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Real person interaction in visual attention research

Cole, Geoff G.; Skarratt, Paul A.; Kuhn, Gustav


Geoff G. Cole

Gustav Kuhn


© 2016 Hogrefe Publishing. An important development in cognitive psychology in the past decade has been the examination of visual attention during real social interaction. This contrasts traditional laboratory studies of attention, including "social attention," in which observers perform tasks alone. In this review, we show that although the loneobserver method has been central to attention research, real person interaction paradigms have not only uncovered the processes that occur during "joint attention," but have also revealed attentional processes previously thought not to occur. Furthermore, the examination of some visual attention processes almost invariably requires the use of real person paradigms. While we do not argue for an increase in "ecological validity" for its own sake, we do suggest that research using real person interaction has greatly benefited the development of visual attention theories.


Cole, G. G., Skarratt, P. A., & Kuhn, G. (2016). Real person interaction in visual attention research. European psychologist, 21(2), 141-149.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 10, 2015
Online Publication Date May 27, 2016
Publication Date Apr 1, 2016
Deposit Date Feb 17, 2016
Publicly Available Date Apr 1, 2016
Journal European psychologist
Print ISSN 1016-9040
Electronic ISSN 1878-531X
Publisher Hogrefe
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 2
Pages 141-149
Keywords Visual cognition, Cognitive ethology, Social attention, Ecological validity
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in European psychologist. It is not the version of record and is therefore not suitable for citation.


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