Attentional Blink

Assignment 2: Attentional Blink

            There are many stimuli in your environment of which you are not aware. You use attention to filter out unimportant stimuli and focus on relevant stimuli. However, there are circumstances under which you cannot perceive stimuli, regardless of how hard you “pay attention.” One situation is when visual stimuli are presented in quick succession. If the interval between the two stimuli is short enough, you do not perceive the second stimulus. This lapse in attention is known as attentional blink. In this assignment, you will experience the attentional blink for yourself and will also read about practical implications of the phenomenon.

Access the CogLab demonstrationAttentional Blink. Follow the instructions to complete the  demonstration.

Read the following article:

Using the experience from the CogLab demonstration and  information from the article, write a paper that addresses the following:

  • Explain       how the attentional blink relates to attention. Analyze how the variation       in time influences the probability of seeing the second target letter.       Explain the circumstances under which the attentional blink can be       eliminated.
  • In       the CogLab demonstration, letters were used as targets. The target used       can influence the duration of one’s attentional blink and whether the       attentional blink even occurs. Complete the following tasks:                
    • Propose  at least two other targets that could be used to induce the attentional blink.
    • Predict  the effect each of your suggested targets would have on the duration of one’s  attentional blink as compared to the CogLab activity you completed.
    • Explain  the reasoning behind your predictions.
  • Present       and discuss at least three occupations in which workers’ performance could       be adversely affected by attentional blink. Identify and explain the types       of problems or mistakes that might occur in such occupations due to the       attentional blink.
  • Several       years ago, some vehicle models came with a heads-up display (HUD). Instead       of looking down at a panel on the dashboard, speed, distance traveled,       fuel level, and time appeared to be displayed over the hood of the car.       Discuss this design in terms of divided attention and attentional blink.       Do you think the design was a good idea?

Write a 4-page paper in Word format. Apply APA standards to  citation of sources. Use the following file naming convention:  LastnameFirstInitial_M2_A2.doc.

By Wednesday, November 20, 2013, deliver your assignment to the M2:  Assignment 2 Dropbox.

Assignment 2 Grading Criteria

Maximum Points

Explained the phenomenon of attention, described  how time between targets affects the probability of seeing the second target,  and analyzed how it can be eliminated or reduced in other conditions showing  understanding and application of cognitive psychology concepts.


Applied knowledge of cognitive psychology  concepts to propose other targets appropriate for experiment, predict their  effects on attentional blink, and provide an explanation for predictions  showing understanding and application of cognitive psychology concepts.


Identified three occupations that could  adversely be affected by attentional blink and explained the types of problems  or mistakes that might occur in such occupations due to attentional blink  showing understanding and application of cognitive psychology concepts.


Related the concepts of divided attention and  attentional blink to explain the heads-up display (HUD) design.


Wrote in a clear, concise, and organized manner;  demonstrated ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of  sources; displayed accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.




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