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Selective Attention

Page history last edited by Tindal Anderson 11 years, 5 months ago


Selective Attention 






Attention is a concentration of mental activity from both your sensory world and your memory. 


What is selective attention? 


     Selective attention is "purposely focusing your conscious awareness onto a specific stimulus," or in other words, when one focuses their attention on one thing while other things are going on around them. For example, if someone is sitting in a restaurant with another person and they tune out all of the other conversations in order to hear the person sitting across from them, they are using selective attention. So with selective attention, instead of trying to pay equal attention to two or more sources of information like with divided-attention task, you use selective-attention task and only respond selectively to certain kinds of information, while ignoring the rest of the information. 




Dichotic Listening: 


Dichotic listening is studied by experiments where a listener is given headphones that give two different messages in each ear, and they are then asked to repeat what they hear in only one side of the headphones. If the listener makes mistakes while repeating what they hear (also known as 'shadowing') then the researcher knows they are not paying selective attention to that message. 








Cocktail Party Effect:


The cocktail party effect occurs when someone is in a large noisy room, for example, a cocktail party, and they are able to focus in on one particular conversation that they want to hear. So, for example, if someone was speaking to someone, but they heard their name mentioned in a nearby conversation, they would be able to zone in on that particular conversation and listen. 








1. http://www.alleydog.com/glossary/definition.php?term=Selective%20Attention 

-this link provides a quick definition for selective attention 

2. http://www.simplypsychology.org/attention-models.html

-this link has information about dichotic listening and the bottleneck theory

3. http://www.gocognitive.net/demo/selective-attention-auditory-demonstration

-this link has a listening demonstration that you can do and it helps further explain dichotic listening 

4. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-selective-attention.htm

-this link explains why people select what to pay attention to & also the differences in peoples' ability of attention

5. https://sites.google.com/site/egnerlab/research/selective-attention

-this link further explains selective attention in more depth

6. http://www.psychologyconcepts.com/cocktail-party-effect/

-this link provides a definition, as well as a video, of the cocktail party effect

7. http://www.eamonfulcher.com/CogPsych/page4.htm

-this link provides information about focused auditory attention as well as the cocktail party effect

8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15668100

-this link provides an abstract of what selective attention is

9. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878929311001101

-this link provides information about the role selective attention plays on academic foundations

10. http://www.pnas.org/content/95/3/825.full

-this link explains the role of selective attention in visual perception 

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