October 2020
Volume 20, Issue 11
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   October 2020
Individual differences in visual attention: a short, reliable, open source, and multilingual test of multiple object tracking in PsychoPy
Author Affiliations
  • Hauke Meyerhoff
    Leibniz-Institut fuer Wissensmedien, Tuebingen, Germany
  • Frank Papenmeier
    University of Tuebingen, Germany
Journal of Vision October 2020, Vol.20, 854. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.854
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      Hauke Meyerhoff, Frank Papenmeier; Individual differences in visual attention: a short, reliable, open source, and multilingual test of multiple object tracking in PsychoPy. Journal of Vision 2020;20(11):854. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.854.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Individual differences in attentional abilities provide an interesting approach in studying visual attention as well as the relation of attention to other psychometric measures. However, recent research has demonstrated that many tasks from experimental research are not suitable for individual differences research as they fail to capture these differences reliably. Here, we provide a test for individual differences in visual attention which relies on the multiple object tracking task (MOT) which captures the efficiency of attentional deployment. Within the task, the participants have to maintain a set of targets (among identical distractors) across a brief interval of object motion. Importantly, this test was explicitly designed and tested for reliability under conditions that match those of most laboratory research (restricted sample of students, approximately n = 50). Test-retest reliability estimates revealed a high accordance in individual performances between two consecutive runs of the test (distinct sets of trials). For the full test (i.e. 15 min), we observed a reliability of r = .91. Nonetheless, reliability also remained high for shorter versions of the test (12 min: r = .87; 9 min: r = .83, 6 min: r = .81). In fact, even the shortest version of the test (i.e. 3 min) still revealed a reliability estimate of r = .69. The test is free to use and runs fully under open source software. In order to facilitate the application of the test, we have translated it into 16 common languages (Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish). Given the high reliability estimates, we hope that this MOT test supports researchers whose field of study requires capturing individual difference in visual attention.


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