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  • 1.
    Ball, Linden J.
    et al.
    University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Threadgold, Emma
    University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Marsh, John E.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Christensen, Bo T.
    Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen, Denmark.
    The effects of stimulus complexity and conceptual fluency on aesthetic judgments of abstract art: Evidence for a default–interventionist account2018In: Metaphor and Symbol, ISSN 1092-6488, E-ISSN 1532-7868, Vol. 33, no 3, p. 235-252Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We report an experiment investigating how stimulus complexity and conceptual fluency (i.e., the ease of deriving meaning) influence aesthetic liking judgments for abstract artworks. We presented participants with paintings at two levels of complexity (high vs. low) and five levels of conceptual fluency (determined from a prior norming study) and requested separate ratings of beauty and creativity. Our predictions were derived from the PIA Model (Pleasure-Interest Model of Aesthetic Liking), which views aesthetic preferences as being formed by two, distinct fluency-based processes: an initial, automatic, stimulus-driven, default process and a subsequent, perceiver-driven deliberative process. A key trigger for deliberative processing is assumed to be disfluency at the default stage, as caused by factors such as visual complexity. We predicted that complexity and conceptual fluency would interact in determining aesthetic liking, with people preferring complex stimuli, but only when these are relatively easy to process conceptually. Our results supported this prediction for beauty judgments, although creativity judgments showed a curiously uniform profile. Nevertheless, the predictive capacity of the PIA Model in relation to beauty judgments attests to the explanatory strength of this default?interventionist theory of aesthetic liking. We conclude by noting important parallels between the PIA Model and the Revised Optimal Innovation Hypothesis, which likewise has broad reach in explaining how defaultness and non-defaultness affect pleasure across a range of linguistic and pictorial stimuli.

  • 2.
    Bell, Raoul
    et al.
    Department of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany.
    Röer, Jan P.
    Department of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany.
    Marsh, John E.
    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, UK.
    Storch, Dunja
    Department of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany.
    Buchner, Axel
    Department of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany.
    The Effect of Cognitive Control on Different Types of Auditory Distraction2017In: Experimental psychology (Göttingen), ISSN 1618-3169, E-ISSN 2190-5142, Vol. 64, no 5, p. 359-368Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Deviant as well as changing auditory distractors interfere with short-term memory. According to the duplex model of auditory distraction, the deviation effect is caused by a shift of attention while the changing-state effect is due to obligatory order processing. This theory predicts that foreknowledge should reduce the deviation effect, but should have no effect on the changing-state effect. We compared the effect of foreknowledge on the two phenomena directly within the same experiment. In a pilot study, specific foreknowledge was impotent in reducing either the changing-state effect or the deviation effect, but it reduced disruption by sentential speech, suggesting that the effects of foreknowledge on auditory distraction may increase with the complexity of the stimulus material. Given the unexpected nature of this finding, we tested whether the same finding would be obtained in (a) a direct preregistered replication in Germany and (b) an additional replication with translated stimulus materials in Sweden.

  • 3.
    Campbell, T. A.
    et al.
    Department of Psychology and Logopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
    Marsh, John E.
    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, United Kingdom.
    Commentary: Donepezil enhances understanding of degraded speech in Alzheimer's disease2018In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, ISSN 1663-4365, E-ISSN 1663-4365, Vol. 10, article id 197Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Halin, Niklas
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. University of Gävle.
    Marsh, John E.
    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, UK.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Central load reduces peripheral processing: evidence from incidental memory of background speech2015In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 56, no 6, p. 607-612Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Is there a trade-off between central (working memory) load and peripheral (perceptual) processing? To address this question, participants were requested to undertake an n-back task in one of two levels of central/cognitive load (i.e., 1-back or 2-back) in the presence of a to-be-ignored story presented via headphones. Participants were told to ignore the background story, but they were given a surprise memory test of what had been said in the background story, immediately after the n-back task was completed. Memory was poorer in the high central load (2-back) condition in comparison with the low central load (1-back) condition. Hence, when people compensate for higher central load, by increasing attentional engagement, peripheral processing is constrained. Moreover, participants with high working memory capacity (WMC)—with a superior ability for attentional engagement—remembered less of the background story, but only in the low central load condition. Taken together, peripheral processing—as indexed by incidental memory of background speech—is constrained when task engagement is high.

  • 5.
    Halin, Niklas
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Marsh, John
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. University of Central Lanchashire.
    Haga, Andreas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. Linköping University.
    Effects of speech on proofreading: can task-engagement manipulations shield against distraction?2014In: Journal of experimental psychology. Applied, ISSN 1076-898X, E-ISSN 1939-2192, Vol. 20, no 1, p. 69-80Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article reports 2 experiments that examine techniques to shield against the potentially disruptive effects of task-irrelevant background speech on proofreading. The participants searched for errors in texts that were either normal (i.e., written in Times New Roman font) or altered (i.e., presented either in Haettenschweiler font or in Times New Roman but masked by visual noise) in 2 sound conditions: a silent condition and a condition with background speech. Proofreading for semantic/contextual errors was impaired by speech, but only when the text was normal. This effect of speech was completely abolished when the text was written in an altered font (Experiment 1) or when it was masked by visual noise (Experiment 2). There was no functional difference between the 2 ways to alter the text with regard to the way the manipulations influenced the effects of background speech on proofreading. The results indicate that increased task demands, which lead to greater focal-task engagement, may shield against the distracting effects of background speech on proofreading. 

  • 6.
    Halin, Niklas
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Marsh, John
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. Preston University.
    Hellman, Anna
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Hellström, Ida
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden .
    A shield against distraction2014In: Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, ISSN 2211-3681, E-ISSN 2211-369X, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 31-36Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we apply the basic idea of a trade-off between the level of concentration and distractibility to test whether a manipulation of task difficulty can shield against distraction. Participants read, either in quiet or with a speech noise background, texts that were displayed either in an easy-to-read or a hard-to-read font. Background speech impaired prose recall, but only when the text was displayed in the easy-to-read font. Most importantly, recall was better in the background speech condition for hard-to-read than for easy-to-read texts. Moreover, individual differences in working memory capacity were related to the magnitude of disruption, but only in the easy-to-read condition. Making a task more difficult can sometimes facilitate selective attention in noisy work environments by promoting focal-task engagement. 

