When being narrow minded is a good thing: Locally biased people show stronger contextual cueing
Lauren Bellaera, Adrian von Mhlenen, and Derrick Watson
In a busy, cluttered world, it can often be difficult to find things. Luckily for us, the location of objects is often related to the context in which they are found, which means that we can learn from our exposure to repeated contexts to help us more quickly find what we’re looking for. Researchers who study this type of learning — called contextual learning — have suggested it is influenced by the way we look at and process scenes. When people view a scene, they are either biased to process it globally — focusing on the overall structure of the scene rather than the small details — or to process it locally — focusing on the smaller details rather than the bigger picture.