This article applies to:
Experiment Author: Johnston, W.A. and Schwarting, I.S., Adapted from STEP and used with permission of Brian MacWhinney
The experiment replicated here involves showing participants a set of 4-word arrays in different configurations. Then, they are shown the same arrays, arrays with one novel word, or arrays with all new words and asked to tell where a particular word was in the array. They tend to be better at localizing one novel word in an array than at localizing words in all-novel arrays, and their localization of familiar words suffers in an array with one novel word.
In this experiment participants are presented with four words arrayed in a pattern that parallels directional arrow keys. Four unique words appear in an array, one of which is a target word. These clear from the screen and all four positions of the array are replaced by the target word. Participants must then respond, using arrow keys on a keyboard, to determine where in the array the target word initially appeared. The duration of the word array varies between 50 milliseconds and 200 milliseconds.
Experiment display settings must be at 640x480 pixels,
Johnston, W.A. and Schwarting, I.S. (1996). Reassessing the Evidence for Novel Popout. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 125(2), 208-212.
Experiment Abstract or Original Experiment Abstract
J. Christie and R. Klein (1996) have reviewed some of our previously published evidence for novel popout (i.e., the possible attention-capturing power of unexpected or novel singletons in otherwise expected or familiar fields). They have questioned the reliability of some of the evidence and suggested that it, in any case, does not compel an attention-capture interpretation. In this rejoined, we bolster the evidence with more recent data and argue that Christie and Klein’s alternative interpretations are deficient on both empirical and theoretical grounds. However, we concede (a) that most of the evidence is not decisive with respect to whether the effects associated with novel popout reflect perceptual or retrieval (or both) biases toward novel singletons and (b) that innovative methodologies and converging lines of evidence could help resolve this issue.
Works Cited by the Experiment
Christie, J., & Klein, R. (1994). Novel popout: The true story. Paper presented at the 35th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, St. Louis, MO.
Christie, J., & Klein, R. (1995). Familiarity and attention: Does what we know affect what we notice? Memory & Cognition, 23, 547-550.
Christie, J. & Klein, R. (1996). Assessing the evidence for novel popout. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 125, 201-207.
Folk, C.L., Remington, R.W., & Johnston, J.C. (1993). Contingent attentional capture: a reply to Yantis (1993). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 19, 676-681.
Hawley, K.J., Johnston, W.A., & Farnham, J.M. (1994). Novel popout with nonsense string: Effects of object length and spatial predictability. Perception and Psychophysics, 55, 261-268.
James, W. (1890/1950). The principles of psychology. New York: Dover.
Johnston, W.A., & Dark, V.J. (1986). Selective attention. Annual Review of Psychology, 37, 43-75.
Johnston, W.A., & Hawley, K.J. (1994). Perceptual inhibition of expected inputs: The key that opens closed minds. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 1, 56-72.
Johnston, W.A., & Hawley, K.J., & Farnham, J.M. (1993). Novel popout: Empirical boundaries and tentative theory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 19, 140-153.
Johnston, W.A., Hawley, K.J., Plewe, S.H., Elliott, J.M.G., & DeWitt, M.J. (1990). Attention capture by novel stimuli. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 119, 397-411.
Johnston, W.A., & Schwarting, I.S. (1997). Novel popout: An enigma for conventional theories of attention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 23, 622-631.
Johnston, W.A., Schwarting, I.S., & Hawley, K.J. (1996). Novel popout, perceptual inhibition, and the stability/plasticity dilemma. In A.F. Kramer, M.G.H. Coles, & G.D. Logan (Eds.), Converging operations in the study of visual selective attention (pp. 315-335). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Navon, D. (1984). Resources -- A theoretical soup stone? Psychological Review, 91, 216-234.
Schwarting, I.S., Wilson-Leff, C., Malley, G.B., Strayer, D.L., & Johnston, W.A. (1994, May). ERP indices of novel popout. In Converging operations in the study of visual selective attention. Poster session presented at the Symposium in Honor of Charles Erikson, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL.
Yantis, S. (1993). Stimulus driven attentional capture and attentional control settings. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 19, 682-685.