Independent and Dependent Variables Essay

Pages: 5 (1301 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Psychology

¶ … independent and dependent variables used in the first experiment; include the levels of each variable. (maximum 2 sentences,

The independent variable used by Snowden in his experiment Visual Attention to Color is the arrangement of color cue stimuli presented as dynamic random noise patches centered along either side of a fixation cross. The dependent variable is the participant's varying processes of attentional guidance based on cues containing only color information, manifested by the exogenous control of visual attention, as measured by their reaction times during mouse click responses to color cue stimuli.

Are there any methodological flaws or limitations in the experimental design? Explain.

While Snowden and his research team undoubtedly dedicated much of their focus to designing a thorough and rigorous experiment, as evidenced by the detailed mathematical measurement process described in the Methods section, the effect of certain methodological flaws and limitations on his results must be considered. The primary methodological limitation observed in Snowden's experimental design is the extremely small sample size studied, as only eight (8) individuals were included as participants in the study. By examining the effects of color cues on P. stream attentional guidance, which is a precise and intricate set of experimental parameters, through such a small sample size, Snowden has rendered his conclusions vulnerable to valid criticism which holds that his findings may simply represent statistical noise or random variation.

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3.) How did the experimenters control for possible confounding variables?

TOPIC: Essay on Independent and Dependent Variables Used in the Assignment

Within the confines of Snowden's particular experimental design, the most likely confounding variable to potentially cause adverse measurable effects was that of luminescence information, as the goal of this study was to assess attentional guidance to visual cues containing only color information. As he was highly cognizant of the threat that luminescence information could pose to the validity of his results, Snowden observed that "one way of eliminating luminance artifacts is to embed the stimuli in random luminance noise that makes any small remaining differences in luminance invisible, and also serves to mask any high-spatial-frequency artifacts" (181), before describing the control process of using dynamic random noise backgrounds to present trials. Snowden also had to control for the confound ding variable of visual adaption to the same image, and this was achieved by having subjects view the green screen for at least 2 minutes before the data collection began, and by adjusting the equiluminescence point to the proper level red cue display.

4.) Explain the role of the magnocellular and parvocellular streams (from what you learned from lecture or from your textbook). Explain how the research discussed in this article expands upon previous views

As Snowden observes in his article, the primate visual system is divided into at least two distinct areas on the subcortical level: the magnocellular (M) stream and the parvocellular (P) stream. Decades of investigative analysis on the construction and purpose of these visual divisions has revealed that the M. stream is adapted to process transient information, lacks the refinement to signal fine details, and is incapable of distinguishing the inputs generated by long- and medium-wavelength cones (Snowden 180). Conversely, the P. stream is assists in focusing on stationary objects, processes fine details instantaneously, and contains cells with color-opponent receptive fields. As previous experiments have demonstrated, lesions of the P. stream cause colorblindness while lesions of the M. stream have no such effect, and when one considers that color changes have typically not caused attentional capture in studies, this distinction suggests that the M. stream plays the predominant role in guiding attention capture and eye movement. Snowden's research debunks this traditional conception of the role that the P. stream and M. stream play in primate vision, showing that color change signals can isolate the P. stream in the process of automatic attention capture, and that color vision is an adaptive trait designed to aid in target detection, identification, and localization.

5.) What are the implications of the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Independent and Dependent Variables" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Independent and Dependent Variables.  (2013, May 28).  Retrieved September 28, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Independent and Dependent Variables."  28 May 2013.  Web.  28 September 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Independent and Dependent Variables."  May 28, 2013.  Accessed September 28, 2021.