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Examining the effect of advertisements on the perception of a road scene: a comparison of change blindness in drivers and non-drivers

Frost, Georgina (2011) Examining the effect of advertisements on the perception of a road scene: a comparison of change blindness in drivers and non-drivers. University of Salford.

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Abstract

External-to-vehicle items such as roadside advertisements have the potential to divert attention greater than a driver’s attentional capacity which may lead to changes to road scenes going unnoticed and result in road accidents. The aim of this research was therefore to understand the role of advertisements and attention during change detection and to determine the effect advertisements have on scene perception. Through the use of an opportunity sample 17 drivers and 13 non-drivers took part in the experiment. The experiment employed the flicker paradigm and participants were asked to identify a change between two road scenes that were identical apart from the one change. As anticipated, faster reaction times were identified in the no advertisement conditions compared to both the large and small advertisement conditions. Furthermore, faster reaction times and superior detection accuracy were found in the conditions with large advertisements compared to those with small advertisements. Unexpectedly though driving experience did not affect change detection. It was concluded that road-side advertisements have an adverse effect on the successful perception of a road-scene, however, the effect advertisement size has on scene perception requires more exploration.

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