  • 7.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Kabanshi, Alan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Energy system.
    Marsh, John E.
    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, United Kingdom.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    When A+B < A: Cognitive bias in experts' judgment of environmental impact2018In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 9, article id 823Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    When ‘environmentally friendly’ items are added to a set of conventional items, people report that the total set will have a lower environmental impact even though the actual impact increases. One hypothesis is that this “negative footprint illusion” arises because people, who are susceptible to the illusion, lack necessary knowledge of the item’s actual environmental impact, perhaps coupled with a lack of mathematical skills. The study reported here addressed this hypothesis by recruiting participants (‘experts’) from a master’s program in energy systems, who thus have bachelor degrees in energy-related fields including academic training in mathematics. They were asked to estimate the number of trees needed to compensate for the environmental burden of two sets of buildings: One set of 150 buildings with conventional energy ratings and one set including the same 150 buildings but also 50 ‘green’ (energy-efficient) buildings. The experts reported that less trees were needed to compensate for the set with 150 conventional and 50 ‘green’ buildings compared to the set with only the 150 conventional buildings. This negative footprint illusion was as large in magnitude for the experts as it was for a group of novices without academic training in energy-related fields. We conclude that people are not immune to the negative footprint illusion even when they have the knowledge necessary to make accurate judgments.

  • 8.
    Hughes, Robert
    et al.
    Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London.
    Marsh, John
    School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire.
    The Functional Determinants of Short-Term Memory: Evidence From Perceptual-Motor Interference in Verbal Serial Recall2017In: Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory and Cognition, ISSN 0278-7393, E-ISSN 1939-1285, Vol. 43, no 4, p. 537-551Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A functional, perceptual-motor, account of serial short-term memory is examined by investigating the way in which an irrelevant spoken sequence interferes with verbal serial recall. Even with visual list-presentation, verbal serial recall is particularly susceptible to disruption by irrelevant spoken stimuli that have the same identity as - but which are order-incongruent with - the to-be-remembered items. We test the view that such interference is due to the obligatory perceptual organization of the spoken stimuli yielding a sequence that competes with a subvocal motor-plan assembled to support the reproduction of the to-be-remembered list. In support of this view, the interference can be eliminated without changing either the identities or objective serial order of the spoken stimuli but merely by promoting a subjective perceptual organization that strips them of their order-incongruent relation to the to-be-remembered list (Experiment 1). The interference is also eliminated if subvocal motor sequence-planning is impeded via articulatory suppression (Experiment 2). The results are in line with the view that performance-limits in verbal serial short-term memory are due to having to exploit perceptual and motor processes for purposes for which they did not evolve, not the inherently limited capacity of structures or mechanisms dedicated to storage.

  • 9.
    Jahncke, Helena
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Björkeholm, Patrik
    Uppsala University, Department of Psychology.
    Marsh, John E.
    University of Central Lancashire, School of Psychology.
    Odelius, Johan
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Natural Resources Engineering.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Office noise: can headphones and masking sound attenuate distraction by background speech?2016In: Work: A journal of Prevention, Assesment and rehabilitation, ISSN 1051-9815, E-ISSN 1875-9270, Vol. 55, no 3, p. 505-513Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Background speech is one of the most disturbing noise sources at shared workplaces in terms of both annoyance and performance-related disruption. Therefore, it is important to identify techniques that can efficiently protect performance against distraction. It is also important that the techniques are perceived as satisfactory and are subjectively evaluated as effective in their capacity to reduce distraction.

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of the current study was to compare three methods of attenuating distraction from background speech: masking a background voice with nature sound through headphones, masking a background voice with other voices through headphones and merely wearing headphones (without masking) as a way to attenuate the background sound. Quiet was deployed as a baseline condition.

    METHODS: Thirty students participated in an experiment employing a repeated measures design.

    RESULTS: Performance (serial short-term memory) was impaired by background speech (1 voice), but this impairment was attenuated when the speech was masked – and in particular when it was masked by nature sound. Furthermore, perceived workload was lowest in the quiet condition and significantly higher in all other sound conditions. Notably, the headphones tested as a sound-attenuating device (i.e. without masking) did not protect against the effects of background speech on performance and subjective work load.

    CONCLUSIONS: Nature sound was the only masking condition that worked as a protector of performance, at least in the context of the serial recall task. However, despite the attenuation of distraction by nature sound, perceived workload was still high – suggesting that it is difficult to find a masker that is both effective and perceived as satisfactory.

  • 10.
    Joseph, Tanya
    et al.
    School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Hughes, Robert
    Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Marsh, John
    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, UK.
    Differences in auditory distraction between adults and children: A duplex-mechanism approach2018In: Journal of Cognition, E-ISSN 2514-4820, Vol. 1, no 1, article id 13Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Differences in the impact of irrelevant sound on recall performance in children (aged 7-9 years old; N = 89) compared to adults (aged 18-22 years old; N = 89) were examined. Tasks that required serial rehearsal (serial and probed-order recall tasks) were contrasted with one that did not (the missing-item task) in the presence of irrelevant sound that was either steady-state (a repeated speech token), changing-state (two alternating speech tokens) and, for the first time with a child sample, could also contain a deviant token (a male-voice token embedded in a sequence otherwise spoken in a female voice). Participants either completed tasks in which the to-be-remembered list-length was adjusted to individual digit span or was fixed at one item greater than the average span we observed for the age-group. The disruptive effects of irrelevant sound did not vary across the two methods of determining list-length. We found that tasks encouraging serial rehearsal were especially affected by changing-state sequences for both age-groups (i.e., the changing-state effect) and there were no group differences in relation to this effect. In contrast, disruption by a deviant sound—generally assumed to be the result of attentional diversion—was evident among children in all three tasks while adults were less susceptible to this effect. This pattern of results suggests that developmental differences in distraction are due to differences in attentional control rather than serial rehearsal efficiency.

  • 11.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Carlsson, Johannes
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Marsh, John
    School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Ljung, Robert
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Odelius, Johan
    Luleå University of Technology.
    Schlittmeier, Sabine
    Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Eichstätt, Germany .
    Sundin, Gunilla
    Norconsult AB, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Unmasking the effects of masking on performance: the potential of multiple-voice masking in the office environment2015In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, ISSN 0001-4966, E-ISSN 1520-8524, Vol. 138, no 2, p. 807-816Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Broadband noise is often used as a masking sound to combat the negative consequences of background speech on performance in open-plan offices. As office workers generally dislike broadband noise, it is important to find alternatives that are more appreciated while being at least not less effective. The purpose of experiment 1 was to compare broadband noise with two alternatives—multiple voices and water waves—in the context of a serial short-term memory task. A single voice impaired memory in comparison with silence, but when the single voice was masked with multiple voices, performance was on level with silence. Experiment 2 explored the benefits of multiple-voice masking in more detail (by comparing one voice, three voices, fivevoices, and seven voices) in the context of word processed writing (arguably a more office-relevant task). Performance (i.e., writing fluency) increased linearly from worst performance in the one-voice condition to best performance in the seven-voice condition. Psychological mechanisms underpinning these effects are discussed.

