“Attentional bias” (Cox, Fadardi, & Pothos, 2006) can be understood as a selective attention effect, which results in an increased attention for an object. For instance, the logo of a fast-food chain might be easily missed by a person that just ate, but quickly recognized by a fast-food enthusiast who is craving for a burger. In fact, a plethora of external stimuli bypasses the conscious mind and only a small fraction of stimuli are processed. Pre-processing filters such stimuli that are important and relevant for the individual’s goals, e.g. satisfy craving for fatty food (Zanto, Hennigan, Östberg, Clapp, & Gazzaley, 2010).
Selective attention effects can be measured with the emotional Stroop task. The original Stroop task (Stroop, 1935) measured reaction time difference towards color names that were either printed in the same color (e.g. the word “yellow” printed in yellow) or in a different color (e.g. the word “yellow” printed in blue). With reference to the initial experiment, response inference for incongruent color-name combinations became known as the “Stroop”-effect (MacLeod, 1991).
In-game Screenshot of AYB Emotional Stroop Task
AYB implements the word stimuli of the Stroop task as graffiti displayed on a wall. The word remains visible until the respondent clicks (for desktop PC) or touches (for smartphone) one out of four paint buckets. The task of the respondent is to choose the paint bucket with the displayed color. Depending on the correctness of the choice, the avatar reacts positively or negatively. At the end of the task, the participant receives an individual game score with a short interpretation.
The Posner task (Posner, 1980) is implemented on two screens in AYB. The experimenter can choose whether stimuli should be shown only on one or on two screens at the same time. In both cases, the participant is asked to click or touch a target object that appears shortly after the stimulus disappears. Also, the respondent receives an immediate feedback by the avatar and a score plus interpretation are presented at the end of the session.
In-game Screenshot of AYB Posner Task
This webpage is currently under construction!!!