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Detection of the threat-relevant and threat-irrelevant stimuli with respect to their evolutionary significance


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Novak, Katarina. (2013). Detection of the threat-relevant and threat-irrelevant stimuli with respect to their evolutionary significance. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Psychology. [mentor Tadinac, Meri].

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Quick detection of dangerous stimuli is of a great importance for a fast and appropriate reaction in life threatening situations. The aim of this study was to examine detection time for threat-relevant and threat-irrelevant stimuli, depending on whether they were present in a human evolutionary past or they have emerged with a technological progress. A visual search paradigm was used where participants (N=72) had to determine whether all nine of the presented pictures were from the same category or one of the pictures did not belong to the major category of things/animals. Some of the obtained results are consistent with the assumption of a faster detection of phylogenetic threatening stimuli: threat-relevant stimuli of high evolutionary significance (snakes) are detected faster than the threat-irrelevant stimuli of high evolutionary significance (caterpillars and turtles). The difference in the detection time of dangerous (guns) and harmless (remote controls and flashlights) stimuli with low evolutionary significance was not statistically significant, suggesting that the effect of faster detection of threat-relevant stimuli does not appear for the evolutionary recent stimuli. Detection time for the threat-relevant stimuli with high evolutionary significance was not faster than the detection time for threat-relevant stimuli with low evolutionary significance, and the possible reasons for this finding are discussed.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: fear module, detection time, snakes, guns
Subjects: Psychology > Evolucijska psihologija
Departments: Department of Psychology
Supervisor: Tadinac, Meri
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2015 12:36
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2015 12:36

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