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Attention and PerceptionPrior to completing this assignment, please read Chapter 3 carefully. View the video The Study of Attention (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., and review the article “Driven to Distraction: Dual-Task Studies of Simulated Driving and Conversing on a Cellular Telephone.” Then complete the following experiments:StroopSelective AttentionAmbiguous FiguresMuller-LyerAttention in its different forms (e.g., selective attention, divided attention, etc.) and perception are both essential aspects of cognition. The goal of this assignment is to introduce you to the topics of attention and perception and the procedures used to study them. Keep in mind that each experiment illustrates a procedure or task that is used by scientists to understand attention and/or perception.Your paper must begin with an introduction to the topic and must address the four bullet points below. In your paper,Reflect on your experience as the subject in the experiments—did your performance surprise you? Why or why not?Describe what your performance on the selected task tells you about attention and perception.Describe the extent to which the results of each experiment or procedure apply to real-life experiences and settings. Support your points with evidence from at least one peer-reviewed research article.The Attention and Perception Paper Must be at least 2 doubles spaced pages And at least one scholarly reference.
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PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE
Research Article
DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION:
Dual-Task Studies of Simulated Driving and Conversing on a
Cellular Telephone
David L. Strayer and William A. Johnston
University of Utah
The use of cellular telephones has skyrocketed in recent years,
with 116 million subscribers in the United States as of June 1, 2001
(Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, 2001). This increase in cell-phone users has been accompanied by an increase in the
number of individuals concurrently driving and talking on the cell
phone. For example, recent surveys indicate that 85% of cell-phone
owners use their phone at least occasionally while driving, and 27%
report using their phones on half of their trips (Goodman, Bents, et al.,
1999; Goodman, Tijerina, Bents, & Wierwille, 1999). The precise effects of cell-phone use on public safety are unknown; however, driver
inattention and other human error have been linked to as much as 50%
of the motor-vehicle accidents on U.S. highways (U.S. Department of
Transportation, 1998). Because of the possible increase in risks associated with the use of cell phones while driving, several legislative efforts have been made to restrict cell-phone use on the road. In fact, the
use of cellular phones while driving is currently restricted in at least
nine countries (Goodman, Bents, et. al., 1999; Goodman, Tijerina, et
al., 1999). In most cases, the legislation regarding cell phones and
driving makes the tacit assumption that the source of any interference
from cell-phone use is due to peripheral factors such as dialing and
holding the phone while conversing. Among other things, this report
evaluates the validity of this assumption.
One source of evidence concerning the association between cellphone use and motor-vehicle accidents comes from a report by Redelmeier and Tibshirani (1997). In this study, the cellular-phone
records of 699 individuals involved in motor-vehicle accidents were
evaluated. It was found that 24% of these individuals were using their
cell phone within the 10-min period preceding the accident. The authors claimed that cell-phone use was associated with a fourfold in-
crease in the likelihood of getting into an accident, and that this
increased risk was comparable to that found for driving with a blood
alcohol level above the legal limit. In addition, these authors found no
reliable safety advantages for those individuals who used a hands-free
cellular device. The authors concluded that the interference associated
with cell-phone use was due to attentional factors rather than to peripheral factors such as holding the phone.
The field studies of Redelmeier and Tibshirani (1997) establish a
correlation between cell-phone use and motor-vehicle accidents, but
they do not necessarily imply that use of cell phones causes an increase
in accident rates. There may be self-selection factors creating an association between cell-phone use and accidents. For example, people
who drive and use their cell phone may be more likely to engage in
risky behavior, and this increase in risk taking may underlie the correlation. Similarly, being in a highly emotional state may increase one’s
likelihood of driving erratically and may also increase one’s likelihood
of talking on the cell phone. In order to assess the possible causal relationship between cell-phone use and automobile accidents, carefully
controlled experiments, such as the ones described in this report, are
needed.
Prior research has established that the manual manipulation of
equipment (e.g., dialing the phone, answering the phone, adjusting the
radio) has a negative impact on driving (e.g., Briem & Hedman, 1995;
Brookhuis, De Vries, & De Waard, 1991). However, the effects of a
phone conversation itself on driving are not as well understood, despite
the fact that the duration of a typical phone conversation may be up to
two orders of magnitude greater than the time required to dial or answer the phone (Goodman, Bents, et al., 1999; Goodman, Tijerina, et
al., 1999). Briem and Hedman (1995) found that simple phone conversations did not adversely affect the ability to maintain road position.
