When goals conflict with values:Counterproductive attentional and oculomotor capture by reward-related stimuli

Le Pelley, M.E. and Pearson, D. and Griffiths, O. and Beesley, T. (2015) When goals conflict with values:Counterproductive attentional and oculomotor capture by reward-related stimuli. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 144 (1). pp. 158-171. ISSN 0096-3445

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Abstract

Attention provides the gateway to cognition, by selecting certain stimuli for further analysis. Recent research demonstrates that whether a stimulus captures attention is not determined solely by its physical properties, but is malleable, being influenced by our previous experience of rewards obtained by attending to that stimulus. Here we show that this influence of reward learning on attention extends to task-irrelevant stimuli. In a visual search task, certain stimuli signaled the magnitude of available reward, but reward delivery was not contingent on responding to those stimuli. Indeed, any attentional capture by these critical distractor stimuli led to a reduction in the reward obtained. Nevertheless, distractors signaling large reward produced greater attentional and oculomotor capture than those signaling small reward. This counterproductive capture by task-irrelevant stimuli is important because it demonstrates how external reward structures can produce patterns of behavior that conflict with task demands, and similar processes may underlie problematic behavior directed toward real-world rewards.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General
Additional Information:
cited By 37
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2800/2806
Subjects:
ID Code:
88041
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
06 Oct 2017 19:38
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
20 Sep 2020 04:25