International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 17 Num. 1 - March 2017


Attentional Perspectives on Context-dependence of Information Retrieval

Volume 17 Num. 1 - March 2017 - Pages 121-136


Pedro M Ogallar , Manuel M Ramos Álvarez , José A Alcalá , María M Moreno Fernández , Juan M Rosas


Attention has been traditionally understood as an important factor on acquiring new information. A review of the literature suggests that attention, specifically attention to the contexts, also plays a relevant role on information retrieval. It also shows that attention to the contexts is modulated by the ambiguity of the situation, and the informative value contexts have. The virtues and limitations of different attentional theories of learning applied to the explanation of the effects of context change on retrieval of the information are discussed. This analysis uncovers the weaknesses of current research on context processing that should be corrected by future research: The need of independent measures of attention to the contexts, the evaluation of the mechanisms of contextual control, and the possibility of taking an evolutionary perspective on the effects of context change.

Key words:

attention, context processing, contextual control, information retrieval, learning, memory

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