However, several studies using cell phones have found that working
memory tasks (Alm & Nilsson, 1995; Briem & Hedman, 1995), mental
arithmetic tasks (McKnight & McKnight, 1993), and reasoning tasks
(Brown, Tickner, & Simmonds, 1969) disrupt simulated-driving performance. Although these earlier studies provide an important piece of
the puzzle, the nature of many of these phone tasks differs considerably
from the typical cell-phone conversation.1
In the current research, we focused on the cell-phone conversation,
because it comprises the bulk of the time engaged in this dual-task
pairing. We sought to determine the extent to which cell-phone conversations might interfere with driving and, if they do interfere with
driving, to determine the precise nature of the interference. In particular, the peripheral-interference hypothesis, tacitly endorsed by the majority of legislative initiatives on the topic, attributes any interference
from cell phones to peripheral factors such as holding the phone while
Address correspondence to David Strayer, Department of Psychology, 380
S. 1530 E., Room 502, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0251;
e-mail: strayer@psych.utah.edu.
1. Interestingly, Radeborg, Briem, and Hedman (1999) provided evidence
that suggests driving is also likely to disrupt the cell-phone conversation, implying that the dual-task interference is bi-directional.
Abstract—Dual-task studies assessed the effects of cellular-phone
conversations on performance of a simulated driving task. Performance was not disrupted by listening to radio broadcasts or listening
to a book on tape. Nor was it disrupted by a continuous shadowing
task using a handheld phone, ruling out, in this case, dual-task interpretations associated with holding the phone, listening, or speaking.
However, significant interference was observed in a word-generation
variant of the shadowing task, and this deficit increased with the difficulty of driving. Moreover, unconstrained conversations using either a
handheld or a hands-free cell phone resulted in a twofold increase in
the failure to detect simulated traffic signals and slower reactions to
those signals that were detected. We suggest that cellular-phone use
disrupts performance by diverting attention to an engaging cognitive
context other than the one immediately associated with driving.
462
Copyright © 2001 American Psychological Society
VOL. 12, NO. 6, NOVEMBER 2001
PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE
David L. Strayer and William A. Johnston
conversing. By contrast, the attentional hypothesis attributes any interference to the diversion of attention from driving to the phone conversation itself.
EXPERIMENT 1
Our first study was designed to contrast the effects of handheld and
hands-free cell-phone conversations on a simulated-driving task (viz.,
pursuit tracking). We also included a control group who listened to the
radio while performing the simulated-driving task. As participants
performed the simulated-driving task, occasional red and green lights
flashed on the computer display. If participants saw a green light, they
were instructed to continue. However, if a red light was presented,
they were to make a braking response as quickly as possible. The redlight/green-light manipulation was included to determine how quickly
participants could react to the red light, as well as to determine the
probability of failing to detect these simulated traffic signals, under
the assumption that slowed reaction time to traffic signals and failure
to notice them would contribute significantly to any increase in the
risks associated with driving and using a cell phone.
Salt Lake City Olympic Committee bribery scandal (conversations were
counterbalanced across participants). The confederate was seated in a
different room than the participant and did not know whether the participant was using a handheld or hands-free phone. The confederate’s
task was to facilitate the conversation and also to ensure that the participant listened and spoke in approximately equal proportions during
the dual-task phase. Throughout the phone conversation, the computer
recorded when the participant was talking and when the participant
was listening to the confederate. Participants in the radio control
group listened to a radio broadcast of their choosing during the dualtask portion of the experiment.
Results and Discussion
Figure 1a presents the probability of missing simulated traffic signals. Overall, miss rates were low; however, the probability of a miss
more than doubled when participants were engaged in conversations
on the cell phone. In the figure, the data for the two cell-phone groups
(hands-free and handheld) are collapsed because a preliminary analysis indicated that there were no reliable differences between these
groups, F(1, 30)  0.06, p  .80. A one-way analysis of variance
Method
Participants
Forty-eight undergraduates (24 male, 24 female) from the University of Utah participated in the experiment. They ranged in age from
18 to 30, with an average age of 21.3. All had normal or corrected-tonormal vision and received a perfect score on the Ishihara color blindness test (Ishihara, 1993). Participants were randomly assigned to the
three groups: radio control, handheld phone, and hands-free phone.
