Title

Individual Differences in Susceptibility to Inattentional Blindness: The Role of Working Memory Capacity

Poster Number

30

Lead Author Major

Psychology

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Elizabeth Graham

Faculty Mentor Department

Psychology

Abstract/Artist Statement

Inattentional blindness (IB) occurs when an individual engaging in an attention-demanding task fails to notice an unexpected stimulus in their visual field. Previous research on IB suggested that this failure to notice is related to individual traits, such as working memory capacity (Richards, Hannon, & Derakshan, 2010). However this relationship between working memory capacity and susceptibility to IB is not always found (Graham, Calvario, Del Toro, & Khanna, 2014; Simons & Jensen, 2009). In addition, Graham et al. (2014) found that individual susceptibility to IB was not consistent across multiple different IB tasks, suggesting that susceptibility to IB is not, itself, a reliable individual characteristic. A possible limitation to Graham et al.’s finding was that one of the IB tasks generated IB using brief display durations, and that IB produced by this particular type of task is unrelated to working memory capacity. Thus the current study sought to replicate Graham et al. by testing participants in two different IB tasks. A major difference was that one of the IB tasks was embedded in a measure of working memory capacity, the operation span task (OSPAN). Based on previous research, we hypothesized that participants who failed to notice the unexpected object in one IB task would be more likely to fail to notice the unexpected object in a second IB task. We also predicted that participants who failed to notice the unexpected object embedded in the OSPAN task would have lower scores on this measure of working memory capacity, compared to participants who noticed the unexpected object.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

25-4-2015 2:00 PM

End Date

25-4-2015 4:00 PM

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Apr 25th, 2:00 PM Apr 25th, 4:00 PM

Individual Differences in Susceptibility to Inattentional Blindness: The Role of Working Memory Capacity

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Inattentional blindness (IB) occurs when an individual engaging in an attention-demanding task fails to notice an unexpected stimulus in their visual field. Previous research on IB suggested that this failure to notice is related to individual traits, such as working memory capacity (Richards, Hannon, & Derakshan, 2010). However this relationship between working memory capacity and susceptibility to IB is not always found (Graham, Calvario, Del Toro, & Khanna, 2014; Simons & Jensen, 2009). In addition, Graham et al. (2014) found that individual susceptibility to IB was not consistent across multiple different IB tasks, suggesting that susceptibility to IB is not, itself, a reliable individual characteristic. A possible limitation to Graham et al.’s finding was that one of the IB tasks generated IB using brief display durations, and that IB produced by this particular type of task is unrelated to working memory capacity. Thus the current study sought to replicate Graham et al. by testing participants in two different IB tasks. A major difference was that one of the IB tasks was embedded in a measure of working memory capacity, the operation span task (OSPAN). Based on previous research, we hypothesized that participants who failed to notice the unexpected object in one IB task would be more likely to fail to notice the unexpected object in a second IB task. We also predicted that participants who failed to notice the unexpected object embedded in the OSPAN task would have lower scores on this measure of working memory capacity, compared to participants who noticed the unexpected object.