacity Models Information processing system has a limited amount of space Others argue there is a limit to resources available to appropriately process the information Others argue there is a limit in the amount of effort, or mental activity, devoted to processing information Theories of Attention (cont.) Limited Capacity Models (cont.) Fixed Capacity Fixed, limited capacity available for processing information simultaneously Could do 2 easy tasks, but not 2 difficult tasks Capacity depends on conditions related to the individual and situation How will you perform on the secondary task? Good Performance Attention remaining for 2nd task Attention for simple primary task Bad Performance Attention remaining for 2nd task Attention for complex primary task Theories of Attention (cont.) Limited Capacity Models (cont.) Flexible Capacity Theories Pool of effort can be subdivided to several activities at one time Allocation policy of person Involuntary attention Momentary intentions Demands of activities Theories of Attention (cont.) Multiple Pools Theory (Wickens, 1984) Multiple attentional resources exist and in some cases are separate from one another Performance on multiple task may/may not suffer depending on resource similarity Stage of processing Type of processing code Modality of input and output Stroop Effect Lab Groups of 3 Participant, dealer, witness Which group had the most correct answers in 15 seconds? Why? Controlled processing is slow, serial, attention demanding, and voluntary Automaticity implies that skills can be performed without conscious attention Stroop Effect Parallel processing of multiple stimuli occurs during stimulus-identification (perception) stage Reaction time is slower than when processing only one stimulus Interference occurs during later processing stages Most likely the response-selection (decision) stage Psychological Refractory Period PRP Delay in reaction time to the second of two closely spaced stimuli (as compared to response time if only the second stimulus was presented) Example: Shot fake in basketball Bottleneck processing Expert-Novice Differences in Attentional Processing Experts as compared to novice performers x make faster decisions and better anticipate future events h attend more to movement patterns h search more systematically for cues h are more skillful in predicting ball flight patterns ...
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