Stimuli and apparatus
Participants performed a pursuit tracking task in which they used a
joystick to maneuver the cursor on a computer display to keep it
aligned as closely as possible to a moving target. The target position
was updated every 33 ms and was determined by the sum of three sine
waves (0.07 Hz, 0.15 Hz, and 0.23 Hz). The target movement was
smooth and continuous, yet essentially unpredictable. At intervals
ranging from 10 to 20 s (M  15 s), the target flashed red or green,
and participants were instructed to press a “brake button” located in
the thumb position on top of the joystick as rapidly as possible when
they detected the red light. Red and green lights were equiprobable
and were presented in an unpredictable order.
Procedure
The study consisted of three phases. The first phase was a warm-up
interval that lasted 7 min and was used to acquaint participants with
the tracking task. The second phase was the single-task portion of the
study and comprised the 7.5-min segments immediately preceding and
immediately following the dual-task portion of the study. During the
single-task phase, participants performed the tracking task by itself.
The third phase was the dual-task portion of the study, lasting 15 min.
The dual-task condition required the participants to engage in a conversation with a confederate (or listen to a radio broadcast of their
choosing) while concurrently performing the tracking task.
Participants in the phone-conversation groups were asked to discuss either the then-ongoing Clinton presidential impeachment or the
VOL. 12, NO. 6, NOVEMBER 2001
Fig. 1. Probability of missing the simulated traffic signals (a) and
mean reaction time to the simulated traffic signals (b) in single- and
dual-task conditions in Experiment 1.
463
PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE
Driven to Distraction
(ANOVA) indicated that the probability of missing red lights increased from single- to dual-task conditions for the combined cellphone group, F(1, 30)  8.8, p  .01. By contrast, the difference between single- and dual-task conditions was not reliable for the radio
control group, F(1, 15)  0.64, p  .44.
The reaction time to the simulated traffic signals is presented in
Figure 1b. As with the miss data, the data for the two cell-phone
groups (handheld and hands-free) were collapsed because preliminary
analyses indicated that there were no reliable differences between
these groups, F(1, 30)  0.01, p  .90. A one-way ANOVA revealed
that participants in the combined cell-phone group responded more
slowly in the dual-task condition than in the single-task condition,
F(1, 30)  28.9, p  .01. A subsidiary analysis of this combined
group found that the disruptive effects of the phone conversation were
greater when participants were talking than when they were listening to the confederate, although both dual-task deficits were reliable,
F(2, 60)  19.8, p  .01.2 There again was no indication of a dualtask decrement for the radio control group. Indeed, there was a tendency for reaction time to decrease in the dual-task condition for this
group, F(1, 15)  3.2, p  .09.
These data are important because they demonstrate that the phone
conversation itself resulted in significant slowing in response to simulated traffic signals, as well as an increase in the probability of missing
these signals. Moreover, the fact that handheld and hands-free cell
phones resulted in equivalent dual-task deficits indicates that the interference was not due to peripheral factors such as holding the phone
while conversing. These data are also consistent with the studies reporting no reliable performance differences between participants using handheld and hands-free cell phones (Redelmeier & Tibshirani,
1997).
Additional Control Condition
There were no dual-task decrements associated with listening to
radio broadcasts in Experiment 1. Although this control condition
mimicked real-world situations, the broadcasts involved a mixture of
music and speech, and we did not assess how well participants attended to this material. Therefore, we ran an additional control condition in which participants listened to a selected passage from a book
on tape during the dual-task portion of the study. Participants were informed that at the completion of the study they would be asked a series of questions about the book on tape. Only participants who
received scores of at least 90% on this posttest were included in the
subsequent analyses. Thus, the book-on-tape control condition was
specifically designed to ensure that participants attended to the verbal
material in the dual-task portion of the study.
Method
Twenty undergraduates (10 male and 10 female) from the University of Utah participated. They ranged in age from 18 to 30, with a
mean age of 20.8. All had normal or corrected-to-normal vision and
received a perfect score on the Ishihara color blindness test (Ishihara,
1993).
2. Miss rates were also greater when participants were speaking than when
they were listening; however, this trend was not reliable.
