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of attentional disengagement and the hypothesis of ..

Using the model we explore the plausibility of the hypothesis that gaze following is a skill that infants acquire because they learn that monitoring their caregiver's direction of gaze allows them to predict where interesting objects or events in their environment are.

Example of each is taste of food and sound of tuning fork respectively.

Attention deficits are prominent among the core symptoms of schizophrenia. A recent meta-analysis has suggested that patients with schizophrenia have a deficit in endogenous disengagement of attention. In this research, we used a standard spatial cueing paradigm to examine whether the attention deficit of such patients is due to impaired attentional disengagement or defective novelty detection/habituation processes. In a spatial cueing procedure with peripheral non-predictive cues and a detection task, we manipulated the valence of either the cue or the target (i.e., a threatening vs. scrambled face) in two separate experiments. The control group exhibited a smaller inhibition of return (IOR) effect only when the target had an emotional load, not when the cue had an emotional load. In the patient group, a larger emotional effect appeared when the threatening face was the target; by contrast, no effect of valence was observed when the threatening face was the cue: IOR was delayed or completely absent independently of valence. The present findings are in conflict with the hypothesis that IOR is due to the disengagement of attention and the subsequent inhibition to return. Instead, they seem to suggest a cost in detecting new information at a previously cued location. From this perspective, it seems that patients with schizophrenia might have a deficit in detecting new information and considering it as new in the current context.

attention disengagement hypothesis, ..

For example, a neuron may be “encoded” to the taste, smell or texture of a certain food....

Infertility is a context well suited to understanding processes of goal adjustment, in that it constitutes a potentially profound blockage of a central life goal, and women receiving treatment frequently receive feedback on their goal progress. Although having a biological child is a major life goal for many adults, becoming pregnant can be difficult or impossible. Affecting more than 10% of married couples (Abma et al. ), infertility is defined as the inability to conceive a child after 1 year of engaging regularly in unprotected sexual intercourse (Mosher and Pratt ). In addition, 15% of pregnancies end in miscarriage (Hill ). When the goal of biological parenthood is blocked, often after years of trying to prevent conception, couples can experience depression and frustration (Clark et al. ; Greil ). Clark et al. () noted that “the dilemma of being caught between goal-fulfillment strivings and acceptance of one’s goal blockage or permanent infertility may be the most stressful aspect of coping with infertility” (p. 166). In line with theories of goal adjustment as an adaptive self-regulation strategy (Heckhausen et al. ; Wrosch et al. ; see Woodward , for a situational theory), our primary hypotheses were that greater disengagement from the goal of biological parenthood would be associated with fewer depressive symptoms and less infertility-related thought intrusion, and that goal engagement in direct response to infertility and general goal engagement both would be associated with more positive states of mind.

Examining goal-related processes in a situational context allows consideration of the extent of goal blockage on adaptive outcomes. During infertility treatment, women often receive monthly objective feedback on goal progress in the form of a positive or negative pregnancy test. Because high perceived goal blockage in conjunction with continued infertility treatment represents goal striving without goal attainment, we hypothesized it to be related to negative adjustment. While this hypothesis has been supported by previous data, objective measures of goal blockage have not been studied. Actual goal blockage in infertility can be operationalized as number of discrete unsuccessful treatment attempts. In that high actual goal blockage represents emotional, behavioral, and financial commitment to parenthood without goal progress, we hypothesized that it would also be associated with negative adjustment.

disengagement, habituation/det ..

Early scientists in this particular field created testable hypotheses to understand the dynamic interaction between the nature-nurture phenomenon.

In the article the author’s discuss different studies implemented to support the hypothesis of the advantages of being introduced to a second language early in life.

As hypothesized, greater perceived goal blockage predicted an increase in goal disengagement ability. Contrary to hypothesis, actual goal blockage predicted a decrease in goal disengagement ability. This may represent a “digging in of one’s heels,” or a sense of entrapment based upon an assessment of sunk cost, as individuals invest more emotionally, physically, and financially with each failed treatment attempt. Overall, these intriguing findings underscore the importance of examining the severity of goal blockage in situational contexts.

If one were studying the hypothesis that people with high levels of stress ..
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Brief mental breaks and content-free cues may not …

In cross-sectional analyses of 83 men and women who had been aware of definitive infertility problems for an average of 12 years, Kraaij et al. () found that disengagement from the goal of biological parenthood was related to low negative affect, whereas goal reengagement was related to positive affect. The interaction between goal disengagement and goal reengagement was not reported, and the generalizability of these findings is limited due to the unique sample studied. The current study allows for comparison between alternate goal engagement independent of the goal blockage and engagement that occurs in direct response to goal blockage. Motivation for pursuing an alternate goal may be pre-existing and unprompted, or it may be incited by experiencing goal blockage. For example, one infertile woman may be focused on an already satisfying career (alternate goal engagement), whereas another woman might have assumed that motherhood would constitute her career and seek other options only after experiencing infertility (goal engagement in direct response to infertility). Role accumulation theory (Sieber ) asserts that having multiple valued roles is protective for women’s mental and physical health, and empirical data support this theory (Barnett ; Ruderman et al. ). Heckhausen et al. () highlight the protective value of goal diversity and posit that maintaining varied goals is an essential component of adaptive goal pursuit. Linville also posits that greater self-complexity buffers against depressive and physical symptoms in response to stress, and evidence supports this theory specifically in the context of failed goals (Linville ; Niedenthal et al. ).

The Comparator Model of Infant Visual Habituation …

This analysis is consistent with the traditional view of IOR (). Posner et al. originally considered that the IOR effect was due to a mechanism that prevents reorienting attention to previously attended locations. When attention is withdrawn (i.e., disengaged from the cued location), it is inhibited from moving back and performance is impaired at the cued location. In short, this view assumes that IOR is a consequence of attentional disengagement and that there would be no IOR if attention was not disengaged from the cued location. In fact, the cue-back procedure has been used in a few studies on IOR in order to enhance disengagement of attention (). The conclusions reached by Mushquash et al. as well as other empirical findings [e.g., Ref. (–)] are clearly in line with this attention disengagement hypothesis.

The Comparator Model of Infant Visual Habituation and ..

Which psychological factors promote or impede an individual’s ability to accept immutable goal blockage and pursue new goals? In a sample of 97 adolescent girls, high initial depressive symptoms predict an increase in dispositional goal disengagement ability and no significant change in reengagement ability over 13 months (Wrosch and Miller ). The authors noted that the generalizability of this finding may be limited, as the sample was young, female, and identified as being at high risk for developing depressive episodes. Heckhausen et al. () point to empirical evidence indicating that goal appraisal and goal adjustment strategies change over the lifespan. During adolescence, depressive symptoms may serve the adaptive function of promoting the improvement of goal disengagement ability, but when experienced in adulthood, the associated cognitive rigidity and apathy may hinder individuals’ abilities to let go of cherished goals and reinvest in new goals (Wrosch and Miller ). In the present sample, depression might hinder women’s abilities to disengage and enthusiastically reengage in alternate goals. We examined this question as well as additional potential contributors to situational goal adjustment ability. We postulated that greater infertility-specific intrusive thoughts would predict a decrease in goal disengagement and goal engagement, as women experiencing intrusive thoughts would be likely to remain fixated on the blocked goal. We also expected that greater positive states of mind would predict an increase in goal engagement, as experiencing positive states may promote flexibility and motivate women to pursue new endeavors (Frederickson ). We hypothesized that both high actual and perceived goal blockage would predict an increase in goal disengagement, as individuals appraise the attainment of biological parenthood as increasingly unlikely.

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