HPS301 Psychology Research Methods

HPS301 Psychology Research Methods

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HPS301 Psychology Research Methods

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HPS301 Psychology Research Methods

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Course Code: HPS301
University: Deakin University

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Country: Australia

Write a Brief Lab Report based on One of the Experiments run on Attentional Blink and Mindfulness.

Participants-The sample for this experiment comprised 85 introductory students with age ranging between 19 and 52 years who finished experimental tasks on the classroom computers as a component of an in-class task (62, 72.9% Females, Mage=24.9 years, Age SD = 7.14, 21, 24.7% Males, Mage=24.9 years, Age SD=7.14 and 2 (2.4%) participants not specified. The control group comprised 34 (40%) participants and the experimental group had 51 (60%) participants.
All the prospective subjects were informed effectively that in-class activity was optional and they had an option to choose to participate. The interested subjects gave informed consent and every experiment procedure got approval by UNSSW Ethics Committee. The subjects per individual testing session comprising up to eight students were assigned randomly to same condition yielding 34 participants in control group and 51 participants in experimental group.
The manipulation of mindfulness took place and the attentional blindness was measured using a standardized task. The participants completed a task of inattentional blindness. The 19 letters moved around in sequence the screen of the computer as the new one overwriting its predecessor. The subject were asked to judge whether letter K and J bounced on the edge of the screen or were in the sequence. After completing the task, subjects reported number of bounces. The subjects were also asked whether they observed unexpected or unusual thing during the task.    
The experimental design was used in this study to determine the effects of mindfulness on attentional blink. The experiment was based on the CogLab 2.0 Online Library. It was appropriate for this study as it provided students and instructors the opportunity to partake as subjects in the classic experiment of the cognitive psychology. The updated version on CD-ROM provided the best opportunity to complete the experiment even in the absence of Internet connection or web browser.
The CD-ROM permitted the students to merge and calculate class average of data generated. Several letters are indicated in swift succession with individual letter overwriting initial letter. The students in the experimental group were required to watch the whole sequence and subsequently indicate whether some target letters within the sequence. The sequence were carefully constructed to systematically vary temporal separation between two target letters J and K. A sequence of JXTVRK placed K 5 letter-spaces beyond J.
On individual trial of the experiment, a sequence of nineteen letters was presented, with each new letter overwriting the initial letter. Individual letter was presented for solely a hundred milliseconds. The task of the participant was to make a judgment on whether the letters J or K were within the above sequence. The independent variable for the experiment was the temporal separation of the above letters. On the same trial, a K could have succeeded J with solely one letter in between. On the other trial, a J could have succeeded a K with 5 letters in between. One certain trials solely a J or a K was presented.  
An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) test was first conducted to examine the main effect of mindfulness condition on ability to detect the first target, regardless of target position. Results indicated that participants in the mindfulness condition were not significantly more likely to detect the first target stimulus when compared to the control condition, F (1, 83) = .183, p = .670.
Analyses then examined differences between the conditions for each position of the second target to determine the impact of mindfulness on attentional blink. No significant differences were found between the groups. Further regression analyses then examined the impact of age and gender on performance. No effect for age or gender was found for ability to detect the first target.
However, age was significantly associated with ability to detect the second target when the separation was zero (B = .37, SE = .15, p = .015) and two (B = .58, SE = .18, p = .001) such that older age was associated with better performance across both conditions. No difference in performance was found based on tutorial group allocation. Means and standard deviations for rate of target detection across groups are presented in Table 1.
Table 1.          
Target detection rate, by condition.


Control condition,
M(SD), N=34

Mindfulness condition,
M(SD), N=51

Target detection – First target (%)



Target detection – Second target



Separation 0 (%)



Separation 2 (%)



Separation 4 (%)



Separation 6 (%)



Separation 8 (%)



