Does hunger promote the detection of foods? The effect of value on inattentional blindness

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Although human perception has evolved into a potent and efficient system, we still fall prey to astonishing failures of awareness as we miss an unexpected object in our direct view when our attention is engaged elsewhere (inattentional blindness). While specific types of value of the unexpected object have been identified to modulate the likelihood of this failure of awareness, it is not clear whether the effect of value on inattentional blindness can be generalized. We hypothesized that the combination of hunger and food-stimuli might increase a more general type of value so that food stimuli have a higher probability to be noticed by hungry participants than by satiated participants. In total, 240 participants were assigned towards a hungry (16 h of fasting) or satiated (no fasting) manipulation and performed afterward a static inattentional blindness task. However, we did not find any effect of value on inattentional blindness based on hunger and food stimuli. We speculate that different underlying mechanisms are involved for different types of value and that value manipulations need to be strong enough to ensure certain value strengths.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychological Research
Number of pages12
Publication statusElectronically/ online published ahead of print - 06.02.2021

ID: 5888428

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