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Join the crowd and create some distraction – or lack of; the effect of target proximity and set-size in a visual search task

The Eye

All eyes on the stimulus? Maybe not so, ….

Abstract

 

 

This experiment examined the effect that different set-sizes and proximity distances had on a feature integration visual search task. Different set-sizes were used as there have been mixed findings as to whether the amount of distractors have an effect on participants reaction times when locating a target. Proximity explored whether large and small display sizes had an effect on visual ‘pop-out’. It was concluded that reaction times were slowest in smaller set-sizes and distant proximity conditions and this was supported with asignificant interaction. These findings are similar to experiments carried out by Schubo, Schroger and Meinecke (2004) on set-size manipulation, although the reasons for the results remain inconclusive. The results support Wolfe’s (1998) theory that it may make more sense to talk about different degrees of efficiency in visual search tasks as opposed to the distinction between parallel and serial processing. Continue reading

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