top of page

Attentional Blindness

Vanessa Hill | 4:08


Some researchers suggest that your attention span may be as short as eight seconds. Um, try testing it. With this exercise you have to count how many times the play is wearing wide past the ball.

You may have noticed the white team pass the ball 16 times. You also may have noticed this gorilla walking through the. Especially if you've seen this video before, but if you were watching the Gorilla and the white team, you may not have noticed the background changing color, or one of the players on the black team leaving this experiment called the Monkey Business Illusion was popularized by two Harvard researchers in 1999.

It's based on a similar 1975 study where a woman with a white umbrella walks through a basketball. The invisible gorilla researchers found about half of those who watched their video for the first time miss the Gorilla. It's called Inattentional Blindness, where you fail to notice an unexpected stimulus that is right in front of your eyes.

When you do a task with a high information load, it takes up a lot of your brain capacity. Your brain becomes selective with what it will process. So let's try this again. Watch this video and see if you notice a change. The younger man has approached the Whitehead man and is asking for directions.

So that one was pretty obvious to us, but 50% of the people in the study didn't notice that the person they were talking to had changed, just like the white haired man. They were subjected to change blindness where a visual stimuli changes yet you don't notice. Like if you fail to spot the difference in these two pictures of my dog,

these experiments are kind of fun, but they can have greater implications. In another study, professional airline pilots operated a flight simulator where the flight console information was projected directly onto the windshield. The idea was that they could see this information and the real world all at the same.

Download Transcript

bottom of page