The (Really Scary) Invisible Gorilla

The Huffington Post:

The Invisible Gorilla is part of the popular culture nowadays, thanks largely to a widely-read 2010 book of that title. In that book, cognitive psychologists Dan Simons and Christopher Chabris popularized a phenomenon of human perception — known in the jargon as “inattentional blindness” — which they had demonstrated in a study some years before. In the best known version of the experiment, volunteers were told to keep track of how many times some basketball players tossed a basketball. While they did this, someone in a gorilla suit walked across the basketball court, in plain view, yet many of the volunteers failed even to notice the beast.

A new study raises that disturbing possibility. Three psychological scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston –Trafton Drew, Melissa Vo and Jeremy Wolfe — wondered if expert observers are also subject to this perceptual blindness. The subjects in the classic study were “naïve” — untrained in any particular domain of expertise and performing a task nobody does in real life.

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

Wray Herbert is an author and award-winning journalist who writes two popular blogs for APS, We’re Only Human and Full Frontal Psychology.

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