  • 12.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Marsh, John E.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Kan arbetsminne förklara varför människor med schizotypy har uppmärksamhetsproblem?2017In: Best Practice, ISSN 1329-1874, no AprilArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Det är lätt att undvika att distraheras av det vi ser. Det räcker med att blunda. När det gäller ljud kan vi å andra sidan inte bara stänga av öronen för att slippa höra det. När vi sitter och jobbar, och inte vill höra ljud som finns i bakgrunden, registrerar hjärnan ljudet automatiskt.

    Bakgrundsljud, som kan komma från folk som pratar, telefoner som ringer och så vidare, fångar vår uppmärksamhet och gör att vi tappar fokus på den uppgift vi har framför oss. Detta kan i förlängningen leda till irritation och till försämrad prestation och hälsa.

    Att vara lättdistraherad har konsekvenser både för ens sociala beteende och för hur man fungerar på en arbetsplats eller skola. En lättdistraherad person som har sin arbetsplats i ett öppet kontorslandskap till exempel, där bakgrundsljud är mycket vanligt, presterar sämre än hen skulle göra på ett privat kontor där man generellt sett blir mindre störd. Vissa störs emellertid mer än andra. Varför är det så? En del av svaret på frågan är att människor varierar i något som kallas arbetsminneskapacitet. Arbetsminne är en minnesfunktion som används för att tillfälligt lagra och bearbeta information som vi har i medvetandet. Storleken på arbetsminnet (arbetsminneskapaciteten) kan variera mellan människor, och prestationen på många uppgifter, till exempel att läsa och skriva, beror på arbetsminneskapaciteten. Forskning har också visat att individer med låg arbetsminneskapacitet är mer lättdistraherade jämfört med individer med hög arbetsminneskapacitet.

    Distraktion, schizotypy och arbetsminne Att vara mer lättdistraherad än andra är något som människor med hög grad av schizotypy känner igen sig i. Detta gäller både för dem som har diagnosen schizofreni och för dem som inte har diagnosen men som ändå har symtomen. Människor med hög grad av schizotypy har svårare än andra att hålla kvar uppmärksamheten och förbli fokuserade på en uppgift i en bullrig miljö. Ofta har de även sämre arbetsminne än andra, vilket innebär prestationsförluster i många situationer. En hypotes har därför varit att sambandet mellan schizotypy och distraktion beror på det sämre arbetsminnet.

    I en nyligen publicerad studie1 testades denna hypotes, men det visade sig att variationer i arbetsminne inte kan förklara sambandet mellan schizotypy och distraktion. Individer som klassificerades ha ”hög grad av schizotypy” var mer distraherade av oväntade ljud under såväl en visuospatial som en verbal uppgift, jämfört med dem som klassificerades ha ”låg grad av schizotypy”. Samma mönster hittades för dem som klassificerades ha låg kontra hög arbetsminneskapacitet.

    Det intressantaste resultatet från studien var emellertid att schizotypy och arbetsminneskapacitet bidrog på olika sätt till hur lätt individerna distraherades av det överraskande ljudet. Detta innebär att olika mekanismer ligger bakom den uppmärksamhetsproblematik som är kopplad till schizotypy jämfört med den problematik som är kopplad till sämre arbetsminneskapacitet. Med andra ord verkar det som om variationer i arbetsminne inte kan förklara varför individer med hög schizotypy har uppmärksamhetsproblem.

    Exakt hur arbetsminneskapacitet och schizotypy skiljer sig åt är något som författarna till studien endast kunde spekulera om. En hypotes som är välgrundad i litteraturen är emellertid att variationer i arbetsminneskapacitet bidrar till distraherbarhet genom att påverka hur väl människor lyckas avgränsa uppmärksamhetens omfång till den uppgift de håller på med. Hög schizotypy bidrar å andra sidan genom att göra det svårare att ignorera saker i omgivningen, vilket skulle kunna bero på brister i habituering. Det innebär i det här fallet att hög schizotypy leder till svårigheter att vänja sig vid störningsfaktorn över tid, i takt med att man får allt mer erfarenhet av bakgrundsljudet.

    Slutsats

    Vi drar slutsatsen att arbetsminne och schizotypy tenderar att samvariera på ett sådant sätt att människor med hög grad av schizotypy också tenderar att ha låg arbetsminneskapacitet. Men det är inte den låga arbetsminneskapaciteten i sig som skapar uppmärksamhetsproblemen hos dessa individer. En viktig implikation av denna slutsats är att ”arbetsminnesträning” (det vill säga interventioner i form av träningsprogram som syftar till att öka arbetsminneskapaciteten) inte bör bidra till att minska uppmärksamhetsproblematiken för människor med hög grad av schizotypy.

  • 13.
    Ljung, Robert
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Marsh, John E.
    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 .
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    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.
    Distraction of Counting by the Meaning of Background Speech: Are Spatial Memory Demands a Prerequisite?2015In: Applied Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 0888-4080, E-ISSN 1099-0720, Vol. 29, no 4, p. 584-591Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 14.
    Marois, Alexandre
    et al.
    Laval University, Quebec City, Canada.
    Dube, Francis-Loic
    Laval University, Quebec City, Canada.
    Marsh, John E.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Vachon, Francois
    Laval University, Quebec City, Canada.
    Is auditory distraction by changing and deviant sounds underpinned by the same mechanism?: Evidence from pupillometry2018In: Psychophysiology, ISSN 0048-5772, E-ISSN 1469-8986, Vol. 55, no 1, p. S112-S113, article id 4-005Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 15.
    Marsh, John
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Can intrinsic and extrinsic metacognitive cues shield against distraction in problem solving?2018In: Journal of cognition, E-ISSN 2514-4820, Vol. 1, no 1, article id 15Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We investigated the capacity for two different forms of metacognitive cue to shield against auditory distraction in problem solving with Compound Remote Associates Tasks (CRATs). Experiment 1 demonstrated that an intrinsic metacognitive cue in the form of processing disfluency (manipulated using an easy-to-read vs. difficult-to-read font) could increase focal task engagement so as to mitigate the detrimental impact of distraction on solution rates for CRATs. Experiment 2 showed that an extrinsic metacognitive cue that took the form of an incentive for good task performance (i.e., 80% or better CRAT solutions) could likewise eliminate the negative impact of distraction on CRAT solution rates. Overall, these findings support the view that both intrinsic and extrinsic metacognitive cues have remarkably similar effects. This suggests that metacognitive cues operate via a common underlying mechanism whereby a participant applies increased focal attention to the primary task so as to ensure more steadfast task engagement that is not so easily diverted by task-irrelevant stimuli.

