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 (be it a target or hazard) that they inadvertently increase their risk of colliding with the object. It is associated with scenarios in which the observer is in control of a high-speed vehicle or other mode of transportation, such as race-car drivers and motorcyclists.[1] In such cases, the observer may fixate so intently on the target that they 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]


  1. ^ a b Edmunds, Glen. "The Phenomenon of Target Fixation & How To Avoid It". Glen Edmunds Performance Driving School. Archived from the original on April 13, 2014. 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 


  • 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