Marsh, John E., Hughes, Robert W. and Jones, Dylan M.
Interference by process, not content, determines semantic auditory distraction.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2008.08.003
Distraction by irrelevant background sound of visually-based cognitive tasks illustrates the vulnerability of attentional selectivity across modalities. Four experiments centred on auditory distraction during tests of memory for visually-presented semantic information. Meaningful irrelevant speech disrupted the free recall of semantic category-exemplars more than meaningless irrelevant sound (Experiment 1). This effect was exacerbated when the irrelevant speech was semantically related to the to-be-remembered material (Experiment 2). Importantly, however, these effects of meaningfulness and semantic relatedness were shown to arise only when instructions emphasized recall by category rather than by serial order (Experiments 3 and 4). The results favor a process-oriented, rather than a structural, approach to the breakdown of attentional selectivity and forgetting: performance is impaired by the similarity of process brought to bear on the relevant and irrelevant material, not the similarity in item content.
|Uncontrolled Keywords (separate with ;):||Auditory distraction; Semantic interference; Selective attention; Interference-by-process; Semantic-category clustering|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology|
|Schools:||School of Psychology|
|Deposited On:||15 Oct 2012 09:55|
|Last Modified:||20 Feb 2013 15:02|
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