People are usually unconscious of what is observable before them. Simon & Chabris (1999) classic research unearthed that when participants were queried to count passes between basketball players, several subject failed to notice an individual in a gorilla suit walking through the middle of the game. These failures of declarative awareness are dubbed inattentional blindness (IB). These failures often happen when unexpected stimuli is presented in the course of goal-directed activities. Such visual awareness failures have significant real-life consequences (Malinowski et al., 2015).
The prominent outcome was that the second letter target identification remained extremely low when it swiftly follows first target letter. As the temporal separation rises, the second letter identification enhances. The above result suggest that when the viewer sees the first target letter, he has to attend to it to make sure that it will be recollected later. The focusing of attention to such a letter clearly needs time, and when the second target letter appears during the same time, it is never attended and hence unreported. By viewing at acknowledgement of the second letter as a function of separation, the time needed for focusing and breaking attention for stimulus can be estimated.    
Chabris et al (2011) study discovered that several subjects failed to notice a physical assault taking place nearby due to the risk of IB. A single applicant protective variable of a mindful state. Mindfulness describes the capacity to monitor both sensory and perceptual stimuli along with experiences, moment-by-moment within a non-judgmental way.
Mindfulness is inducible or trainable utilizing simple awareness exercises like mindfully eating raisins, mediation practices of mindfulness, and programs of interventions like MBSR program. A fundamental characteristic of such mindfulness-boosting practices is their emphasis on nurturing greater attention to as well as awareness towards ongoing sensory along with perceptual stimuli as well as experiences.
The capacity development for non-judgmental monitoring of experience assists to distinguish mindfulness from the rest of attention training. In fact, latest studies are suggestive that a capacity for monitoring internal as well as external experience in the course of mindfulness meditation training enhance behavioural attention measures. The briefer induction for example, improve attentional abilities relative to passive control conditions through instructions to attend to as well as engage with the given task (Schofield, Creswell & Denson, 2015).   
The following graph has been drawn to showcase whatever was being predicted and the rationale for such predictions. It indicates the percentage of times the participants detected the first as well as the second target letters as a function of their separation.
As shown in the above graph, it was discovered that the second target is detected more often with increasing separation. The second target letter’s curve slants up from the LHS to RHS. As shown in the graph, separation zero means that there was no second target, and hence the percentage reported was closer to zero as expected. It was also found that the detection of the first target letter remains relatively unaffected by the separation. This outcome is in support of the hypothesis that bringing attention to the first target distracts the detection of the second target letter but the reverse does not hold (Moore et al., 2012).
Even though this task undertaken in the experiment seems rather absurd, it remains quite analogous to tasks certain individuals have to undertake on their daily life. For example, in the airline industry, the pilot and controllers always attend to several diverse stimuli which alter features very swiftly (Mrazek et al., 2013). The temporal characteristics of attention unearthed via studies like this experiment assist in the development of more general attentional theories, with instantaneous applications to high-pressure contexts.
One needs to examine the robustness of this effect and the associated limitations. The attentional blink remains extremely robust. It is observable with a vast range of stimuli, not merely letters (Lippelt, Hommel & Colzato, 2014). The experiments relating to attentional blink experiments have been utilized when studying the effects of aging as well as Alzheimer’s disorders on attention (Fan et al., 2015).
As depicted in the above graph, the plots indicated the percentage of times the participants reported observing the first or the second of the target letters (different lines) within a stream as a function of the separation between letters. The separation of zero implies solely the first letter was actually exposed. The expected results is that the percentage of the reports for the first letter have no much variations with separation. For the second target letter, however, there needs to be few reports at the separation zero while the percentage of reports increasing with separation (Choisdealbha et al., 2017).   
The results indicate that a mindful state’s induction changes how distractor is processed while involved in primary task. The principle discovery from this experiment remains consistent with mindfulness raising monitoring of environment, and particularly implicate nurturing of better conscious awareness. Based on the above findings, it is suggested that merely characterizing mindfulness as enhancing attention could not perform any justice to nuances of its impacts (Asplund et al., 2014).
The application of the above findings are that mindfulness will improve the attentional blink and, hence, can help avoid collisions in driving simulations that are often associated with inattentional blindness. The driving behaviour can thus be improved when brief mindfulness interventions are applied in context of driving to boost the detectability of unexpected risks of collision (Slagter et al., 2016). 
Asplund, C. L., Fougnie, D., Zughni, S., Martin, J. W., & Marois, R. (2014). The attentional blink reveals the probabilistic nature of discrete conscious perception. Psychological science, 0956797613513810.
Choisdealbha, Á. N., Piech, R. M., Fuller, J. K., & Zald, D. H. (2017). Reaching back: the relative strength of the retroactive emotional attentional blink. Scientific Reports, 7.
Fan, Y., Tang, Y. Y., Tang, R., & Posner, M. I. (2015). Time course of conflict processing modulated by brief meditation training. Frontiers in psychology, 6, 911.
Lippelt, D. P., Hommel, B., & Colzato, L. S. (2014). Focused attention, open monitoring and loving kindness meditation: effects on attention, conflict monitoring, and creativity–A review. Frontiers in psychology, 5, 1083.
Malinowski, P., Moore, A. W., Mead, B. R., & Gruber, T. (2015). Mindful aging: the effects of regular brief mindfulness practice on electrophysiological markers of cognitive and affective processing in older adults. Mindfulness, 1-17.
 Moore, A. W., Gruber, T., Derose, J., & Malinowski, P. (2012). Regular, brief mindfulness meditation practice improves electrophysiological markers of attentional control. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 6, 18.
Mrazek, M. D., Franklin, M. S., Phillips, D. T., Baird, B., & Schooler, J. W. (2013). Mindfulness training improves working memory capacity and GRE performance while reducing mind wandering. Psychological science, 24(5), 776-781.
Schofield, T. P., Creswell, J. D., & Denson, T. F. (2015). Brief mindfulness induction reduces inattentional blindness. Consciousness and cognition, 37, 63-70.
Slagter, H. A., Lutz, A., Greischar, L. L., Francis, A. D., Nieuwenhuis, S., Davis, J. M., & Davidson, R. J. (2007). Mental training affects distribution of limited brain resources. PLoS Biol, 5(6), e138.
Slagter, H. A., van Wouwe, N. C., Kanoff, K., Grasman, R. P. P. P., Claassen, D. O., van den Wildenberg, W. P. M., & Wylie, S. A. (2016). Dopamine and temporal attention: An attentional blink study in Parkinson’s disease patients on and off medication. Neuropsychologia, 91, 407-414.
Tang, Y. Y., & Posner, M. I. (2009). Attention training and attention state training. Trends in cognitive sciences, 13(5), 222-227.

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