07-01-2022 | Original Article
The role of visual working memory capacity in attention capture among video game players
Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research | Uitgave 7/2022Log in om toegang te krijgen
It is well established that attention can be captured by salient distractors. Some studies have found that action video game players were less susceptible to attention capture by irrelevant distractors than non-players. Other studies have also found that individuals with greater visual working memory capacity are less susceptible to capture by irrelevant distractors than individuals with lower visual working memory capacity. The present study examined whether action video game players were less susceptible to be captured by salient distractors and, if so, whether that relationship was due to greater visual working memory capacity. Participants completed a questionnaire reporting their video game playing experience, followed by a color change detection task assessing their visual working memory capacity. They then performed an attention capture task, where they determined the orientation of a bar within a shape singleton while attempting to ignore a color singleton distractor that appeared in 50% of the trials. Results showed that action video game players did not produce less capture effect than non-action video game players. However, high visual working memory capacity individuals produced less capture effect than low visual working memory capacity individuals regardless of their video game experience. These results suggest that the ability to resist capture by irrelevant distractors may be better explained by individual differences in visual working memory capacity than by action video game experience.