Cognitive Psychology

Attenuation Model in Cognitive Psychology

Attenuation Model in Cognitive Psychology

Attenuation Model: There are mainly four attention models such as:

  • Broadbent’s Mode
  • Selective Filter Model
  • Attenuation Mode
  • Late-Filter Model

Broadbent’s Mode

According to one of the initial theories of attention, we filter information exact after we notice it at the sensory level. Several channels of sensory input reach an attentional filter. Those channels can be eminent by their characteristics like loudness, pitch, or accent. The filter lets only one network of sensory information to continue and reach the processes of perception. We thus assign meaning to our sensations. Additional stimuli will be filtered out at the sensory-level and might never touch the level of perception. Broadbent’s theory was reinforced by Colin Cherry’s findings that sensory information sometimes may be noticed by an unattended ear if it does not have to be
processed elaborately. But information demanding higher perceptual processes is not noticed if not attended to.

Attenuation Model


Selective Filter Model

It is Not long after Broadbent’s theory, evidence started to suggest that Broadbent’s model must be wrong. Moray found that even when participants ignore most other high-level aspects of an unattended message, they regularly still recognize their names in an unattended. He suggested that the reason for this effect is that messages that are of high importance to a person may break through the filter of selective. But other messages might not. To modify Broadbent’s metaphor, one might say that, according to Moray, the selective filter blocks out most information at the sensory level. But some individually important messages are so powerful that they rush through the filtering mechanism.

Attenuation Model

It is use to explore why some unattended messages pass through the filter, Anne Treisman accompanied some experiments. She had participants shadowing clear messages, and at some   point switched the remainder of the clear message from the attended to the unattended ear. Participants picked up the first few words of the message they had been shadowing in the unattended ear, so they must have been somehow processing the content of the unattended message. Likewise, if the unattended message was similar to the attended one, all participants noticed it. They noticed even if one of the messages was faintly out of temporal synchronization with the other. Treisman also observed that some smoothly bilingual participants noticed the identity of messages if the unattended message was a translated version of the attended one.

Note: Shadowing is iterating all the words that another person is saying.

Late-Filter Model

Deutsch and Deutsch established a model in which the location of the filter is even later. They suggested that stimuli are filtered out only after they have been investigated for both their physical properties and their meaning. This later filtering would permit people to recognize information entering the unattended ear. For example, they might recognize the sound of their own names or a translation of attended input for bilinguals. Note that supporters of both the early and the late-filtering mechanisms suggest that there is an attentional bottleneck through which only a single source of information can pass. These two models vary only in terms of where they hypothesize the bottleneck to be positioned. Deutsch & Deutsch’s Late-Filter Model is shown as

Late-Filter Model


Read More Attention and Consciousness


NCERT-NOTES Class 6 to 12.

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