  • 16.
    Marsh, John
    et al.
    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, UK.
    Crawford, Jessica
    School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire, UK.
    Pilgrim, Lea
    School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire, UK.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    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.
    Hughes, Robert
    Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, UK.
    Trouble Articulating the Right Words: Evidence for a Response-Exclusion Account of Distraction During Semantic Fluency2017In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 58, no 5, p. 367-372Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is widely held that single-word lexical access is a competitive process, a view based largely on the observation that naming a picture is slowed in the presence of a distractor-word. However, problematic for this view is that a low-frequency distractor-word slows the naming of a picture more than does a high-frequency word. This supports an alternative, response-exclusion, account in which a distractor-word interferes because it must be excluded from an articulatory output buffer before the right word can be articulated (the picture name): A high, compared to low, frequency word accesses the buffer more quickly and, as such, can also be excluded more quickly. Here we studied the respective roles of competition and response-exclusion for the first time in the context of semantic verbal fluency, a setting requiring the accessing of, and production of, multiple words from long-term memory in response to a single semantic cue. We show that disruption to semantic fluency by a sequence of to-be-ignored spoken distractors is also greater when those distractors are low in frequency, thereby extending the explanatory compass of the response-exclusion account to a multiple-word production setting and casting further doubt on the lexical-selection-by-competition view. The results can be understood as reflecting the contribution of speech output processes to semantic fluency.

  • 17.
    Marsh, John E.
    et al.
    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, United Kingdom .
    Campbell, Tom A.
    Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki, Finland .
    Processing complex sounds passing through the rostral brainstem: The new early filter model2016In: Frontiers in Neuroscience, ISSN 1662-4548, E-ISSN 1662-453X, Vol. 10, article id 106Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The rostral brainstem receives both “bottom-up” input from the ascending auditory system and “top-down” descending corticofugal connections. Speech information passing through the inferior colliculus of elderly listeners reflects the periodicity envelope of a speech syllable. This information arguably also reflects a composite of temporal-fine-structure (TFS) information from the higher frequency vowel harmonics of that repeated syllable. The amplitude of those higher frequency harmonics, bearing high frequency TFS information, correlates positively with the word recognition ability of elderly listeners under reverberatory conditions. Also relevant is that working memory capacity, which is subject to age-related decline, constrains the processing of sounds at the level of the brainstem. Turning to the effects of a visually presented sensory or memory load on auditory processes, there is a load-dependent reduction of that processing, as manifest in the auditory brainstem responses evoked by to-be-ignored clicks. Wave V decreases in amplitude with increases in the visually presented memory load. A visually presented sensory load also produces a load-dependent reduction of a slightly different sort: The sensory load of visually presented information limits the disruptive effects of background sound upon working memory performance. A new early filter model is thus advanced whereby systems within the frontal lobe (affected by sensory or memory load) cholinergically influence top-down corticofugal connections. Those corticofugal connections constrain the processing of complex sounds such as speech at the level of the brainstem. Selective attention thereby limits the distracting effects of background sound entering the higher auditory system via the inferior colliculus. Processing TFS in the brainstem relates to perception of speech under adverse conditions. Attentional selectivity is crucial when the signal heard is degraded or masked: e.g., speech in noise, speech in reverberatory environments. The assumptions of a new early filter model are consistent with these findings: A subcortical early filter, with a predictive selectivity based on acoustical (linguistic) context and foreknowledge, is under cholinergic top-down control. A limited prefrontal capacity limitation constrains this top-down control as is guided by the cholinergic processing of contextual information in working memory.

  • 18.
    Marsh, John E.
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Hughes, Robert W.
    Royal Holloway University of London, Department of Psychology, Egham, United Kingdom .
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Beaman, Charles P.
    University of Reading, School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, Reading, United Kingdom.
    Jones, Dylan M.
    Cardiff University, School of Psychology, Cardiff, United Kingdom.
    Erroneous and Veridical Recall Are Not Two Sides of the Same Coin: Evidence From Semantic Distraction in Free Recall2015In: Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory and Cognition, ISSN 0278-7393, E-ISSN 1939-1285, Vol. 41, no 6, p. 1728-1740Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two experiments examined the extent to which erroneous recall blocks veridical recall using, as a vehicle for study, the disruptive impact of distractors that are semantically similar to a list of words presented for free recall. Instructing participants to avoid erroneous recall of to-be-ignored spoken distractors attenuated their recall but this did not influence the disruptive effect of those distractors on veridical recall (Experiment 1). Using an externalized output-editing procedure-whereby participants recalled all items that came to mind and identified those that were erroneous-the usual between-sequences semantic similarity effect on erroneous and veridical recall was replicated but the relationship between the rate of erroneous and veridical recall was weak (Experiment 2). The results suggest that forgetting is not due to veridical recall being blocked by similar events.

  • 19.
    Marsh, John E.
    et al.
    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, UK.
    Labonté, Katherine
    Université Laval, Québec, Canada.
    Skelton, Faye C.
    Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Storbritannien.
    Patel, Krupali
    University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Threadgold, Emma
    University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Fodarella, Cristina
    University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Thorley, Rachel
    University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Battersby, Kirsty L.
    University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Frowd, Charlie D.
    University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Ball, Linden J.
    University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Vachon, François
    Université Laval, Quebec, Canada.
    Chatting in the Face of the Eyewitness: The Impact of Extraneous Cell-Phone Conversation on Memory for a Perpetrator2017In: Canadian journal of experimental psychology, ISSN 1196-1961, E-ISSN 1878-7290, Vol. 71, no 3, p. 183-190Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cell-phone conversation is ubiquitous within public spaces. The current study investigates whether ignored cell-phone conversation impairs eyewitness memory for a perpetrator. Participants viewed a video of a staged crime in the presence of 1 side of a comprehensible cell-phone conversation (meaningful halfalogue), 2 sides of a comprehensible cell-phone conversation (meaningful dialogue), 1 side of an incomprehensible cell-phone conversation (meaningless halfalogue), or quiet. Between 24 and 28 hr later, participants freely described the perpetrator's face, constructed a single composite image of the perpetrator from memory, and attempted to identify the perpetrator from a sequential lineup. Further, participants rated the likeness of the composites to the perpetrator. Face recall and lineup identification were impaired when participants witnessed the staged crime in the presence of a meaningful halfalogue compared to a meaningless halfalogue, meaningful dialogue, or quiet. Moreover, likeness ratings showed that the composites constructed after ignoring the meaningful halfalogue resembled the perpetrator less than did those constructed after experiencing quiet or ignoring a meaningless halfalogue or a meaningful dialogue. The unpredictability of the meaningful content of the halfalogue, rather than its acoustic unexpectedness, produces distraction. The results are novel in that they suggest that an everyday distraction, even when presented in a different modality to target information, can impair the long-term memory of an eyewitness.

