August 2010
Volume 10, Issue 7
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2010
Change Blindness: A Comparison of Selective Attention of Novice and Experienced Drivers
Author Affiliations
  • Andrew F. Osborn
    Psychology, Franklin & Marshall College
  • D. Alfred Owens
    Psychology, Franklin & Marshall College
Journal of Vision August 2010, Vol.10, 201. doi:
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      Andrew F. Osborn, D. Alfred Owens; Change Blindness: A Comparison of Selective Attention of Novice and Experienced Drivers. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):201.

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This study used a change blindness paradigm to investigate differences in selective attention between non-drivers (no driving experience), new drivers (one-year or less driving experience) and experienced drivers (three years or more driving experience). A modified flicker method used typical road scenes to test change blindness for stimuli of varying relevance to driving. Twelve photographs of common road scenes, which ranged in complexity from open rural roads to congested urban streets, were used to create 36 pairs of modified and unmodified road scenes. The changing elements were selected to include three levels of conspicuity and relevance to the driving task: relevant/conspicuous, relevant/inconspicuous and not relevant. The participants' task was to identify the manipulated element in each pair of road scenes within a 30 second time constraint. Analysis of variance showed a main effect in response time between experience groups, with non-drivers exhibiting significantly slower response times in detecting the element of modification compared to drivers with three years or more experience. The ANOVA also showed a significant main effect of salience category (relevance/conspicuity) on percent accuracy for correctly identified manipulated road scenes. There was no difference between experience groups in accuracy of identifications. These results indicate that non-drivers fixate different road elements compared to experienced drivers. These findings may provide preliminary insight as to why novice drivers are at a greater risk of causing a vehicular accident compared to experienced drivers.

Osborn, A. F. Owens, D. A. (2010). Change Blindness: A Comparison of Selective Attention of Novice and Experienced Drivers [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 10(7):201, 201a,, doi:10.1167/10.7.201. [CrossRef]
 Franklin & Marshall College Committee on Grants.

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