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ERIC Number: EJ1008674
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jun
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Blinded by Irrelevance: Pure Irrelevance Induced "Blindness"
Eitam, Baruch; Yeshurun, Yaffa; Hassan, Kinneret
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v39 n3 p611-615 Jun 2013
To what degree does our representation of the immediate world depend solely on its relevance to what we are currently doing? We examined whether relevance per se can cause "blindness," even when there is no resource limitation. In a novel paradigm, people looked at a colored circle surrounded by a differently colored ring--the task relevance of which was previously manipulated--and were subsequently asked to identify these colors. Whereas knowledge of the task-relevant color was near perfect, up to a quarter of the participants could not name the color of the irrelevant stimulus, even though a control experiment indicated there were sufficient resources to process both stimuli. The results are a first demonstration of blindness when mental resources are clearly available and challenge attentional theories predicting strong selection only when resources are taxed. (Contains 2 figures and 6 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A