  • 20.
    Marsh, John E.
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Ljung, Robert
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Jahncke, Helena
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    MacCutcheon, Douglas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Pausch, Florian
    Institute of Technical Acoustics, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
    Ball, Linden J.
    School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK 3.
    Vachon, François
    École de psychologie, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.
    Why are background telephone conversations distracting?2018In: Journal of experimental psychology. Applied, ISSN 1076-898X, E-ISSN 1939-2192, Vol. 24, no 2, p. 222-235Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Telephone conversation is ubiquitous within the office setting. Overhearing a telephone conversation-whereby only one of the two speakers is heard-is subjectively more annoying and objectively more distracting than overhearing a full conversation. The present study sought to determine whether this "halfalogue" effect is attributable to unexpected offsets and onsets within the background speech (acoustic unexpectedness) or to the tendency to predict the unheard part of the conversation (semantic [un]predictability), and whether these effects can be shielded against through top-down cognitive control. In Experiment 1, participants performed an office-related task in quiet or in the presence of halfalogue and dialogue background speech. Irrelevant speech was either meaningful or meaningless speech. The halfalogue effect was only present for the meaningful speech condition. Experiment 2 addressed whether higher task-engagement could shield against the halfalogue effect by manipulating the font of the to-be-read material. Although the halfalogue effect was found with an easy-to-read font (fluent text), the use of a difficult-to-read font (disfluent text) eliminated the effect. The halfalogue effect is thus attributable to the semantic (un)predictability, not the acoustic unexpectedness, of background telephone conversation and can be prevented by simple means such as increasing the level of engagement required by the focal task. 

  • 21.
    Marsh, John E.
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Ljung, Robert
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Nöstl, Anatole
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Threadgold, Emma
    City University London, UK.
    Campbell, Tom A.
    University of Helsinki, Finland.
    Failing to get the gist of what’s being said: background noise impairs higher-order cognitive processing2015In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 6, article id 548Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A dynamic interplay is known to exist between auditory processing and human cognition. For example, prior investigations of speech-in-noise have revealed there is more to learning than just listening: Even if all words within a spoken list are correctly heard in noise, later memory for those words is typically impoverished. These investigations supported a view that there is a “gap” between the intelligibility of speech and memory for that speech. Here, the notion was that this gap between speech intelligibility and memorability is a function of the extent to which the spoken message seizes limited immediate memory resources (e.g., Kjellberg et al., 2008). Accordingly, the more difficult the processing of the spoken message, the less resources are available for elaboration, storage, and recall of that spoken material. However, it was not previously known how increasing that difficulty affected the memory processing of semantically rich spoken material. This investigation showed that noise impairs higher levels of cognitive analysis. A variant of the Deese-Roediger-McDermott procedure that encourages semantic elaborative processes was deployed. On each trial, participants listened to a 36-item list comprising 12 words blocked by each of 3 different themes. Each of those 12 words (e.g., bed, tired, snore…) was associated with a “critical” lure theme word that was not presented (e.g., sleep). Word lists were either presented without noise or at a signal-to-noise ratio of 5 decibels upon an A-weighting. Noise reduced false recall of the critical words, and decreased the semantic clustering of recall. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

  • 22.
    Marsh, John E.
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. University of Central Lancashire, School of Psychology, Lancashire, England.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Hughes, Robert
    University of London, Department of Psychology, London, England.
    Dynamic cognitive control of irrelevant sound: increased task engagement attenuates semantic auditory distraction2015In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, ISSN 0096-1523, E-ISSN 1939-1277, Vol. 41, no 5, p. 1462-1474Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two experiments investigated reactive top-down cognitive control of the detrimental influence of spoken distractors semantically related to visually-presented words presented for free recall.  Experiment 1 demonstrated that an increase in focal task-engagement—promoted experimentally by reducing the perceptual discriminability of the visual target-words—eliminated the disruption by such distracters of veridical recall and also attenuated the erroneous recall of the distracters. A recall instruction that eliminates the requirement for output-monitoring was used in Experiment 2 to investigate whether increased task-engagement shields against distraction through a change in output-monitoring processes (back-end control) or by affecting the processing of the distracters during their presentation (front-end control). Rates of erroneous distracter-recall were much greater than in Experiment 1 but both erroneous distracter-recall and the disruptive effect of distracters on veridical recall were still attenuated under reduced target-word discriminability. Taken together, the results show that task-engagement is under dynamic strategic control and can be modulated to shield against auditory distraction by attenuating distracter-processing at encoding thereby preventing distracters from coming to mind at test.

  • 23.
    Marsh, John E.
    et al.
    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, UK.
    Vachon, Francois
    Ecole de psychologie, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Increased distractibility in schizotypy: independent of individual differences in working memory capacity?2017In: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, ISSN 1747-0218, E-ISSN 1747-0226, Vol. 70, no 3, p. 565-578Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Individuals with schizophrenia typically show increased levels of distractibility. This has been attributed to impaired working memory capacity (WMC), since lower WMC is typically associated with higher distractibility and schizophrenia is typically associated with impoverished WMC. Here, participants performed verbal and spatial serial recall tasks that were accompanied by to-be-ignored speech tokens. For the few trials wherein one speech token was replaced with a different token, impairment was produced to task scores (a deviation effect). Participants subsequently completed a schizotypy questionnaire and a WMC measure. Higher schizotypy scores were associated with lower WMC (as measured with operation span [OSPAN]), but WMC and schizotypy scores explained unique variance in relation to the mean magnitude of the deviation effect. These results suggest that schizotypy is associated with heightened domain-general distractibility, but that this is independent of its relationship with WMC.

  • 24.
    Marsh, John
    et al.
    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, Darwin Building, Preston, Lancashire, United Kingdom.
    Perham, Nick
    Department of Applied Psychology, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, United Kingdom .
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. Linneaus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden .
    Jones, Dylan
    School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom .
    Boundaries of semantic distraction: dominance and lexicality act at retrieval2014In: Memory & Cognition, ISSN 0090-502X, E-ISSN 1532-5946, Vol. 42, no 8, p. 1285-1301Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Three experiments investigated memory for semantic information with the goal of determining boundary conditions for the manifestation of semantic auditory distraction. Irrelevant speech disrupted the free recall of semantic category- exemplars to an equal degree regardless of whether the speech coincided with presentation or test phases of the task (Experiment 1), and this occurred regardless ofwhether it comprised random words or coherent sentences (Experiment 2). The effects of background speech were greater when the irrelevant speech was semantically related to the to-be-remembered material, but only when the irrelevant words were high in output dominance (Experiment 3). The implications of these findings in relation to the processing of task material and the processing ofbackground speech are discussed.

