• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The book is well-organized and comprehensive in covering the essential material. The inclusion of human factors material is a strength that is not covered in other books. … The book is a balanced survey which will be of value to graduate students or anyone wanting to enter the field and needing a broad overview.”

–Steven Yantis, The Johns Hopkins University

My overall impression is that the authors have combined their expertise and experience in the classroom to provide a text that will clearly cover attention more completely and in a more coherent and less confusing manner than any other available text. … this is the best available text on the psychology of attention at the advanced undergraduate level.”

–Mark Faust, University of South Alabama

This text represents a strong review of the empirical and theoretical developments in attention work.”

–Tom Busey, Indiana University

A nice overview of the ‘classic’ work on attention, with up-to-date consideration of the literature, usefully bringing together some more applied literatures in which attention is a central construct…The scholarship seems comprehensive and up-to-date, and the authors do a nice job of presenting research in a fair and neutral manner.”

–Richard Carlson, Pennsylvania State University

The chapters present the material at a level appropriate for a first course on attention. The focus on providing a comprehensive treatment of the highlights of a variety of different topics related to attention is a strength.”

–Art Kramer, University of Illinois

Attention is one of the fastest growing research areas in cognitive psychology. In light of the growing importance of this topic, there are surprisingly few texts that provide a coherent overview of the field of attention. Authors Addie Johnson and Robert W. Proctor have written Attention: Theory and Practice for students, researchers, and practitioners who wish to gain insight into this area in a comprehensible and consistent manner.

Attention: Theory and Practice provides a balance between a readable overview of attention and an emphasis on how theories and paradigms for the study of attention have developed. The book highlights the important issues and major findings while giving sufficient details of experimental studies, models, and theories so that results and conclusions are easy to follow and evaluate. Rather than brushing over tricky technical details, the authors explain them clearly, giving readers the benefit of understanding the motivation for and techniques of the experiments in order to allow readers to think through results, models, and theories for themselves.

Features and benefits of this text:

Balanced. The book gives equal coverage to theory, experimental paradigms and results, neuropsychology, and applications; Adaptable. “Technical Boxes” isolate technical procedures and difficult models, which can be omitted without interrupting the flow of the chapters, allowing instructors to adjust the material to the level of their course; Pedagogical. The book includes brief chapter previews, chapter summaries, highlighted key words, an end-of-book glossary, and an abundance of figures and tables that enhance student understanding.

Attention is an accessible text for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in psychology, as well as an important resource for researchers and practitioners interested in gaining an overview of the field of attention.

Attention and Inhibition
Attention and inhibition

In most cases, attention is used to select information. When we “pay attention” to what we are doing, we actively attempt to attend to task-relevant information and to monitor our actions to be sure that appropriate responses are made. Equally important for successful task performance, however, is the shutting out of irrelevant information and the exclusion of inappropriate actions. In this chapter, we discuss the range of processes involved in suppressing irrelevant information and inhibiting inappropriate actions.

Like attention, inhibition is not a unitary construct. In some cases, inhibition operates at a subconscious level as an automatic countereffect of acts of selection. An example of this is inhibition of return to exogenously cued locations, which is seen when a target appearing ...

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