An examination of attentional control theory, perceptual anticipation and dual task paradigms

Masters Thesis

Mitchell, D. 2018. An examination of attentional control theory, perceptual anticipation and dual task paradigms. Masters Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences
AuthorsMitchell, D.
TypeMasters Thesis
Qualification nameMSc

Skilled perceptual anticipation, the capability of anticipating the actions of others and processing information under severe time- and task-constraints, is a critical component in many dynamic real-world activities and cognitive tasks, particularly in elite sporting performance. Attention Control Theory was developed, from Processing Efficiency Theory, to further explore the relationship between anxiety and its effects on performance and has specifically investigated perceptual anticipation skill. Attentional Control Theory holds that the three functions listed above are the main functions of the central executive. Accordingly, Attentional Control Theory holds that anxiety impairs attentional control; therefore, anxiety has adverse effects on the central executive (inhibition, shifting and updating functions) due to their involving attentional control.

This study would attempt to explore this relationship in a more conclusive and encapsulating manner by investigating all three functions of the central executive together, while also testing perceptual anticipation in a tennis-based dual task paradigm. Multiple hypotheses were established for the following study and multiple measures were examined to examine any significant effects in attentional control and perceptual anticipation skill in low and high anxiety groups. It was predicted that anxiety would impair all functions of the central executive and perceptual anticipation skill.

The results from this study offer partial support for the assumptions of Attentional Control Theory.

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Publication process dates
Deposited26 Feb 2019
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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