Standing out from the crowd: Both cue numerosity and social information affect attention in multi-agent contexts

Francesca Capozzi, Andrew P. Bayliss, Jelena Ristic

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Abstract

Groups of people offer abundant opportunities for social interactions. We used a two-phase task to investigate how social cue numerosity and social information about an individual affected attentional allocation in such multi-agent settings. The learning phase was a standard gaze-cuing procedure in which a stimulus face could be either uninformative or informative about the upcoming target. The test phase was a group-cuing procedure in which the stimulus faces from the learning phase were presented in groups of three. The target could either be cued by the group minority (i.e., one face) or majority (i.e., two faces) or by uninformative or informative stimulus faces. Results showed an effect of cue numerosity, whereby responses were faster to targets cued by the group majority than the group minority. However, responses to targets cued by informative identities included in the group minority were as fast as responses to targets cued by the group majority. Thus, previously learned social information about an individual was able to offset the general enhancement of cue numerosity, revealing a complex interplay between cue numerosity and social information in guiding attention in multi-agent settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1737-1746
Number of pages10
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Volume74
Issue number10
Early online date12 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Apr 2021

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