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High perceptual load makes everybody equal - Eliminating individual differences in distractibility with load

Forster, S; Lavie, N; (2007) High perceptual load makes everybody equal - Eliminating individual differences in distractibility with load. PSYCHOL SCI , 18 (5) 377 - 381.

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Abstract

Perceptual load has been found to be a powerful determinant of distractability in laboratory tasks. The present study assessed how the effects of perceptual load on distractibility in the laboratory relate to individual differences in the likelihood of distractibility in daily life. Sixty-one subjects performed a response-competition task in which perceptual load was varied. As expected, individuals reporting high levels of distractibility (on the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire, an established measure of distractibility in daily life.) experienced greater distractor interference than did individuals reporting low levels. The critical finding, however, was that this relationship was confined to task conditions of low perceptual load: High perceptual load reduced distractor interference for all subjects, eliminating an), individual differences. These findings suggest that the level of perceptual load in, a task can predict whether individual differences in distractibility will be found and that high-load modifications of daily tasks may prove useful in preventing unwanted consequences of high distractibility.

Type: Article
Title: High perceptual load makes everybody equal - Eliminating individual differences in distractibility with load
Keywords: COGNITIVE FAILURES QUESTIONNAIRE, SELECTIVE ATTENTION, INHIBITION, EVERYDAY, PERFORMANCE, ACCIDENTS, CFQ
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/5813
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