Assignment 2: Attentional Blink
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:
- Livesey, E. J., Harris, I. M., & Harris, J. A. (2009). Attentional changes during implicit learning: Signal validity protects a target stimulus from the attentional blink. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 35(2), 408-408-422. doi:10.1037/a0014525 (ProQuest Document ID: 614494049)
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?