Seeing people, seeing things: Individual differences in selective attention

Miranda M McIntyre, Purdue University


Individuals differ in the extent to which they attend to their physical and social environments, but little empirical work has measured these differences at a cognitive level. To address this gap, two studies explored the association between attentional processes and Person and Thing Orientations. The first study measured visual selective attention toward person- and thing-related image components. In the second study, participants provided written responses about a set of images; linguistic analyses were conducted to assess attentional bias toward interest-congruent content. The results from both studies support motivated attention as a process through which interests in physical and social environments operate. Implications for both the theory and applications of Person and Thing Orientations are discussed.




Graziano, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Social psychology|Personality psychology|Cognitive psychology

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