Selective Attention

BRIEF notes on selective attention - suitable handout

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  • Created by: Jenna
  • Created on: 31-01-12 20:10
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Selective Attention Notes
Definition: the process of picking out and focusing
on those parts of the display that are relevant to our
What attracts our attention?
1. Loud/bright/fast/contrasting stimuli;
2. Stimuli we are expecting
Ability to select attention effectively depends on how new the situation is:
Elite Performer Novice Performer
Less information to be More information to take
concerned about in
Easier to filter out Will find it harder to
irrelevant information distinguish what
Better stimulus information is relevant
Sporting Example:
An elite batsman facing a bowler in cricket will remain focussed even with
crowds, birds flying around and fielders moving on relevant information
such as the ball's flight through the air and the right time at which to strike
the ball. They will detect relevant stimuli quicker than a novice ­ with less
cognitive involvement.


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