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Cognitive Theories Of Selective Attention Essay

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Critically Discuss the Cognitive Theories of Selective Attention
Kingston University
K1313472

Critically Discuss the Cognitive Theories of Selective Attention

Attention is considered to be a core cognitive process, it refers to how people actively process specific information in the environment. Attention refers to how people select from information and stimuli in the environment, facilitating processing of some of the stimuli and inhibiting processing of others. "Everyone knows what attention is, it is the taking possession by the mind in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought...It implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others, and is a condition which has a real opposite in the confused, dazed, scatterbrained state. “This definition of attention was proposed by psychologist William James (1890). This review will focus on literature that gives explanation to selective attention. Selective attention refers to the process where a person is able to select out of many stimuli and focus on the one they want and ignore other stimuli.
The cocktail-party effect was investigated in early studies of selective attention. It was first described by Cherry (1953). It’s the observation that even in a noisy environment people are able to focus their attention on who is talking to them. Cherry (1953) investigated this phenomenon by conducting a series of dichotic listening and
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