464
The procedure was identical to that used for the radio control condition, with the exception that participants listened to selected portions
from a book on tape (Brokaw, 1998) during the dual-task phase of the
experiment. At the end of the study, participants completed a 10-item
multiple-choice questionnaire to assess the degree to which they had
attended to the verbal material from the book on tape. Four participants who failed to score at least 90% on the posttest were omitted
from subsequent analyses, resulting in a sample of 16 participants who
clearly attended to the book on tape.
Results and discussion
Results were similar to those for the radio control condition: There
was no difference between the single- and dual-task conditions either
in the rate of missing simulated traffic signals (.017 vs. .026, respectively), F(1, 15)  0.77, p  .39, or in the reaction time to these signals (541 ms vs. 537 ms, respectively), F(1, 15)  0.12, p  .73.
Thus, listening to a book on tape did not result in significant impairment on the simulated-driving task. These findings are important because they rule out interpretations that attribute the dual-task deficits
associated with a cell-phone conversation to simply attending to verbal material. Active engagement in the cell-phone conversation appears to be necessary to produce the dual-task interference observed in
Experiment 1.
Subsidiary analyses were also performed on the dual-task/singletask difference scores for the cell-phone and control groups. In these
analyses, the radio and book-on-tape control groups were combined,
because preliminary analyses revealed that these groups did not differ
significantly from each other (all ps  .30). Indeed, the planned comparisons reported earlier indicated that neither control group exhibited
reliable dual-task decrements. The aggregated data were analyzed using a 2 (group: cell phone vs. control)  2 (task: single vs. dual) splitplot ANOVA. Analysis of the difference scores revealed that the increase in miss rates from single- to dual-task conditions was greater
for the cell-phone group than for the control group, F(1, 62)  4.97,
p  .05, and that the increase in reaction time from single- to dualtask conditions was greater for the cell-phone group than for the control group, F(1, 62)  29.9, p  .01. Finally, an analysis of covariance
indicated that neither gender nor age contributed to the group differences reported in this experiment (all ps  .30).
EXPERIMENT 2
In our second study, we attempted to more specifically localize the
source of cell-phone interference on driving. Participants performed
the simulated-driving task on both an easy, predictable course and a
difficult, unpredictable course. After a warm-up phase acquainting
participants with the simulator, they performed each course in singletask mode as well as in two dual-task conditions involving the use of a
cell phone. One of the dual-task conditions was a shadowing task in
which the participants performed the simulated-driving task while
they repeated words that the experimenter read to them over a handheld cell phone. Thus, the shadowing dual-task condition assessed the
contribution of holding the phone, listening, and speaking to the dualtask performance deficits. The other dual-task condition was a wordgeneration task that was identical to the shadowing task with the exception that the participant was required to generate a new word that
began with the last letter of the word read by the experimenter. For example, if the experimenter read the word “molar,” the participant was
VOL. 12, NO. 6, NOVEMBER 2001
PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE
David L. Strayer and William A. Johnston
required to generate a word that began with the letter r (e.g., “robot”).
Note that the only difference between the two dual-task conditions
was the attentional demands imposed by the word-generation process.
In this study, we measured the deviations from the ideal tracking position under the assumption that deviations in tracking would contribute
significantly to any increase in the risks associated with driving while
using a cell phone.
Method
Participants
Twenty-four undergraduates (12 male and 12 female) from the
University of Utah participated in the experiment. They ranged in age
from 18 to 26, with an average age of 20.5. All had normal or corrected-to-normal vision and received a perfect score on the Ishihara
color blindness test (Ishihara, 1993).
Stimuli and apparatus
In the easy course, the position of the target was determined by a
0.035-Hz sine wave. In the difficult course, the target position was determined using the same algorithm as in Experiment 1; however, the
red-light/green-light manipulation from the first study was not included in this variant of the tracking task, because we found that responding to the simulated traffic signals added substantial noise to the
tracking data.
Procedure
Participants performed a pursuit tracking task similar to that used
in the first study. The easy and difficult conditions were blocked in
counterbalanced order, and the order of single- and dual-task conditions was counterbalanced within each level of course difficulty. In
both dual-task conditions, the experimenter read four- and five-letter
words to the participant at a rate of one word every 3 s. The word lists
used in the experiment were counterbalanced across participants and
conditions.
Results and Discussion
Figur …
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