ERIC Number: ED406013
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Attention-Sharing in Middle Childhood: An Analysis of Performance Operating Characteristics.
Irwin, Holly M.; Burns, Barbara M.
Two experiments investigated developmental differences in attention allocation and attention-sharing in a dual-task paradigm using Performance Operating Characteristics (POC) as an innovative data analysis method. In Experiment 1, attention allocation was assessed. Two visual detection tasks were presented to 20 second- and 11 fifth-graders who indicated whether a target on each display was present or absent. Baselines of single-task performance were equated for each individual. After practice trials in which tasks were presented concurrently, subjects received instruction for each of five experimental conditions, which had different emphasis ratios. Accuracy was measured for 12 practice and 48 test trials. Experiment 2 assessed attention-sharing. Again, second- and fifth-graders participated. Procedures were identical to Experiment 1 except that baseline durations were obtained while both tasks were presented, participants received practice trials for the concurrent task before they performed baseline procedures, and only one emphasis ratio was employed. Results indicated that fifth graders could allocate their attention to different emphasis levels, but second-graders did not. Second-graders had a significantly slower baseline than fifth-graders. However, there was no age difference in attention-sharing. The POC analysis, which used performance functions in which performance on one task was plotted as a function of performance on a second task, allowed a more precise assertion of attention allocation and demonstrated the need to equate the baselines in developmental studies. (Contains 20 references.) (KDFB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A