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Does pre-crastination explain why some observers are sub-optimal in a visual search task?

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posted on 2024-02-20, 16:54 authored by Alasdair Clarke, Kyle Sauerberger, Anna Nowakowska, David A. Rosenbaum, Thomas R. Zentall, Amelia Hunt

How  do  we  decide  where  to  search  for  a  target?Optimal search relies on first considering the relativeinformational  value  of  different  locations,  and  thenexecuting  eye  movements  to  the  best  options.  Butmany   participants   consistently   move   their   eyesto    locations    that    can    be    easily    ascertained    toneither   contain   the   target,   nor   to   provide   newinformation   about   the   target’s   location.   Here   weasked   whether   this   sub-optimal   search   behaviourrepresents  a  specific  example  of  a  general  tendencytowardspre-crastination:  starting  sub-goals  of  a  taskbefore  they  are  needed,  and  in  so  doing,  spendinglonger   doing   the   task   than   is   necessary.   To   testthis  hypothesis,  we   asked  200  participants  to  dotwo  tasks:  retrieve  two  heavy  buckets  (one  closeand  one  far),  and  search  for  a  line  segment.  Pre-crastination  is  defined  as  consistently  picking  upthe   closer   bucket   first,   versus   the   more   efficientstrategy of picking up the farther bucket first. Searchefficiency   is   the   proportion   of   fixations   directedto   more   cluttered   regions   of   the   search   array.Based  on  pilot  data,  we  predicted  an  associationof  pre-crastination  with  inefficient  search  strategies.Personality   inventories   were   also   administered   toidentify  stable  characteristics  associated  with  thesestrategies.  In  the  final  dataset,  there  was  no  clear association between search strategy and pre-crastination,nor  did  these  correlate  strongly  with  any  of  the personality measures collected.

History

Author affiliation

School of Psychology and Vision Science, University of Leicester

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Royal Society Open Science

Publisher

Royal Society Open Science

Copyright date

2024

Available date

2024-02-20

Publisher DOI

Language

en

Deposited by

Dr Anna Nowakowska

Deposit date

2024-02-05

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