Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Extant attention theories explain how individuals direct attention towards different stimuli. However, the theories are relatively silent about how attention is switched off, other than the idea that attention to a stimulus may cease because another stimulus overwhelms the first in its demand for attention. We theorized that individuals have a tendency to ‘not switch off’ attention from a current process, in the absence of a competing stimulus that wrenches attention away from it. We present evidence consistent with this attentional bias – individuals continue attending to an ongoing mundane process until it reaches its ‘end’, even when that attention is normatively unwarranted, namely under conditions where (1) they cannot control or influence the process and (2) they are aware of the outcome with a reasonable degree of certainty as well. Moreover, since attention is a limited capacity resource, such attentional hijacking is negatively hedonically marked which gets mis-attributed to salient available targets. Consequently, we also demonstrate decreased positivity in attitudes towards entities associated with the incomplete process.
Attention, Attention-Chaining, Incompleteness, Misattribution
viii, 71 pages
Includes bibliographical references (pages 57-60).
Copyright © 2019 Sunaina Shrivastava
Shrivastava, Sunaina. "Can’t switch off: the impact of an attentional bias on attitudes." PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) thesis, University of Iowa, 2019.