  • 25.
    Marsh, John
    et al.
    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, UK.
    Röer, Jan
    Department of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Dusseldorf, Germany.
    Bell, Raoul
    Department of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Dusseldorf, Germany.
    Buchner, Axel
    Department of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Dusseldorf, Germany.
    Predictability and distraction: does the neural model represent postcategorical features?2014In: PsyCh Journal, ISSN 2046-0260, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 58-71Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two experiments examined the role of predictability within the elements of a task-irrelevant auditory sequence on the disruption produced to visual-verbal serial recall. Experiment 1 showed that participants did not benefit from having a long-term representation of the irrelevant sequence: A highly predictable, canonical sequence (“1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9”) produced as much disruption as a repeated random sequence (which was the same on each trial) and an unpredictable, random sequence (which differed on each trial), as compared with quiet. In line with this finding, there was also no difference between a predictable canonical and an unpredictable random sequence in Experiment 2. However, a deviant within the predictable, canonical sequence (“1 2 3 4 5 5 7 8 9”) produced greater disruption than a deviant within an unpredictable, random sequence (“4 8 2 9 5 5 7 3 1”). This effect was confined to early trials within the block. The results showed that long-term knowledge about the order of the individual elements in the sequence did not help attenuate the effect of auditory distraction on serial recall. Nevertheless, attentional capture was amplified when a deviant violated a well-known, canonical sequence, providing evidence that the neural model represents postcategorical sequential information.

  • 26.
    Marsh, John
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. Linköping University.
    Hodgetts, Helen
    École de psychologie, Université Laval, Canada; Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK.
    Beaman, Philip
    University of Reading, UK.
    Jones, Dylan
    Cardiff University, UK.
    Distraction control processes in free recall: benefits and costs to performance2015In: Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory and Cognition, ISSN 0278-7393, E-ISSN 1939-1285, Vol. 41, no 1, p. 118-133Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    How is semantic memory influenced by individual differences under conditions of distraction? This question was addressed by observing how participants recalled visual target words—drawn from a single category—while ignoring spoken distractor words that were members of either the same or a different (single) category. Working memory capacity (WMC) was related to disruption only with synchronous, not asynchronous, presentation, and distraction was greater when the words were presented synchronously. Subsequent experiments found greater negative priming of distractors among individuals with higher WMC, but this may be dependent on targets and distractors being comparable category exemplars. With less dominant category members as distractors, target recall was impaired—relative to control—only among individuals with low WMC. The results highlight the role of cognitive control resources in target–distractor selection and the individual-specific cost implications of such cognitive control.

  • 27.
    Marsh, John
    et al.
    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, England.
    Yang, Jingqi
    School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, England.
    Qualter, Pamela
    School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, England.
    Richardson, Cassandra
    School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, England.
    Perham, Nick
    Department of Applied Psychology, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, Wales.
    Vachon, François
    School of Psychology, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.
    Hughes, Robert W.
    Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, London, England.
    Post-Categorical Auditory Distraction in Serial Short-Term Memory: Insights from Increased Task-Load and Task-Type2018In: Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory and Cognition, ISSN 0278-7393, E-ISSN 1939-1285, Vol. 44, no 6, p. 882-897Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Task-irrelevant speech impairs short-term serial recall appreciably. On the interference-by-process account, the processing of physical (i.e., precategorical) changes in speech yields order cues that conflict with the serial-ordering process deployed to perform the serial recall task. In this view, the postcategorical properties (e.g., phonology, meaning) of speech play no role. The present study reassessed the implications of recent demonstrations of auditory postcategorical distraction in serial recall that have been taken as support for an alternative, attentional-diversion, account of the irrelevant speech effect. Focusing on the disruptive effect of emotionally valent compared with neutral words on serial recall, we show that the distracter-valence effect is eliminated under conditions—high task-encoding load—thought to shield against attentional diversion whereas the general effect of speech (neutral words compared with quiet) remains unaffected (Experiment 1). Furthermore, the distracter-valence effect generalizes to a task that does not require the processing of serial order—the missing-item task—whereas the effect of speech per se is attenuated in this task (Experiment 2). We conclude that postcategorical auditory distraction phenomena in serial short-term memory (STM) are incidental: they are observable in such a setting but, unlike the acoustically driven irrelevant speech effect, are not integral to it. As such, the findings support a duplex-mechanism account over a unitary view of auditory distraction.

  • 28.
    Nöstl, Anatole
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Marsh, John
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. University of Central Lancashire.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    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.
    What we expect is not always what we get: Evidence for both the direction-of-change and the specific-stimulus hypotheses of auditory attentional capture2014In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 11, p. e111997-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Participants were requested to respond to a sequence of visual targets while listening to a well-known lullaby. One of the notes in the lullaby was occasionally exchanged with a pattern deviant. Experiment 1 found that deviants capture attention as a function of the pitch difference between the deviant and the replaced/expected tone. However, when the pitch difference between the expected tone and the deviant tone is held constant, a violation to the direction-of-pitch change across tones can also capture attention (Experiment 2). Moreover, in more complex auditory environments, wherein it is difficult to build a coherent neural model of the sound environment from which expectations are formed, deviations can capture attention but it appears to matter less whether this is a violation from a specific stimulus or a violation of the current direction-of-change (Experiment 3). The results support the expectation violation account of auditory distraction and suggest that there are at least two different expectations that can be violated: One appears to be bound to a specific stimulus and the other would seem to be bound to a more global cross-stimulus rule such as the direction-of-change based on a sequence of preceding sound events. Factors like base-rate probability of tones within the sound environment might become the driving mechanism of attentional capture - rather than violated expectations - in complex sound environments.

  • 29.
    Nöstl, Anatole
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Marsh, John
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Attentional Capture by Auditory Events: The role of Expectations2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    By combining a modified version of the cross-modal oddball paradigm (Nöstl, Marsh, & Sörqvist, 2012) with sequence learning the current study examines how expectation processes contribute to distraction by auditory events. The visual targets in the oddball task were preceded by tones that formed a repetitive cross-trial standard sequence. In Experiment 1, the standard sequence …-660-440-660-880-… Hz was used. Occasionally, either the 440 Hz or the 880 Hz standard was replaced by one of two novel tones (220 Hz and 1100 Hz), that either differed slightly (220 Hz) or markedly (660 Hz) from the replaced standard. In Experiment 2, with a more complex standard tone sequence …-220-660-440-660-880-660-1100-… Hz, the 440 Hz and the 880 Hz standard was occasionally replaced by either the 220 Hz or the 1100 Hz standard. Both experiments demonstrate that a large difference (i.e. 660 Hz) between the expected and replacing tone is more captivating than a small difference (i.e. 220 Hz). Collectively the results imply that the magnitude of attentional capture elicited by novel sound events depends on the discrepancy between the novel event and the expected event rather than on the amount of local perceptual change.

