Split. You cannot be aware of or attend to two things at once.
We are only aware of things when . . .
They fall within the spotlight.
Attention is tied to . . .
Can shifts in attention be voluntarily or involuntarily?
Spatial Cuing Task.
(Posner et al, 1978)
Central fixation on a cross.
Cue → or ←
A square □ to left or right
Respond asap when you detect a light
Cues/squares can be incorrect, correct, or neutral (eg. ↔)
Spatial Cuing Task results
Correct cues = faster response.
Incorrect cues = slower response.
Peripheral cues affected performance.
What did the Spatial Cuing Task findings lead Posner to suggest?
The existence of:
An endogenous system - controlled by the individual's attention - used in the central cue part.
An exogenous system - automatically shifts attention - used in the periphery target part.
Evidence against the Spotlight Theory . . .
(Kwak, Dagenbachh & Egeth 1991)
Participants shown two letters at a time.
Asked to judge whether they were the same.
Decision times the same whether the letter were close or far apart.
Criticisms of the Spotlight Theory
Attention may not be given to everything in the 'spotlight'. It may only be to objects in this area. (Neisser & Becklen 1975) superimposed two moving scenes on top of each other. Ppts could watch one and ignore the other quite easily.
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