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Melinda S. Jensen, Daniel J. Simons; Blind, Blinder, Blindest: Individual differences in change blindness and inattentional blindness. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):192. doi: 10.1167/10.7.192.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Research on change blindness and inattentional blindness has explored why and when failures of visual awareness occur, but few studies have examined who is most susceptible to failures of awareness. Although a few studies have shown group differences in the detection of changes and unexpected events, most have focused solely on how scene content influences detection for groups with special interests rather than on more global individual differences. Here we explored whether individual differences in perception, attention, cognitive style, and personality predict change blindness and inattentional blindness. Participants completed a battery of change blindness, inattentional blindness, perceptual, and personality measures, including both incidental and intentional tests of visual awareness. A variety of personality measures, including factors related to effort, amiability, intelligence, and speed covaried with performance on basic measures of attention and perception as well as with change detection performance. Most of these individual differences in personality appear to influence the strategies people are likely to use when performing the tasks. Interestingly, the pattern of predictors for intentional change detection tasks differed from that for unexpected changes in incidental change detection and for unexpected objects in an inattentional blindness task. For example, better functional field of view is associated with more efficient intentional search for change, but not with the detection of unexpected visual events. Performance on a flicker change detection task was unrelated to the likelihood of noticing unexpected objects or changes. These findings are consistent with the idea that individual differences in perceptual and attentional abilities do not predict detection of unexpected events. We consider how individual differences in personality interact with the task demands for intentional and incidental tasks to predict who will notice expected and unexpected visual events.
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