  • 30.
    Perham, Nick
    et al.
    Department of Applied Psychology, Cardiff Metropolitan University, United Kingdom.
    Marsh, John E.
    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 .
    Clarkson, Martin
    Department of Applied Psychology, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, United Kingdom.
    Lawrence, Rosie
    Department of Applied Psychology, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, United Kingdom.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Distraction of mental arithmetic by background speech: Further evidence for the habitual-response priming view of auditory distraction2016In: Experimental psychology (Göttingen), ISSN 1618-3169, E-ISSN 2190-5142, Vol. 63, no 3, p. 141-149Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    When solving mental arithmetic problems, one can easily be distracted by someone speaking in the background and this distraction is greater if the speech comprises numbers. We explored the basis of this disruption by asking participants to solve mental addition problems (e.g., "45 + 17 = ?") in three different conditions: background speech comprising numbers in ascending order (e.g., "61, 62, 63, 64, 65"), background speech comprising numbers in descending order (e.g., "65, 64, 63, 62, 61"), and quiet. Performance was best in quiet, worse in the descending numbers condition, and poorest in the ascending numbers condition. In view of these findings, we suggest that disruption arises as a by-product of preventing the primed, but inaccurate, candidate responses from assuming the control of action. Alternative explanations are also discussed.

  • 31.
    Richter, Hans
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Forsman, Mikael
    Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Elcadi, Guilherme H.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Sports science.
    Brautaset, R.
    School of Optometry, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Marsh, John E.
    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, United Kingdom.
    Zetterberg, Camilla
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Section of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Prefrontal cortex activity evoked by convergence load under conflicting stimulus-to-accommodation and stimulus-to-vergence eye-movements measured by NIRS: Prefrontal cortex oxygenation and visual fatigue2018In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, ISSN 1662-5161, E-ISSN 1662-5161, Vol. 12, article id 298Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: To extend our knowledge of the functional linkages between visual fatigueand regional cerebral prefrontal cortex (PFC) oxygenation, we measured time related hemodynamic changes over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) duringconvergence load under conflicting stimulus-to-accommodation and stimulus-tovergence eye movements with and without concurrent mental load.

    Methods: Twenty healthy participants with a median age of 28 years (range:18–44 years) fixated upon a vertical bar presented separately to the left andright eyes, using polarized filters, during four counterbalanced 10-min periods:(i) no accommodation/vergence conflict (Control, Ctrl); (ii) added convergenceload and accommodation/vergence conflict (Conv); (iii) added cognitive load only(Cog) and; (iv) a combination of added cognitive and convergence load andaccommodation/vergence conflict (Cc). Viewing distance was 65 cm. Non-invasivemeasurements of hemodynamic activity over the dlPFC were quantified by functionalnear-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). During the two-convergence load conditions, thehorizontal disparity of the two bars varied dynamically from no disparity to a disparityset 20% below the individual threshold for diplopia. Cognitive load was induced by then-back-2 test which required the subject to memorize and recall the changing colorsof the horizontal bars and decide when a given color was the same as that occurring two colors previously. fNIRS data were averaged over 10-s windows centered at 0, 2,4, 6, 8, and 10 min of each task, subtracted from a 20-s baseline window immediatelypreceding the visual task, and then represented as changes in oxygenated hemoglobin(ΔHbO2); deoxygenated hemoglobin (ΔHHb) and total hemoglobin (ΔtHb).

    Results: Linear mixed model analyses showed that hemodynamic activity wassystematically influenced by time (p < 0.001). The group-averaged time-related levelof change across the viewing conditions did not differ when compared with one another(p > 0.05). Larger convergence eye-movement responses under conflicting stimulus-to accommodation,and stimulus-to-vergence over time, increased ΔHbO2 and ΔtHb onlyin condition Cc and after 8 min of task time (p < 0.10 for min-6 and min-8: p < 0.05 for min-10).

    Discussion: Collectively, our data suggest that HbO2, HHb, and tHb, recorded over the dlPFC with fNIRS, can be used to assay the degree to which supervisory oculomotorcontrol processes are activated during visually deficient near work.

  • 32.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Haga, Andreas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Langeborg, Linda
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Psychology.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Wallinder, Maria
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Nöstl, Anatole
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Seager, Paul
    University of Central Lancashire.
    Marsh, John
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. University of Central Lancashire.
    The green halo: Mechanisms and limits of the eco-label effect2015In: Food Quality and Preference, ISSN 0950-3293, E-ISSN 1873-6343, Vol. 43, p. 1-9Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Consumers believe that “eco-labeled” products taste better, which, at least in part, may be an effect of the label. The purpose of the current series of experiments was to examine some mechanisms and limits of this eco-label effect. In Experiment 1, an eco-label effect of similar magnitude was found for taste ratings of both conventional and organic bananas. Experiment 2 showed eco-label effects for a wider range of judgmental dimensions (i.e., health, calories, vitamins/minerals, mental performance, and willingness to pay) and the effect was about the same in magnitude for judgments of grapes and raisins. Experiment 3, with water as the tasted product, found no eco-label effect on judgments of taste, calories and vitamins/minerals, but an effect on willingness to pay, judgments of health benefits and judgments of mental performance benefits. Experiments 2 and 3 also included questionnaires on social desirability traits, schizotypal traits and pro-environmental consumer traits. The last was the strongest predictor of the eco-label effect amongst the three. In all, the eco-label effect is a robust phenomenon, but depends on interactions between product type and judgmental dimension. Implications for several accounts of the effect are discussed.

  • 33.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Langeborg, Linda
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Psychology.
    Marsh, John E.
    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, U.K.
    Social desirability does not underpin the eco-label effect on product judgments2016In: Food Quality and Preference, ISSN 0950-3293, E-ISSN 1873-6343, Vol. 50, p. 82-87Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    What reason underpins why people say they prefer eco-labeled over conventional products during direct perceptual comparison? One possibility is that there is no difference in the perceptual experience of the products; the participants just say there is because they wish to gain other’s approval. In this paper, we tested this social desirability account of the eco-label effect by requesting participants to judge grapes that were in truth identical but labeled “eco-friendly” and “conventional” respectively. The eco-label effects were similar in magnitude for an impression management condition (participants were told that their responses were monitored) and a no-instructions control condition, but greater in a moral-instructions condition (the participants were told, amongst other things, that conventional agriculture is harmful). The experiment suggests that people do not say that they prefer eco-labeled products because they seek other’s approval. Social motives may underpin reasons to purchase “green” products at the grocery store, but social motives are not the direct cause of the eco-label effect on the perceptual experience of the products.

