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Stable individual differences in strategies within, but not between, visual search tasks

Clarke, Alasdair DF and Irons, Jessica and James, Warren and Leber, Andrew B and Hunt, Amelia R (2022) 'Stable individual differences in strategies within, but not between, visual search tasks.' Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 75 (2). pp. 289-296. ISSN 1747-0218

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A striking range of individual differences has recently been reported in three different visual search tasks. These differences in performance can be attributed to strategy, that is, the efficiency with which participants control their search to complete the task quickly and accurately. Here we ask if an individual's strategy and performance in one search task is correlated with how they perform in the other two. We tested 64 observers in the three tasks mentioned above over two sessions. Even though the test-retest reliability of the tasks is high, an observer's performance and strategy in one task did not reliably predict their behaviour in the other two. These results suggest search strategies are stable over time, but context-specific. To understand visual search we therefore need to account not only for differences between individuals, but also how individuals interact with the search task and context. These context-specific but stable individual differences in strategy can account for a substantial proportion of variability in search performance.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Visual search, individual differences, optimal behaviour, eye movements
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2020 19:17
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 08:40

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