Auswirkungen unbewusster Verarbeitung unter visueller (Un-)Aufmerksamkeit auf Entscheidungen, Verhalten und Präferenzen

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Our environment is incredibly complex. Human perception of this environment is structured by our attention and its contents are selected due to our limited capacity: Information within the focus of our attention are allocated more cognitive resources than information that are not within the focus of our attention. This process also leads to inconsistencies between the given conditions in our environment and our image of it. The present work deals with two different consequences of these selective processing mechanisms.
The first part of this synopsis examines the processing of stimuli that are located within our field of perception and vision but remain undetected due to inattention and are therefore not consciously observed. Most of the research on inattention has so far focused on the factors that influence whether or not a stimulus crosses the threshold of awareness. The present work, however, will examine the processing strength of those stimuli that stay below the threshold of awareness and their effects on both experience and behavior. A meta-analysis shows that stimuli which are undetected due to inattention are nevertheless processed to such an extent that they can influence the decision for certain stimulus characteristics. Even stimuli that are not consciously noticed because they are outside the focus of attention result in a behaviorally relevant degree of mental processing (Publication I). Two experiments show that perceptual load of stimuli within our attentional focus is no moderating factor for the processing strength of undiscovered stimuli; even under high perceptual load, undetected stimuli still have a significant effect on target reactions (publication II). Finally, a third study with three experiments investigates whether preconscious processing can have an influence on subjective preferences that goes beyond the influence on decision behavior already shown in the meta-analysis. The findings suggest that even repeated presentation and consequently multiple unconscious processing of stimuli does not induce subjective preferences for these previously unknown stimuli (publication III).
Perceptual biases resulting from attentional processes are not limited to stimuli that are outside the focus of our attention, but also affect those stimuli that fall right in the focus of attention. Increased mental processing of stimuli as a consequence of focused attention can lead to perceptual biases of these stimuli. In the second part of the synopsis, three experiments are looking at visual perceptual biases of stimuli within attentional focus which result from affect- induced motivational orientation. Despite a successful manipulation of motivational orientation by
emotional stimuli, we find no increased visual perceptual bias in the applied behavioral measures (publication IV).
The insights on the interaction of attention and perception within the context of unconscious processing, which were gained in this work are evaluated with respect to their limitations, and conclusions for future research and possible practical implications are drawn.
Original languageGerman
Place of PublicationKöln
PublisherDeutsche Sporthochschule Köln
Number of pages70
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ID: 5479268


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