There are many stimuli in your environment of which you are not aware. You use attention to filter out unimportant stimuli and focus on relevant stimuli. However, there are circumstances under which you cannot perceive stimuli, regardless of how hard you "pay attention." One situation is when visual stimuli are presented in quick succession. If the interval between the two stimuli is short enough, you do not perceive the second stimulus. This lapse in attention is known as attentional blink. In this assignment, you will experience the attentional blink for yourself and will also read about practical implications of the phenomenon.
Access the CogLab demonstrationAttentional Blink. Follow the instructions to complete the demonstration.
Read the following article:
Using the experience from the CogLab demonstration and information from the article, write a paper that addresses the following:
- Explain how the attentional blink relates to attention. Analyze how the variation in time influences the probability of seeing the second target letter. Explain the circumstances under which the attentional blink can be eliminated.
- In the CogLab demonstration, letters were used as targets. The target used can influence the duration of one’s attentional blink and whether the attentional blink even occurs. Complete the following tasks:
- Propose at least two other targets that could be used to induce the attentional blink.
- Predict the effect each of your suggested targets would have on the duration of one’s attentional blink as compared to the CogLab activity you completed.
- Explain the reasoning behind your predictions.
- Present and discuss at least three occupations in which workers’ performance could be adversely affected by attentional blink. Identify and explain the types of problems or mistakes that might occur in such occupations due to the attentional blink.
- Several years ago, some vehicle models came with a heads-up display (HUD). Instead of looking down at a panel on the dashboard, speed, distance traveled, fuel level, and time appeared to be displayed over the hood of the car. Discuss this design in terms of divided attention and attentional blink. Do you think the design was a good idea?
Write a 4-page paper in Word format. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.
This is the CobLab Information
In the experiment, many letters are shown in rapid succession, with each letter overwriting the previous letter. The observer's task is to watch the entire sequence and then indicate whether certain target letters were in the sequence. The sequences are carefully constructed to systematically vary the temporal separation between two target letters. Thus, if the target letters are J and K, a sequence with the letters ". . . JXTVRK . . ." places K five letter-spaces beyond J.
The notable finding is that identification of the second target letter is very low when it quickly follows the first target letter. As temporal separation increases, identification of the second letter improves. This finding suggests that when the observer sees the first target letter, he/she must attend to it to ensure that it will be remembered later. The focusing of attention to that letter apparently requires time, and if the second target letter appears during that time, it is not attended and not reported. By looking at recognition of the second letter as a function of separation, we can estimate the time required to focus and break attention for stimuli.