Nonstrategic contributions to putatively strategic effects in selective attention tasks

Evan F. Risko, Chris Blais, Jennifer A. Stolz, Derek Besner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Proportion compatible manipulations are often used to index strategic processes in selective attention tasks. Here, a subtle confound in proportion compatible manipulations is considered. Specifically, as the proportion of compatible trials increases, the ratio of complete repetitions and complete alternations to partial repetitions increases on compatible trials but decreases on incompatible trials. This confound is demonstrated to lead to an overestimation in the magnitude of the proportion compatible effect in the context of both a Stroop and a Simon task. Implications for previous research and directions for future research using proportion compatible manipulations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1044-1052
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Attentional control
  • Compatibility effects
  • Selective attention
  • Strategic control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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