Age Effects on Inattentional Blindness: Implications for Driving
We may fail to notice things in our environment because our attention is directed somewhere else, a phenomenon called inattentional blindness. Our susceptibility to inattentional blindness increases as we age. We explored three potential moderators of the age and inattentional blindness relationship: (1) the spatial proximity of the unexpected object to our focus of attention; (2) the match between the features of the unexpected object and those we have prioritized—our attention set; and (3) the salience of the unexpected object. Using a large sample of participants, we found no evidence that any of these moderate the effect that age has on inattentional blindness; the effect of age is robust. We discuss the implications for older drivers.
KeywordsAging Attention Inattentional blindness Attentional breadth Attention set Salience
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