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How much do we orient? A systematic approach to auditory distraction

Beaman, C. P., Campbell, T. and Marsh, J. E. (2021) How much do we orient? A systematic approach to auditory distraction. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition, 47 (7). pp. 1054-1066. ISSN 0278-7393

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1037/xlm0000995


Data on orienting and habituation to irrelevant sound can distinguish between task-specific and general accounts of auditory distraction: Distractors either disrupt specific cognitive processes (e.g., Jones, 1993; Salamé & Baddeley, 1982), or remove more general-purpose attentional resources from any attention-demanding task (e.g., Cowan, 1995). Tested here is the prediction that there is no further auditory distraction effect on immediate serial recall with increments in the number of distractors beyond the “changing-state point” of two discrete distractors. A Bayes factor analysis refutes this nil hypothesis: This prediction, a key element of the strong changing-state hypothesis, is shown to be less likely than two competing alternatives. Quantitative predictions for distraction as a function of the number of distracters are derived for an orienting response (OR) and a stimulus mismatch (SMM) hypothesis, representing general and task-specific accounts respectively. The data are shown to be more likely under the SMM hypothesis. Prospects for a parametric account of auditory distraction are considered.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Cognition Research (CCR)
ID Code:93792
Publisher:American Psychological Association.


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