Target fixation is a behavior that can cause a person to have a bad outcome.


Features of target fixation:

(1) A person becomes fixated on something (target, light, outcome, etc).

(2) Because the person is so focused on the object then she or he is unable to respond to a threat.

(3) The person should have been able to avoid the object.


When the behavior is related to a light then it may be referred to as the "moth effect".


Target fixation has been described in:

(1) flying

(2) motorcycle riding

(3) driving

(4) surfing

(5) business



(1) A fighter pilot is so fixated on an enemy plane that the pilot does not notice another enemy plane.

(2) A person collides with something that the person is trying to avoid.


In the case of a light, there may be an element of becoming hypnotized. In the case of a fighter pilot the patient is not paying attention to possible risks from behind.


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