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Probabilistic cuing of visual search: Neither implicit nor inflexible

Giménez-Fernández, T; Luque, D; Shanks, DR; Vadillo, MA; (2020) Probabilistic cuing of visual search: Neither implicit nor inflexible. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 10.1037/xhp0000852. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

In probabilistic cuing of visual search, participants search for a target object that appears more frequently in one region of the display. This task results in a search bias toward the rich quadrant compared with other quadrants. Previous research has suggested that this bias is inflexible (difficult to unlearn) and implicit (participants are unaware of the biased distribution of targets). We tested these hypotheses in two preregistered, high-powered experiments (Ns = 160 and 161). In an initial biased stage, participants performed a standard probabilistic cuing task. In a subsequent unbiased stage, the target appeared in all quadrants with equal probability. Awareness questions were included after the biased stage in one group of participants, and after the unbiased stage in a second group. Results showed that participants were aware of the rich area, and this effect was larger for the group whose awareness was assessed after the biased stage. In addition, analyses of visual search times indicated that the search bias toward the rich area (formed during the biased stage) was reduced during the unbiased stage. These results cast doubts on the characterization of probabilistic cuing as an implicit and inflexible search habit. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

Type: Article
Title: Probabilistic cuing of visual search: Neither implicit nor inflexible
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/xhp0000852
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xhp0000852
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
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 > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10108078
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