Controlled and automatic human information processing: Perceptual learning, automatic attending, and a general theory

Psychological Review 84 (2):128-90 (1977)
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Abstract

Tested the 2-process theory of detection, search, and attention presented by the current authors in a series of experiments. The studies demonstrate the qualitative difference between 2 modes of information processing: automatic detection and controlled search; trace the course of the learning of automatic detection, of categories, and of automatic-attention responses; and show the dependence of automatic detection on attending responses and demonstrate how such responses interrupt controlled processing and interfere with the focusing of attention. The learning of categories is shown to improve controlled search performance. A general framework for human information processing is proposed. The framework emphasizes the roles of automatic and controlled processing. The theory is compared to and contrasted with extant models of search and attention

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