When do the effects of distractors provide a measure of distractibility?

Alejandro Lleras, Simona Buetti, J. Toby Mordkoff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

We discuss how, at the present time, there is a large deal of confusion in the attention literature regarding the use of the label " distractor" and what may be inferred from experiments using distractors. In particular, investigators seem to use the concepts of distractor interference and distractibility almost interchangeably. In contrast, we argue at both the theoretical and empirical levels that these two concepts are not only different, but in fact mutually exclusive. To that end, a brief review of several subliteratures is presented, in which we identify some examples of the misuse of these terms. We also propose a new paradigm for the study of distraction, as well as present a contemporary general theory of visual attention that provides a better framework for understanding distractor-interference effects, as well as instances of true distraction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPsychology of Learning and Motivation - Advances in Research and Theory
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Pages261-315
Number of pages55
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NamePsychology of Learning and Motivation - Advances in Research and Theory
Volume59
ISSN (Print)0079-7421

Keywords

  • Candidates
  • Cognitive load
  • Distractibility
  • Distractor interference
  • Distractors
  • Flanker paradigm
  • Potential targets
  • Redundancy gain
  • Set size
  • Unexpected event paradigm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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  • Cite this

    Lleras, A., Buetti, S., & Mordkoff, J. T. (2014). When do the effects of distractors provide a measure of distractibility? In Psychology of Learning and Motivation - Advances in Research and Theory (pp. 261-315). (Psychology of Learning and Motivation - Advances in Research and Theory; Vol. 59). Academic Press Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-407187-2.00007-1