Week 7 - Week 7- Attention Attention: allows you to...

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Week 7- Attention Attention: allows you to navigate through a crowded world brimming with information and distractions. without the ability to focus your limited processing resources, you wouldn’t be able to carry on a meaningful conversation, enjoy a piece of music, understand a joke, or learn new things. As psychologists, we need to operationally define the problem to build cognitive models and design experiments with testable hypotheses. --psychologists have found it challenging to put forth a single all- encompassing operational definition. --one which suits is from William James (19 th century)---> “everyone knows what attention is. It is the taking possession by the mind in clear and vivid 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.” --At the center of this definition is the concept of selection. (attending to something causes the object of attention to be selected apart form the rest of the unattained objects- ie clothes once put on vs throughout the day) --Some stimuli in the environment can trigger your attention in an automatic fashion (ie, light flashing in periphery= cant help but have attention drawn to it) --Attention also refers to our conscious ability to attend to the information that is relevant to our goals. (ie, actively selecting where to focus attention while walking, driving, grocery shopping) The irrelevant information in the environment acts as noise that can make it difficult to identify and attend to important information. we are remarkably adept at distinguishing the relevant from the irrelevant information in the environment. sometimes the noise overwhelms the signal and you get distracted (ie busy traffic and talking on phone) Automatic and controlled processes are fundamentally different types of processes that influence attention. automatic processes are triggered involuntary by external events and trigger the “capture” of attention. -assumed to operate in a fast, efficient, and obligatory manner. -some cues seem to be more noticeable and lead to stronger and quicker association when paired with events. This is the notion of sallence. --A salient piece of information is one that appears to naturally pop-out at you.
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controlled processes guide attention voluntarily and consciously to objects of interest, -assumed to require cognitive effort, they operate more slowly. According to psychologist Michael Posner, there’s an analogous process to visual attention. Just as a physical spotlight illuminates only part of the stage at a time, your attentional spotlight focuses on only part of the environment at a time. attention can be consciously directed across the visual scene.
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Week 7 - Week 7- Attention Attention: allows you to...

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