  • 34.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Marsh, John E
    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.
    How concentration shields against distraction2015In: Current directions in psychological science (Print), ISSN 0963-7214, E-ISSN 1467-8721, Vol. 24, no 4, p. 267-272Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, we outline our view of how concentration shields against distraction. We argue that higher levels of concentration make people less susceptible to distraction for two reasons. One reason is that the undesired processing of the background environment is reduced. For example, when people play a difficult video game, as opposed to an easy game, they are less likely to notice what people in the background are saying. The other reason is that the locus of attention becomes more steadfast. For example, when people are watching an entertaining episode of their favorite television series, as opposed to a less absorbing show, attention is less likely to be diverted away from the screen by a ringing telephone. The theoretical underpinnings of this perspective, and potential implications for applied settings, are addressed.

  • 35.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Marsh, John
    Halin, Niklas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    How concentration shields against distraction2015Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 36.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Marsh, John
    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, UK.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Hulme, Rebecca
    School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Haga, Andreas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Seager, Paul B.
    School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Effects of labeling a product eco-friendly and genetically modified: A cross-cultural comparison for estimates of taste, willingness to pay and health consequences2016In: Food Quality and Preference, ISSN 0950-3293, E-ISSN 1873-6343, Vol. 50, p. 65-70Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    As the demand for eco-friendly food—produced without pesticides and environmentally harmful chemicals—increases, the need to develop genetically modified (GM) organisms that are more resistant to parasites and other environmental crop threats may increase. Because of this, products labeled both “eco-friendly” and “genetically modified” could become commonly available on the market. In this paper, we explore—in a Swedish and a UK sample—the consequences of combining eco-labeling and GM-labeling to judgments of taste, health consequences and willingness to pay for raisins. Participants tasted and evaluated four categories of raisins (eco-labeled and GM-labeled; eco-labeled; GM-labeled; and neither eco-labeled nor GM-labeled). The results suggest that there is a cost associated with adding a GM-label to an eco-labeled product: The GM-label removes the psychological benefits of the eco-label. This negative effect of the GM-label was larger among Swedish participants in comparison with UK participants, because the magnitude of the positive effect of the eco-label was larger in the Swedish sample and, hence, the negative effects of the GM-label became more pronounced. The pattern was somewhat different depending on judgmental dimension. The cost associated with adding a GM-label was larger in estimates of taste and health than in estimates of willingness to pay, at least for the Swedish sample. The roles of individual differences in attitudes, environmental concern and socially desirable responding in relation to the label effects are discussed.

  • 37.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology. Linköping University.
    Marsh, John
    University of Central Lancashire.
    Nöstl, Anatole
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    High working memory capacity does not always attenuate distraction: Bayesian evidence in support of the null hypothesis2013In: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, ISSN 1069-9384, E-ISSN 1531-5320, Vol. 20, no 5, p. 897-904Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) predict individual differences in basically all tasks that demand some form of cognitive labor, especially if the persons conducting the task are exposed to distraction. As such, tasks that measure WMC are very useful tools in individual-differences research. However, the predictive power of those tasks, combined with conventional statistical tools that cannot support the null hypothesis, also makes it difficult to study the limits of that power. In this article, we review studies that have failed to find a relationship between WMC and effects of auditory distraction on visual-verbal cognitive performance, and use meta-analytic Bayesian statistics to test the null hypothesis. The results favor the assumption that individual differences in WMC are, in fact, not (always) related to the magnitude of distraction. Implications for the nature of WMC are discussed.

  • 38.
    Threadgold, Emma
    et al.
    School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom.
    Marsh, John E.
    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, United Kingdom.
    Ball, Linden J.
    School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom.
    Normative data for 84 UK English rebus puzzles2018In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 9, article id 2513Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent investigations have established the value of using rebus puzzles in studying the insight and analytic processes that underpin problem solving. The current study sought to validate a pool of 84 rebus puzzles in terms of their solution rates, solution times, error rates, solution confidence, self-reported solution strategies, and solution phrase familiarity. All of the puzzles relate to commonplace English sayings and phrases in the United Kingdom. Eighty-four rebus puzzles were selected from a larger stimulus set of 168 such puzzles and were categorized into six types in relation to the similarity of their structures. The 84 selected problems were thence divided into two sets of 42 items (Set A and Set B), with rebus structure evenly balanced between each set. Participants (N = 170; 85 for Set A and 85 for Set B) were given 30 s to solve each item, subsequently indicating their confidence in their solution and self-reporting the process used to solve the problem (analysis or insight), followed by the provision of ratings of the familiarity of the solution phrases. The resulting normative data yield solution rates, error rates, solution times, confidence ratings, self-reported strategies and familiarity ratings for 84 rebus puzzles, providing valuable information for the selection and matching of problems in future research.

  • 39.
    Vachon, Francois
    et al.
    École de psychologie, Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada.
    Labonte, Katherine
    École de psychologie, Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada.
    Marsh, John E.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire, England.
    Attentional capture by deviant sounds: a noncontingent form of auditory distraction?2017In: Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory and Cognition, ISSN 0278-7393, E-ISSN 1939-1285, Vol. 43, no 4, p. 622-634Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The occurrence of an unexpected, infrequent sound in an otherwise homogeneous auditory background tends to disrupt the ongoing cognitive task. This "deviation effect" is typically explained in terms of attentional capture whereby the deviant sound draws attention away from the focal activity, regardless of the nature of this activity. Yet, there is theoretical and empirical evidence suggesting that the attention-capture mechanism underlying this form of distraction could rather be triggered in a task-contingent fashion. The present study aimed at determining whether the auditory deviation effect reflects the action of either a stimulus-driven or a task-contingent orienting mechanism. To do so, we conducted a systematic investigation whereby the impact of verbal deviants-a letter embedded in the repetition of another letter-and spatial deviants-a sound presented contralaterally to the other sounds-on verbal and spatial short-term memory (STM) was assessed. This study established that both verbal and spatial deviants can hinder both verbal and spatial order-reconstruction (Experiment 1) and missing-item tasks (Experiment 2). Such results demonstrate that the deviation effect reflects a general form of auditory distraction as interference took place both within and across domains and regardless of the processes engaged in the focal task.

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