attenuation theory

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Any theory of attention according to which information that is not attended to is processed, though at a shallower level of processing than the information receiving attention. The mechanism that implements this process is called an attenuating filter. The theory was formulated in 1960 by the US-based English psychologist Anne (Marie) Treisman (born 1935). See also cocktail party phenomenon, filter theory, selective attention. Compare bottleneck theory. [From Latin attenuare to make thin or to weaken, from tenuis thin]

Subjects: Psychology.

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