We have become used to talk about attention in terms of the forces that act on it. We may say that the sound or sight of a Twitter notification ‘pulled’ our attention away from our work. Or we might be ‘glued’ to a captivating story in a book. The Posner cueing task measures how attention is pulled across our visual field even when our eyes remain fixated.
In the visual search task participants need to find a target in a scene of distractors. The target has a particular shape and colour (like a red triangle 🔺 ) that has to be spotted in among distractors that have could share some or all of its properties. The experiment is designed to show the difference between fast ‘parallel’ and slow ‘conjunctive’ visual search.
The Stroop effect is probably one of the most widely known psychological phenomena and one of the first things that psychology undergraduates encounter in their studies. Most commonly the Stroop effect describes the difficulty to name the font color of a word, if that word itself names a different color.
The Flanker task was originally described by Eriksen & Eriksen (1974) as a test of the participants’ ability to inhibit conflicting but irrelevant information using a simple experimental paradigm.
The Go/No-go task is a simple experimental paradigm that requires participants to respond by pressing a button when they see a go-signal, and not respond when they see the no-go signal.
The attentional blink can be tested using Rapid serial presentation of visual stimuli, where stimuli are shown sequentially at very short presentation times, usually around 15-75 milliseconds.
The SNARC effect can be observed in a range of tasks that require participants to respond to numbers using both hands. Our example experiment is an odd/even judgement task. It simply requires participants to indicate whether the number shown on screen is odd or even.