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Investigating the goal bias effect in attention during the processing of action scenes

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Description: Past research has shown that humans preferentially remember and describe goals. This study explored (1) if this goal bias is present at the level of attention, (2) whether attention is cued voluntarily or involuntarily by structural properties, and (3) whether individuals must be in a certain mindset to interpret the scene mentalistically. To assess attention, participants (n = 39) viewed action scenes involving an actor moving from source to goal objects, and their reaction times to targets at source and goals locations were measured. Participants responded faster to targets the actor was facing than to targets behind the actor. This cueing effect was not modified by path of the actor or perceived depth, and the effect developed rapidly and faded at the longest delay. The results provide support for the presence of a diffuse goal bias effect in attention, and suggest that attention is involuntarily cued by structural properties.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work