Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Fall 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Michael D. Hall


Change deafness is defined as the failure to detect the source of an above-threshold change in an auditory scene. A new paradigm recently demonstrated the phenomenon under analogous conditions to its visual counterpart, change blindness (Hall, Peck, Gaston, & Dickerson, 2015). This investigation examined the use of the paradigm through two experiments which involved the same four simultaneously presented events. Experiment 1 distributed events across a virtual 120º on the azimuth while the target event oscillated across a 60º space throughout each trial. Listeners were instructed to identify the target as soon as possible. Target rate of change was manipulated across four different velocities (80º/s, 40º/s, 24º/s, 8º/s). Results confirmed that all conditions differed in error rates from an isolated control task. The 8º/s condition displayed the highest error rates, providing strong evidence of change deafness, whereas error rates in the 80º/s, 40º/s, and 24º/s conditions did not significantly differ, providing inconclusive evidence. Response times did not vary across conditions. Experiment 2 compared findings to a frequency-based filter manipulation and evaluated change deafness by comparing flickered (one-second and three-second initial presentation) and continuously changing target events, which oscillated between wide- and narrow-band filters. All conditions resulted in error rates that did not vary from the control task. The continuous condition produced increased response times, providing explicit evidence of change deafness. Rapid response times in flicker conditions indicated the elimination of change deafness. The three-second presentation time in one flicker condition further reduced response times, demonstrating the impact of encoding. Experiments support the assessed paradigm as an appropriate method of analyzing the occurrence of change deafness.