Date of Award
ADHD, Attention, Inattentional blindness, Online research, Perception, Undergraduate
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The relationship between Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the phenomenon of inattentional blindness has received little empirical attention, with only a single published study on the topic. The purpose of the present study was to investigate individual differences in ADHD symptom severity in a non-clinical, undergraduate sample as they relate to susceptibility to inattentional blindness. Because research conducted in an individual differences framework requires the use of reliable measurement instruments, the present study also set out to develop and pilot a task that could induce inattentional blindness repeatedly and reliably in the same participants. The results showed that a) the measure of noticing in the repeat inattentional blindness task had unacceptable internal consistency reliability for these purposes, despite this task inducing inattentional blindness multiple times in the same participants, as well as performance on the primary counting task showing good reliability; b) ADHD symptoms were not consistently associated with noticing on any task, and when they were the association was negative; c) ADHD symptoms predicted primary object tracking task performance on a single-trial video-based IB task, but not the repeat IB task; and d) there was no interaction between ADHD symptoms and noticing when predicting task performance. I also present incidental findings that depression symptoms and spontaneous mind wandering were associated with performance. Poor psychometric properties of the repeat IB task, potential pandemic-related cohort effects, and other issues with data collection limit the ability to generalize these results beyond this sample. Despite this, these findings have implications for research on individual differences research in inattentional blindness and suggest that future research should incorporate both state and trait-based measures of mind wandering, depression, and ADHD symptoms to disentangle their roles in the phenomenon.
Matchett, Katherine Rose, "ADHD Symptoms and Inattentional Blindness in an Undergraduate Sample" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 8971.