Theories of Human Learning and Cognition

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Psychology

Document 1

Even with all these noises, you manage to ignore irrelevant sounds and center your attention on the amusing story that your friend share. How do you find yourself in a position to tune out certain stimuli and focus on just one element of your background? Or rather, who do you pay most attention to at a social gathering, such as a dinner with friends? This is just but an example of selective attention. We have to be choosy about the things we center our attention on because our ability to attend to objects around us is limited in time and capacity. Selective attention is noticing and focusing on certain objects in the environment while ignoring others (Engel et al, 2016). Attention can be likened to a spotlight.

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Information should thus be filtered to determine which detail to focus on. Based on physical properties like pitch and color, all stimuli are first processed and then selective filters allow for specific stimuli to go through for further synthesis while others are castoff. Treisman's Attenuation theory suggests that as opposed to a filter, attention works by using an attenuator that identifies a stimulus based on meaning or physical properties. In tests, Treisman showed that people were able to process the meaning of both unattended and attended messages (Moray, 2017). Others are the Memory Selection such as the cocktail party effect and Resource theories of selective attention. In each trial, participants held a sample object in working memory. Two objects, one corresponding to the novel and the other sample, were then shown concurrently.

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As shown by a probe task, there was a shift in attention toward the object corresponding to the sample. This impact generalized throughout the working memory task, object type, and attentional-probe task. Conversely, a corresponded task without memory requirement indicated the opposite pattern, revealing that this impact is not just because of exposure to the sample. Finally, a study by Scanlon, Drescher, and Sarkar (2007) examined the efficacy of Lumosity, a web-based cognitive training program to improve attention and memory among healthy adults. Randomized, controlled experiment comprised of training intervention, post-training assessment, and assessment. 23 volunteer participants with a mean age of 54 were selected from different regions across the United States. Training and testing were done on each respondent's PC to simulate condition for actual use.

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The main measures for outcome included tests of visual attention and working memory. The articles by De Fockert et al (2001), Veer et al (2017) and Downing (2000) also support my idea that working memory and attention are correlated. The process of attention starts when brain recalls what senses capture. To my knowledge, when a person focuses on a meal, the chemical sense of taste attempts to recognize all flavors, struggling to separate each component so as to say this taste like… When there is a need for attention from the visual system, he is supposed to recall the spatial location of shapes, colors, objects as well as movement and speed of things. However, the process turns out to be sophisticated when after watching something for some time; you have to respond to certain questions regarding those objects or their composition.

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Obviously, there are more aspects involved at the scene; a bit sophisticated will be to determine what you observed. For instance, during math class, students may have knowledge of performing different types of calculations. But they encounter problems with word problems. It is a bit hard to listen to clue words that show which operation to apply, while at the same time recalling the numbers that need to be plugged into the equation. Both professional and casual employees rely on both information stored and incoming to the working memory to carry out their duties. If they have poor working memory skills, they find it hard to juggle both making it challenging to follow multi-step directions. Selective attention helps one to focus on information so that he or she can work with it in working memory In conclusion, selective attention, while in most cases unconscious, is a powerful tool when carried out knowingly.

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