Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Department of Psychology

Advisor(s)

Jeffrey T. Andre

Abstract

The attentional blink (AB) is an individual’s inability to perceive the second of two targets presented in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP). The constructs of global and local attention have been a principle concern in modern psychology. The perception of an object as an overall form is referred to as the global aspect, while the separate parts compose the local aspect. The purpose of this study was to explore whether the following factors affect the characteristics of an individual’s AB: (1) When target one (T1) and target two (T2) were the same or different letters (2) Whether T1 was global or local (3) Whether T2 was global or local (4) When T1 occurred within the RSVP relative to T2 (5) When T2 occurred within the RSVP relative to T1. Participants were shown Navon letters (e.g., an X made up of M’s) in an RSVP sequence. Previous research has shown that the presentation of a letter in global or local form as well as the position of a target letter can affect an individual’s AB. We found that there was a significant interaction between the variables of same/different, whether T2 was presented in global or local form, and the position of T2 suggesting that there was not as strong of an AB when T1 and T2 were presented as the same letter. The findings of our research contradict those of previous studies.

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