Statistics In Psychology Essay


Upon completion of this lab, you should be able to:

1. Calculate the average of a set of data in Microsoft Excel;

2. Run a t-test comparing two sets of data in Microsoft Excel;

3. Describe the basic function of attention;

4. Describe exogenous and endogenous attention;

5. Appreciate how reaction times can be used to investigate cognition;

6. Draw preliminary conclusions from reaction time data.


Laboratory 1 : Visual Attention

After the Experiment the data is given as follows :




Cue Valid


Cue Invalid


Cue Valid


Cue Invalid

RT Means





Cueing Effect



t-test p-value





Cue Valid


Cue Invalid


Cue Valid


Cue Invalid

RT Grand Means





Cueing Effect




The column chart showing the mean RT’s of the four conditions is

Figure 1 : Column chart of Valid RT’of Four Conditions

(Source : Created by Author )


Based on the experiment that was conducted, there was significant cueing effect in endogenous stimuli. This can be verified from the value of endogenous cueing (-0.135) which is more than the value of exogenous cueing (-0.102).

Moreover, for both endogenous and exogenous cueing the p-value is < 0.000. Thus, we fail to reject the Null hypothesis. Hence, we can say that there are differences between the means of the Valid and Invalid cues for both endogenous and exogenous cues. We may also say that there is relationship between valid cues and invalid cues.

The differences between the means may be caused by our ability to react to a given stimuli.


Based upon my individual data it can be said that endogenous cueing had a larger effect. This can be attributed to the different types of orientation that the arrows as endogenous stimuli elicit. This may also be attributed to the fact that we learn to ignore distracters. This a part of the development pattern. Our ability as adults to shift attention is developed as we reach teenage. Until early adolescence children make errors and respond to stimuli that is irrelevant. This is since the frontal cortex that is responsible for ignoring the distracters are not fully developed in adolescents. The ability to filter out distracters develops at different rates and is dependent of the growth of the frontal cortex.


The data of the class is very similar to my individual data. In both the cases the endogenous stimuli has a larger and more significant effect than exogenous cueing.

5. Two types of cues were implemented.

The first one is endogenous cueing. In this we test the presence of arrows at a particular location. This has a very high level of control. The instruction to find the cue is with visual sign. This is a type of top-down control. This is somewhat based on what the observer believes.

The second one is exogenous cueing. In this the target location changed color. This has a low-level of control. Exogenous cue draws our attention by the use of a flash or movement. This is also known as bottom-up control of attention and is based on what the observer actually sees. (Moher & Egeth, 2012).

Valid cues were those in which we pointed towards the location where the stimulus would occur.

The stimulus in exogenous cueing was the change in color. This change in color attracts our attention and gives rise to stimuli. The cue is valid for 25% of the trials.

The stimulus in endogenous cueing was as arrow pointing to a particular location. The cue is valid for 75% of the trials.

Invalid cueing occurred when we pointed away from the location / presence of stimulus. Thus in the case of endogenous cueing when we pointed away from the particular location then it was considered as invalid cue. Similarly in the case of exogenous stimulus an invalid cue occurred when we pointed to the wrong frame. (van Ede, de Lange & Maris, 2012).

The presence of arrows at a particular location is more predictive. This type of cueing is known as endogenous cueing. This is because the target i.e., an arrow pointing to a particular location is encountered by us very frequently. An arrow in our daily life generally signifies the path that should be followed. Thus, our eyes are adept at following an arrow. More importantly, we can predict the presence of a target. Thus we respond faster when the direction of the arrow and the target match. Moreover arrows are very suitable for investigating the involuntary attention (Schneider & Wascher, 2013).When stimuli (arrow) appeared at the cued location then the reaction is shorter. When the arrow appeared at a non-cued location then the reaction got larger (Olk, et al., 2014).

References :

Moher, J., & Egeth, H. E. (2012). The ignoring paradox: Cueing distractor features leads first to selection, then to inhibition of to-be-ignored items.Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 74(8), 1590-1605.

Olk, B., Tsankova, E., Petca, A. R., & Wilhelm, A. F. (2014). Measuring effects of voluntary attention: A comparison among predictive arrow, colour, and number cues. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology,67(10), 2025-2041.

Schneider, D., & Wascher, E. (2013). Mechanisms of target localization in visual change detection: an interplay of gating and filtering. Behavioural brain research, 256, 311-319.

Van Ede, F., de Lange, F. P., & Maris, E. (2012). Attentional cues affect accuracy and reaction time via different cognitive and neural processes. The Journal of Neuroscience, 32(30), 10408-10412.

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