Compare and Contrast Cherry's, Moray's and Treisman's Model of Selective Attention. How Could a 2 Step Model Account for Their Findings.

Short-term memory , Cocktail party effect , Atkinson–Shiffrin memory model

Cherry's notion of selective attention explains how people follow what they want to hear in spite of several distractions. He refers to this phenomenon as the cocktail party effect. He studied this in a laboratory controlled experiment using the shadowing technique. An auditory message was presented to one ear of the participants over headphones whilst a simultaneous distractor message was presented to the other ear. The participants had to 'shadow', i.e, ignore the distractor message while repeating the other message. He observed that participants did that task remarkable. When asked about the distractor message, they could only verbally report on the physical features of the irrelevant message such as gender of the speaker or change in tone. However, when the language of the unattended message was changed, the participants could not notice this. This type of message presentation, i.e., two different message at the same time is called dichotic presentation. Binaural presentation in the other hand is the presentation of the same two messages to both ears. When this was tested, Cherry found that the participants could not shadow one message contrary to the dichotic presentation. The conclusion is that unattended message receives minimal processing. Cherry showed that attention can be focused at one thing only. Every other distractions in the entourage is processed to a minimal for us not. If our brain was like a vacuum, accumulating all that the environment provides us, our brain would go haywire, not knowing what is important. In other words, Cherry showed we control the brain to listen to what we want to listen and not to everything that is present. Although Cherry's article presented an interesting new technique for experimenting with attention, and suggested a connection between focused attention and the physical features of material that was being attended to, it did not attempt an explanation of his results. As a result, later research that made use of...
tracking img