Why an Invisible Gorilla Is a Security Threat

Pacific Standard:

You may have seen a video online somewhere, or in a Psych 101 class perhaps, of a group of people wearing black and white shirts passing a basketball back and forth. When you watch, you are prompted to count how many times the players wearing white shirts pass the ball. What you may not see, though, even though it is right in front of you, is that after a half a minute of the basketball-passing and feet-shuffling, someone wearing a gorilla suit strolls into the center of the screen, thumps her chest, and then walks away.

Many people are so engaged with the assignment of counting ball-passes that they don’t notice the gorilla at all; the first clue they have is the video’s gleeful reveal: “How many passes did you count? The correct number is 15 passes. But did you see the gorilla?!” This video was originally used by psychologists Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris, in an experiment testing the curious phenomena of “inattentional blindness.” Simons has described this as “a form of invisibility” that “depends not on the limits of the eye, but on the limits of the mind.”

Read the whole story: Pacific Standard

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