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Distraction of Counting by the Meaning of Background Speech: Are Spatial Memory Demands a Prerequisite?
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. (Miljöpsykologi)
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire UK . (Miljöpsykologi)
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden. (Miljöpsykologi)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7584-2275
2015 (English)In: Applied Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 0888-4080, E-ISSN 1099-0720, Vol. 29, no 4, p. 584-591Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper reexamines the effects of background speech on counting. Previous studies have shown that background sound disrupts counting in comparison with silence, but the magnitude of disruption is no larger for spoken numbers compared with that for non-number speech (there is no effect of the meaning of background speech). The typical task used previously has been to count the number of sequentially presented visual events. We replicated the general finding in Experiment 1—that there is no effect of the meaning of background speech—in the context of the classic sequence counting task. In Experiment 2, the task was changed by having to-be-counted dots presented simultaneously and randomly across the visual field. Here, an effect attributable to the meaning of background speech emerged. Background speech that is similar in meaning to the focal task process contributes to the magnitude of disruption, but apparently only when spatial memory processes are a task prerequisite.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 29, no 4, p. 584-591
Keywords [en]
background speech, disruption, interferance, short-term memory, working-memory, auditory distraction
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-19277DOI: 10.1002/acp.3141ISI: 000358004500010Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84947490353OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-19277DiVA, id: diva2:809416
Available from: 2015-05-04 Created: 2015-05-04 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved

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Ljung, RobertMarsh, John E.Sörqvist, Patrik

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