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What is the Distraction-Conflict Theory?
· Baron suggested that the presence of others,
whilst doing a task, is distracting as attention is
spilt between the task and the audience/co-
actors.
Basketball
People…read more

Slide 3

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What happens?
Two things happen:
· Distraction leads to a negative performance on
any task due to less concentration.
· Conflict then increases arousal which makes the
dominant response much more likely to occur.
Dominant Response Re-Cap: The response which is most likely to be given in a
particular situation.
In Context: If well practiced, dominant response increases performance. If not
practiced, dominant response decreases performance level.…read more

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Effects of the Dominant Response
If you are good at the task:
1. The presence of others will cause conflict
between the task and the people.
2. This will increase arousal levels.
3. This will increase performance.
If you are not good at the task:
1. The presence of others will cause conflict
between the task and the people.
2. This will increase arousal levels.
3. This will decrease performance.…read more

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The Study: A01
Sanders et al (1978)
Aim: Investigate whether distraction would result in social facilitation on a
simple task and social inhibition on a difficult task.
Method: Participants were given a simple and a complex digit-copying task.
This was done either alone or in co-action with the co-actor performing the
same task (distracting) or a different task (not distracting).
Results: Participants in the distracting condition made more mistakes on the
complex task but copied more digits correctly on the simple task than the other
two conditions.
Conclusion: The results supported the distraction-conflict theory. Performance
on simple tasks was facilitated by distraction but was inhibited on complex
tasks.…read more

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Why is it `distracting'?
· People who are doing the same task are more
likely to be a distraction because the task would
be a source of social comparison and therefore
distracting from doing the actual task.
Do they
find this Are they
How far
easy? doing better
are they?
than me?…read more

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