Is probabilistic cuing of visual search an inflexible attentional habit? A meta-analytic review
EntidadUAM. Departamento de Psicología Básica
Fecha de edición2021-11-23
10.3758/s13423-021-02025-5Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 29 (2022): 521-529
Financiado porOpen Access funding provided thanks to the CRUE-CSIC agreement with Springer Nature. This study was supported by grants 2016-T1/SOC-1395, 2017-T1/SOC-5147, and 2020-5A/SOC-19723 from Comunidad de Madrid, Spain (Programa de Atracción de Talento Investigador), grants PSI2017-85159-P, PGC2018-094694-B-I00, and PID2020-118583GB-I00 from Agencia Estatal de Investigación, Spain, and FEDER, EU, and grant ES/S014616/1 from the Economic and Social Research Council, United Kingdom
ProyectoGobierno de España. PSI2017-85159-P; Gobierno de España. PGC2018-094694-B-I00; Gobierno de España. PID2020-118583GB-I00
Versión del editorhttps://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-021-02025-5
MateriasHabitual attention; Implicit learning; Meta-analysis; Probabilistic cuing; Visual search; Psicología
Derechos© The Author(s) 2021
Esta obra está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons Atribución 4.0 Internacional.
In studies on probabilistic cuing of visual search, participants search for a target among several distractors and report some feature of the target. In a biased stage the target appears more frequently in one specific area of the search display. Eventually, participants become faster at finding the target in that rich region compared to the sparse region. In some experiments, this stage is followed by an unbiased stage, where the target is evenly located across all regions of the display. Despite this change in the spatial distribution of targets, search speed usually remains faster when the target is located in the previously rich region. The persistence of the bias even when it is no longer advantageous has been taken as evidence that this phenomenon is an attentional habit. The aim of this meta-analysis was to test whether the magnitude of probabilistic cuing decreases from the biased to the unbiased stage. A meta-analysis of 42 studies confirmed that probabilistic cuing during the unbiased stage was roughly half the size of cuing during the biased stage, and this decrease persisted even after correcting for publication bias. Thus, the evidence supporting the claim that probabilistic cuing is an attentional habit might not be as compelling as previously thought
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