Student Research Projects

Covert and Overt attention and their Relationship to Memory

Student Conne George, '17
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Psychology
Course PSY 480: Original Research Project


A person\'s level of anxiety affects the way they perceive the world around them. Participants took the State Trait Anxiety Inventory. Participants were then shown six arrays of images with the eye-tracker measuring their overt attention. Then after a distractor task they were asked a few short memory questions about the array, about whether or not an image was in the array and if it was which array, and what color box surrounded it. Participants showed drastically higher retention of dangerous objects but no effect of anxiety was found. Eye tracking results showing more overt attention paid to dangerous and adjacent images than distant images, are then compared with memory data to give an analysis of overt and covert attention in contrast with type of image.