Poster A27, Saturday, March 25, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
My rubbery neck: Attentional stickiness for self-relevant objects
Grace Truong1, Rebecca M. Todd1; 1University of British Columbia
How does an attentional bias towards self-relevant stimuli alter the cognitive processing of other stimuli? Previous research shows people may hold implicit attentional sets for objects that have been made self-relevant through ownership. The current study investigated whether such attentional prioritization for self-owned objects reduces limited attentional resources available for other stimuli. The attentional rubbernecking effect is characterized by an attenuated ability to report a second target (T2) in a rapidly presented series of stimuli when it closely follows an emotionally salient (relative to neutral) first target (T1), indicating greater capture of resources by T1 at the expense of T2. Here participants memorized arbitrarily assigned ownership statuses of 24 objects (belonging to self or the experimenter), then performed an attentional rubbernecking task. In each trial, a series of pictures was rapidly presented with each containing one (self-owned or other-owned) owned object (T1) followed (at one of two possible lags) by a target picture that was rotated to the left or to the right (T2). Participants were probed about the identity of T1 and the rotation of T2. Accuracy for T2 rotation following correct T1 identification was assessed. Performance was higher for the longer lag relative to the shorter lag. Crucially, preliminary evidence showed that self-ownership impaired performance on T2 rotation accuracy at the shorter lag. This evidence suggests that self-relevance rapidly captures and holds attention to the detriment of other elements in the environment. The current work highlights the unique position self-relevance holds in the hierarchy of sources of prioritization.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Self perception