Pop Out Effect Theory

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Introduction/ Literature review
The “pop-out effect” (van Polanen, Bergmann Teist & Kappers, 2011, p. 204) can be understood as how certain objects tend to draw ones attention when surrounded by distractors as they have specific features that differentiate them (van Polanen et al., 2011). Neisser (1964), whose work is the basis of this experiment, tested the pop-out effect during visual searches by conducting a series of experiments under different conditions whereby the target to be identified was either similar or dissimilar to the distractors and response time was measured (Neisser, 1964). By doing this it was determined that targets in dissimilar conditions were identified faster that in similar conditions thus showing that certain features
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Within this theory there is an emphasis on the importance of “focal attention” (Treisman & Gelade, 1980, p. 98) in identifying the features of an object so that they can be processed by the cognitive functions of the brain to form a whole (Treisman & Gelade, 1980). Within their research they also go on to emphasise the importance of “top down processing” (Treisman & Gelade, 1980, p. 98) in visual perception, as people tend to utilise experience and memory which can help them with item identification as they have a rough idea as to what they are looking for (Treisman & Gelade, 1980). However, whilst they focused on a number of attention-based areas for their experiments such as “texture segregation” (Treisman & Gelade, 1980, p. 99) and “illusionary conjunctions” (Treisman & Gelade, 1980, p. 100), their work on visual searches were most beneficial to this experiment. These searches involved identifying a target based on its features, which included but were not limited to the colour and shape of the target and these usually involved “parallel searches” (Treisman & Gelade, 1980, p. 99), whereby the target and distractors are all examined at the same time as the target was distinct, thus resulting in a…show more content…
Pōder (2006), following up on the feature integration theory of attention’s feature aspect of visual searches, tested the effects of colour on target identification time. 3 experiments were conducted and it was concluded that reaction time was faster if the target was a different colour from the distractors and targets that were colours such as red were more easily identified (popped out) than targets that were yellow (Pōder, 2006). Thompson and Miliken (2010) also go further by examining the “priming of pop out” (Thompson & Miliken, 2010, p. 318) so as to test the feature integration theory of attention in relation to how prior experiences can affect reaction time. In their experiments they compared reaction time for a target whose features would remain constant initially with a sudden change in task (Thompson & Miliken, 2010). The results of the experiment showed that if the same task was repeated then reaction time would be faster than if the task was suddenly changed, thus providing evidence that we store features of targets in our memory and use this memory for visual searches (Thompson & Miliken,

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