NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ831498
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
How Task Representations Guide Attention: Further Evidence for the Shielding Function of Task Sets
Dreisbach, Gesine; Haider, Hilde
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v35 n2 p477-486 Mar 2009
To pursue goal directed behavior, the cognitive system must be shielded against interference from irrelevant information. Aside from the online adjustment of cognitive control widely discussed in the literature, an additional mechanism of preventive goal shielding is suggested that circumvents irrelevant information from being processed in the first place. Participants had to react to 8 different words depicting clothing items that were presented in front of line drawings that could be either semantically related (clothes) or unrelated (animals with spatial orientation) to the target words. Participants either learned the stimulus-response (S-R) mappings by heart or used 1 task set (TS). In the S-R group, semantically related and unrelated distractors interfered with performance, whereas in the TS group, only semantically related distractors interfered, and unrelated distractors had no effect. It follows that task representations based on a general TS help to focus attention on relevant information, thereby preventing the processing of irrelevant information. (Contains 4 figures and 4 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 - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany