NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ933751
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 62
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Dilution, Not Load, Affects Distractor Processing
Wilson, Daryl E.; Muroi, Miya; MacLeod, Colin M.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v37 n2 p319-335 Apr 2011
Lavie and Tsal (1994) proposed that spare attentional capacity is allocated involuntarily to the processing of irrelevant stimuli, thereby enabling interference. Under this view, when task demands increase, spare capacity should decrease and distractor interference should decrease. In support, Lavie and Cox (1997) found that increasing perceptual load by increasing search set size decreased interference from an irrelevant distractor. In three experiments, we manipulated the cue set size (number of cued locations) independently of the display set size (number of letters presented). Increasing the display set size reduced distractor interference regardless of whether the additional letters were relevant to the task. In contrast, increasing the cue set size increased distractor interference. Both findings are inconsistent with the load explanation, but are consistent with a proposed two-stage dilution account. (Contains 1 footnote, 6 tables, and 3 figures.)
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: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada (Toronto)