The article proposes application of the level approach to attention research. Four basic principles of levelbased architecture of attention are derived from theoretical premises of the level approach to cognition and the psychology of attention as well as from empirical data. The author offers a variant of empirical research program which is based on the logic of the level approach. Finally the 5 level model of attention processes organization is proposed on the basis on experimental data. The article also contains examples of author's empirical studies which are interpreted in the level approach framework. The first study demonstrates the functioning of the redundancy principle (which is one the basic principles stated in study) in the visual inspection tasks. The second study shows the differences in the efficiency of memorizing the same material and the differences in experiencing of subjective confidence in mnemonic judgments depending on the leading level of attention in task solving.
The distractive effects on attentional task performance in different paradigms are analyzed in this paper. I demonstrate how distractors may negatively affect (interference effect), positively (redundancy effect) or neutrally (null effect). Distractor effects described in literature are classified in accordance with their hypothetical source. The general rule of the theory is also introduced. It contains the formal prediction of the particular distractor effect, based on entropy and redundancy measures from the mathematical theory of communication (Shannon, 1948). Single- vs dual-process frameworks are considered for hypothetical mechanisms which underpin the distractor effects. Distractor profiles (DPs) are also introduced for the formalization and simple visualization of experimental data concerning the distractor effects. Typical shapes of DPs and their interpretations are discussed with examples from three frequently cited experiments. Finally, the paper introduces hierarchical hypothesis that states the level-fashion modulating interrelations between distractor effects of different classes.
Distractor's effect (stimulus which is irrelevant at a certain moment and ignored) on task solving efficiency is considered. It is revealed that according to problem situation and connection with target stimulus any distractor can produce two opposite effects: negative - interference and positive - redundancy effect. Distractor effects' classification based on one of possible grounds - distractor's source: sensory inputs effects, hierarchical effects and correlational effects is given. Possibility of level-hierarchical relation between the three classes of effects is discussed.