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The cognitive psychology of auditory distraction: the 1997 BPS Broadbent Lecture

Jones, Dylan Marc ORCID: 1999. The cognitive psychology of auditory distraction: the 1997 BPS Broadbent Lecture. British Journal of Psychology 90 (2) , pp. 167-187. 10.1348/000712699161314

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Recent research extending Broadbent's work on selective auditory attention is described through the medium of the irrelevant sound effect (the loss of efficiency when irrelevant sound is played during a serial short-term memory task). This breakdown of selective attention cannot be explained by interference at encoding, but rather as disruption following some obligatory entry of sound into memory. Within memory, interference does not arise as a result of the conflict between the contents of memory and the irrelevant sound, since neither phonological nor semantic similarity predicts its extent. Instead, the interference seems to be a product of the similarity in process - the degree of seriation - between rehearsal in short-term memory and the perceptual organization of the irrelevant sound. This type of breakdown in selectivity is likely to have relatively great practical impact, particularly since it is relatively insensitive to loudness and does not appear to diminish with repeated exposure.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: British Psychological Society
ISSN: 0007-1269
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 09:09

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