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Previous research has demonstrated a preference for positive over negative information in visual search; asking whether a target object is green biases search towards green objects, even when this entails more perceptual processing than searching non-green objects. The present study investigated whether this confirmatory search bias is due to the presence of one particular (e.g., green) color in memory during search. Across two experiments, we show that this is not the critical factor in generating a confirmation bias in search. Search slowed proportionally to the number of stimuli whose color matched the color held in memory only when the color was remembered as part of the search instructions. These results suggest that biased search for information is due to a particular attentional selection strategy, and not to memory-driven attentional biases.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Acta psychologica
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Type of declarative memory, consisting of personal memory in contrast to general knowledge.
Neurological process involving the conversion of learned information into long-term memory.
Complex mental function having four distinct phases: (1) memorizing or learning, (2) retention, (3) recall, and (4) recognition. Clinically, it is usually subdivided into immediate, recent, and remote memory.
Temporary visual deficit or impaired visual processing occurring in a rapid serial visual presentation task. After a person identifies the first of two visual targets, the ability to detect the second target is impaired for the next few hundred milliseconds. This phenomenon is called attentional blink.
Clarity or sharpness of OCULAR VISION or the ability of the eye to see fine details. Visual acuity depends on the functions of RETINA, neuronal transmission, and the interpretative ability of the brain. Normal visual acuity is expressed as 20/20 indicating that one can see at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance. Visual acuity can also be influenced by brightness, color, and contrast.