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ERIC Number: EJ889617
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-1076-898X
High or Low Target Prevalence Increases the Dual-Target Cost in Visual Search
Menneer, Tamaryn; Donnelly, Nick; Godwin, Hayward J.; Cave, Kyle R.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, v16 n2 p133-144 Jun 2010
Previous studies have demonstrated a dual-target cost in visual search. In the current study, the relationship between search for one and search for two targets was investigated to examine the effects of target prevalence and practice. Color-shape conjunction stimuli were used with response time, accuracy and signal detection measures. Performance was lower in dual-target search compared with the combined performance for two independent single-target searches. The cost in response time slope disappeared with practice, but the cost in accuracy remained. Sensitivity was lower and the decision criterion more conservative in dual-target search than in single-target searches, suggesting that the representation of the target was less effective in dual-target search than in single-target search. Manipulation of target prevalence induced a bias in favor of the more likely correct response: target-present responses were likely under high target prevalence and target-absent responses were likely under low target prevalence. The prevalence effect was greater in dual-target search than single-target search, causing the dual-target cost to be larger under target prevalences that differed from 50%. These findings are important for applied tasks in which targets appear rarely and can differ from each other. For example, the low target prevalence in X-ray security searches may magnify the dual-target cost implicated in previous research with X-ray images (see Menneer, Cave, & Donnelly, 2009). Such a result would increase the need for security personnel to consider alternatives to dual-target search, such as specialization in detecting one target type or training to encourage independent searches for each target. (Contains 9 figures and 3 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A