Fast detection of familiar things Detecting the soccer ball in the grass

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Description: Previous research investigating the nature of a proposed fear module has concluded that fear relevant stimuli capture our attention without producing a matrix size effect (whereas fear irrelevant stimuli do not), meaning that reaction time in detecting a given fear relevant stimulus does not increase as the number of distractor stimuli increases (Ohman, Flykt, & Esteves, 2001). However, the methods employed by this previous study more likely measure cognitive expertise, and not the effect of fear, of a given target stimulus. The current study attempts to demonstrate that cognitive expertise is sufficient for, and that evolved fear relevance is not necessary for, faster detection and a lack of a matrix size effect. Although the planned three-way analysis of variance between level of expertise, target type, and matrix size did not prove to be significant, post hoc analysis of variance provides evidence of an interaction between expertise and reaction time for a given target. Soccer experts detected soccer targets without producing a matrix size effect, providing evidence for an expertise-based theory of faster detection.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work