By Michael Eysenck

The philosopher who has a mortal worry of being mistaken will supply all that's necessary in himself to that little ambition. Walter Lippmann (1914) Psychology has consistently been stricken by passing fads and fan­ cies to a better volume than is seemly in a systematic self-discipline. over the last few years the Zeitgeist will be summed up by means of the 2 phrases 'cognitive psychology'. certainly, a up to date ballot of educational psychologists in American indicated that over eighty% of them appeared themselves as cognitive psychologists! Cognitive psychology is within the ascendant, however it hasn't ever been transparent to me that it has addressed all the acceptable is­ sues. particularly, details processing within the genuine global (and even within the laboratory) happens inside a motivational and emotional context, yet cognitive psychologists frequently major­ tain the handy fiction that cognition can fruitfully be stud­ ied in isolation. the most reason behind scripting this publication used to be to at­ tempt to illustrate that there could be a helpful cross-fertiliza­ tion among cognitive and motivational-emotional psycholo­ gy and that there are already tantalizing glimpses of the poten­ tial merits of such inter-disciplinary study. the tips of Donald Broadbent and his affiliates have exer­ cised a formative effect throughout the writing of this booklet. they found a few years in the past that there are fascinating simi­ larities (as good as alterations) within the results on functionality of such it sounds as if rather disparate elements as white noise, time of day, introversion-extraversion and incentive.

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Additional info for Attention and Arousal: Cognition and Performance

Example text

Why is focussed attention necessary? Treisman and Gelade argued that attention ensures that the features of an object are appropriately combined in perception; what happens is that all of the features simultaneously present during focal attention are integrated to form a perceptual object. In other words, focal attention provides the 'glue' which combines features into unitary objects. Perhaps the strongest support for the theory was obtained in an experiment in which Treisman and Gelade asked subjects to search for a specified target in a visual display of between I and 30 items; a target was presented on half of the trials.

If 'full analysis' simply means that all stimuli contact their representations in long-term memory, then that is a defensible position, except perhaps for stimuli which have only rarely been encountered. If it means more than that, then the available data cannot be taken to indicate the existence of an automatic full analysis in that broader sense. While the approach adopted by Shiffrin and Schneider has much to recommend it, they made some dubious theoretical assumptions. For example, they claimed that control processes are "limited-capacity processes requiring attention.

In contrast, the multi-mode theory of Johnston and Heinz (1978) predicts that more processing of non-target words is necessary under conditions of low sensory discriminability, since Stage 1 analysis is insufficient to discriminate between targets and non-targets in those circumstances. In other words, the thoroughness of non-target processing should be consistently high according to late selection theories but should be inversely related to sensory discriminability according to multi-mode theory.

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