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Discussion 2: Attention

Have you ever traveled a familiar route while so lost in thought that you barely experienced the details of the trip itself? Compare this to an experience in which you had to pay attention to a specific set of directions to get to a location you had never visited. How did the characteristics of each situation affect your experience? As these examples show, attention exerts important influence over perception.

Cultural and societal influences also affect attention. Consider DeGloma and Friedman’s (2005) example of “thieves and FBI agents [evading detection by posing] as garbage collectors” (p. 17). This strategy may work to conceal identity by leveraging societal views of blue-collar workers as people less worthy of attention. Because of the “invisibility” of such workers in the eyes of many, some may not register the existence of a unique personality within a uniform. 

In this Discussion, think about theories of attention as well as cultural and social variables. Consider the relationship between all of these factors and cognition.

Reference:
DeGloma, T., & Friedman, A. (2005). Thinking with socio-mental filters: Exploring the social structuring of attention and significance. Conference Papers––American Sociological Association, 1–24.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 4

Post a brief comparison of one early theory of attention to the Guided Search theory of attention. Then describe how these theories apply to visual search. Finally, describe one cultural and one social variable that might influence attention and explain how.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources