Beyond unusual? Examining the role of attention in the weapon focus effect

@article{Hope2007BeyondUE,
  title={Beyond unusual? Examining the role of attention in the weapon focus effect},
  author={Lorraine Hope and Daniel B. Wright},
  journal={Applied Cognitive Psychology},
  year={2007},
  volume={21},
  pages={951-961}
}
The current study examined whether the weapon focus effect could be accounted for in terms of stimulus novelty. Participants viewed a slideshow of a simulated event while attending to a secondary task. In the critical slide, the target was shown holding a threatening object (weapon condition), a novel object (unusual condition) or a neutral object (control condition). Reaction times on the secondary task were impaired in the weapon and unusual conditions. Participants in the weapon condition… Expand

Figures and Tables from this paper

Oculomotor Examination of the Weapon Focus Effect: Does a Gun Automatically Engage Visual Attention?
TLDR
An image of a gun did not engage attention to a larger extent than images of other types of objects and the results suggest that context may be an important determinant of WFE. Expand
The Weapon Focus Effect: Testing an Extension of the Unusualness Hypothesis
The weapon focus effect (WFE) occurs when a weapon distracts eyewitnesses, harming memory for the perpetrator and other details. One explanation is that weapons are unusual in most contexts, andExpand
Armed and attentive: Holding a weapon can bias attentional priorities in scene viewing
TLDR
Evidence confirms that the action capabilities of the observer alter more than just perceptual mechanisms and that holding a weapon can change attentional priorities. Expand
Of guns and geese: a meta-analytic review of the ‘weapon focus’ literature
Abstract Weapon focus is frequently cited as a factor in eyewitness testimony, and is broadly defined as a weapon-related decrease in performance on subsequent tests of memory for those elements ofExpand
A “weapon focus” effect in children
Abstract Experiments suggest that the presence of a weapon impairs memory for the appearance of the perpetrator (“weapon focus”), although whether this reflects threat or novelty value remainsExpand
Temporal shifts in weapon focus: Comparing retrograde and anterograde effects
When an eyewitness suffers an impairment of memory for a criminal’s face because the criminal used a weapon during the commission of the crime, this impairment is called the weapon focus effect.Expand
The Weapon Focus Effect in Target‐Present and Target‐Absent Line‐Ups: The Roles of Threat, Novelty, and Timing
Summary When an eyewitness suffers an impairment of memory for a perpetrator because the criminal used a weapon during the crime, this impairment is called the weapon focus effect. The literature isExpand
The Presence of a Weapon Shrinks the Functional Field of View
Summary This study examined whether the functional field of view shrinks by the presence of a weapon or the increase of emotional arousal. In Experiment 1, participants viewed two types ofExpand
Evidence of alcohol induced weapon focus in eyewitness memory
We examined the effects of acute alcohol on eyewitness memory for a simulated armed robbery under laboratory conditions. Alcohol and placebo participants viewed a slide series showing a target maleExpand
Eyewitness Memory for Typical and Atypical Weapons in Cognitive Context
The present research addressed eyewitness memory for weapons, specifically for a modern semi-automatic pistol and an antique flintlock, in order to address the influence of weapon novelty on recallExpand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 44 REFERENCES
The weapon focus effect revisited: The role of novelty
Purpose. The relationship between novelty, self-reported affect, and the weapon focus effect was investigated. Methods. In two experiments, college students watched a videotaped scene in whichExpand
Weapon focus, arousal, and eyewitness memory
Weapon focus refers to the decreased ability to give an accurate description of the perpetrator of a crime by an eyewitness because of attention to a weapon present during that crime. In the firstExpand
The Influence of Context on the “Weapon Focus” Effect
Two experiments investigated context effects in “weapon focus.” In Experiment 1, undergraduates who watched a videotape depicting an armed man provided less accurate descriptions of him if the actionExpand
Some facts about “weapon focus”
Abstract“Weapon focus” refers to the concentration of acrime witness's attention on a weapon, and the resultant reduction in ability to remember other details of the crime. We examined thisExpand
Unusualness and threat as possible causes of "weapon focus".
TLDR
In two experiments exploring possible causes of the "weapon focus" effect, undergraduates viewed videotapes depicting interactions in business establishments and had difficulty remembering the low-threat, non-unusual object. Expand
A cross-modal weapon focus effect: The influence of a weapon's presence on memory for auditory information
TLDR
The weapon's presence did not affect voice identification accuracy or memory for the target's vocal characteristics but did worsen memory for semantic content in the Difficult Comprehension condition. Expand
Eyewitness identification: Simulating the “Weapon effect”
The present experiment investigates the effect of weapons on eyewitness recall and recognition using a new experimental paradigm in which a syringe serves as weapon simulation. Contrary to previousExpand
A meta-analytic review of the weapon focus effect
This meta-analytic review examined 19 tests of the weapon focus effect—the hypothesis that the presence of a weapon during commission of a crime will negatively affect an eyewitness's ability toExpand
Cognitive determinants of fixation location during picture viewing.
  • G. Loftus, N. Mackworth
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance
  • 1978
TLDR
Findings imply a role of cognitive factors in peripheral visual processing and suggest a possible relationship between the nature of information initially acquired from a picture and subsequent recognition memory for that picture. Expand
Repeated testing in eyewitness memory : A means to improve recall of a negative emotional event
Participants viewed either a violent, arousing film or a non-violent, control version of the same film. After viewing the film, they made three successive attempts to recall details of the event.Expand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...