Over the past two years, we have become fascinated by the effect of reward-driven distraction, i.e., the phenomenon that irrelevant cues previously associated with rewards capture attention and/or disrupt performance on the primary task. We believe that this phenomenon is interesting for at least two reasons. First, it is theoretically interesting that attention can be modulated in a way that is neither goal-directed, nor stimulus-driven, even though this dichotomy was believed to be able to explain attentional mechanisms for a long time. Second, from an applied perspective (which is still relatively unexplored), reward-driven distraction may have important implications for work and education (e.g., for how to design physical work/learning environments). The literature on reward-driven distraction is quickly expanding, showing that people from many sides are fascinated by this phenomenon. Despite the constantly growing empirical evidence, there is only one narrative review on the topic (Anderson, 2016); to our knowledge, there is no existing quantitative review. We believe that the field, even though it is still young, is ripe for a meta-analysis.
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