Fagot, C. (Technical Report) Is repetition blindness a visual phenomenon? A critical review.
View a PDF of the full length text
This report reviews the literature on whether people have difficulty seeing repeated items in rapid serial visual presentation displays (RSVP): the effect known as repetition blindness (RB). It is argued that the data originally cited in support of this hypothesis are weak, and that follow-up work puts the view in doubt. More recent work by advocates of the hypothesis is also discussed. In particular, RB experiments employing signal detection theory measures of sensitivity are carefully examined. It is concluded that signal detection theory is not appropriate for determining whether people fail to see repeated items in these experiments. Finally, the type of evidence that would be necessary to validate the blindness view of RB is discussed.