Attention modulates set representation by statistical properties

De Fockert, J. W. and Marchant, Alexander. 2008. Attention modulates set representation by statistical properties. Perception & Psychophysics, 70(5), pp. 789-794. ISSN 0031-5117 [Article]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

Recent reports have claimed that observers show accurate knowledge of the mean size of a group of similar objects, a finding that has been interpreted to suggest that sets of multiple objects are represented in terms of their statistical properties, such as mean size (Ariely, 2001; Chong & Treisman, 2003, 2005a, 2005b). In the present study, we directed visual attention to a single set member and found that mean estimations were modulated according to the size of the attended item, regardless of whether size was the relevant search criterion (Experiment 1) or not (Experiment 2). These findings suggest that observers do not always accurately average together the entire set, and that instead the average is either biased by the features of the attended item, or based on a short-cut strategy of extracting the mean of a smaller subset.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):

Departments, Centres and Research Units:




Item ID:


Date Deposited:

07 Mar 2011 10:29

Last Modified:

30 Jun 2017 14:58

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


Edit Record Edit Record (login required)