E-ISSN 1309-4866
Research Article
I Thought I Saw “Zorro”: An Inattentional Blindness Study
1 Department of Psychology, Hacettepe University School of Letters, Ankara, Turkey  
Arch Neuropsychiatry ; : -
DOI: 10.5152/npa.2017.19227
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Key Words: Inattentional blindness, priming effect, emotional context, eye movements
Abstract

Introduction: Inattentional blindness (IB) refers to an observer’s failure to notice unexpected stimulus. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the priming type (perceptual, conceptual and no priming) and emotional context (positive, negative, neutral) on IB with behavioural (IB, non-IB) and eye tracking measurements (latency of first fixation, total fixation time and total fixation count in response to unexpected stimuli).

 

Methods: Totally 193 volunteered male university students were invited in the study. Three thematic videos (positive, negative, and neutral) were created to capture the IB. In the first stage, five pictures (a model dressed in different costumes Zorro as an unexpected stimulus, Vendetta, a judge, a doctor and a worker) were shown to the participants for priming. In the second stage, a distractor task which involved 30 simple arithmetic operations were given. In the third stage, one of the thematic IB videos were shown to the participants and then they answered the questions about them. Participants were assigned randomly to 9 different experimental conditions according to a 3 (Priming Type: Perceptual, Conceptual, No Priming) x 3 (Emotional Context: Positive, Negative, Neutral) factorial design. Finally, behavioural and eye tracking measurements were collected.

 

Results: Main and interaction effects of priming type and emotional contexts were not significant in terms of the behavioural measures. In addition, there were no significant differences between types of priming for eye tracking measures. However, there were significant differences between types of emotional contexts in all eye tracking measurements. In the negative context, participants were made less total fixation and looked shorter to unexpected stimulus than positive and neutral contexts. In addition, non-notifiers made less total fixation and looked at unexpected stimulus for a shorter time compared to notifiers.

 

Conclusion: The fact of “looking without seeing” was again demonstrated experimentally. Priming and emotional context did not affect behavioural data, but eye movements were affected from the emotional context. Current findings showed a relation between emotion and attention. 

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