Target fixation

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Target fixation is an attentional phenomenon observed in humans in which an individual becomes so focused on an observed object that their awareness of hazards or obstacles diminishes. The phenomenon is most commonly associated with scenarios in which the observer is in control of a high-speed vehicle or other mode of transportation. In such cases, the observer may fixate so intently on the target that they will not take necessary action to avoid it, thus colliding with it.

The phenomenon is common amongst racing drivers,[1] fighter pilots, motorcyclists, mountain bikers, and surfers, amongst others. When individuals target fixate, they are prone to steer in the direction of their gaze, which is often the ultimate cause of a collision.[1]

The term target fixation was used in World War II fighter-bomber pilot training to describe pilots flying into targets during a strafing or bombing run.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Edmunds, Glen. "The Phenomenon of Target Fixation & How To Avoid It". Glen Edmunds Performance Driving School. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Colgan, William B. (2010), Allied Strafing in World War II: A Cockpit View of Air to Ground Battle, McFarland, ISBN 978-0-7864-4887-6 

References[edit]

  • Spiegel, Bernt (2010), The Upper Half of the Motorcycle: On the Unity of Rider and Machine, Translated by Meredith Hassall, Whitehorse Press, ISBN 978-1-884313-75-2 
  • Vanderbilt, Tom (2008), Traffic: why we drive the way we do (and what it says about us), Random House, ISBN 978-0-307-26478-7