Do Fearful Facial Expressions Capture Attention Involuntarily? Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/undergraduate_thesis_or_projects/2r36v012t

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  • It has been claimed that stimuli signaling threat are processed rapidly and draw our attention (e.g., Fox, Russo, & Dutton, 2002). Similarly, it has been argued that expressions of fear have a strong pull on our attention because they signal threat (e.g., Phelps, Ling, & Carrasco, 2006; Vuilleumier & Schwartz, 2001). The present study used a cuing paradigm to examine whether fearful facial expressions capture attention involuntarily (i.e., automatically), even when they are irrelevant. We asked participants to find a letter in a particular color (red or green) and indicate whether it was a “T” or an “L”. Prior to the target display, a cue display was presented. In the face cue condition, one fearful face and one neutral face appeared on opposite sides of the display. In the color cue condition, one green box and one red box appeared on opposite sides of the display (see Figure 1). In both cue conditions, the stimuli (faces and boxes) are irrelevant to the task at hand – identifying letters. Previous cuing studies have concluded that if a participant is looking for a particular color to find the target letter, then other objects in the cue display containing this same color will capture attention. For example, when looking for a red letter, a red box will capture attention. This conclusion is based on the cue validity effect – the finding that response time (RT) is shorter and proportion of error (PE) is smaller when the target appears in the same location as the color cue drawn in the target color than when it appeared in a different location. Stimuli in other colors do not produce a cue validity effect.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Sue Kunda(sue.kunda@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-05-22T16:01:05Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 CUE Poster 2010.pdf: 494842 bytes, checksum: 1ca640855f486f3e3d16e48b04031c20 (MD5)
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