Date of Award

Summer 12-2018

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Advisor/Committee Chair

Heather Sheridan , Ph.D.

Committee Member

Eliza Barach , M.A


Multiple-target visual searches are susceptible to errors when the recognition of one target hinders the detection of another. This phenomenon is known as "satisfaction of search" (SOS; Tuddenham, 1962) or more recently "subsequent search misses" (SSM; Cain, et al. 2013). Although this phenomenon was first identified in radiology, SSM errors extend beyond the medical domain. Exploring SSM errors in proofreading, this study examines whether the discovery of one misspelled word interferes with the detection of a second misspelled word amongst other correctly spelled words. Manipulating the display structure of task, it is hypothesized that the pattern of SSM errors may be different when the words are presented in a random array (i.e., with no distinct search pattern) versus a structured array (i.e., with a linear search pattern of proofreading left to right). We contrast two theories: the satisfaction of search account, which suggests that participants will conduct a less thorough search after detecting the first target because they become "satisfied" with the meaning of their search (Tuddenham, 1962), and the resource depletion theory which suggests, that finding a target hinders the detection of a second target by depleting cognitive resources (Adamo et al., 2013). Results showed that structure of the array had no effect on SSM errors, but when the participant detected a high-salience type first (an easily detected typo), they conducted a less thorough search and were less likely to identify a low-salience typo (difficultly detected typo), which supports the SOS Account for SSM errors.

Included in

Psychology Commons