Invisible Gorilla on NPR Talk of the Nation

Chris and I were on Talk of the Nation yesterday to talk about our new book, The Invisible Gorilla. If you are interested, you can read a transcript and hear the podcast here.

2 comments to Invisible Gorilla on NPR Talk of the Nation

  • It does appear to be important for the task to require selective attention. You need to be focused on some elements of a scene and not others. If subjects count the passes by the players wearing black, they are more likely to notice the gorilla, although about 30% still miss it. In more controlled, computer-based displays, the similarity of the unexpected object to the attended and ignored items has a bigger effect (see Most, S. B., Simons, D. J., Scholl, B. J., Jimenez, R., Clifford, E., & Chabris, C. F. (2000). How not to be seen: The contribution of similarity and selective ignoring to sustained inattentional blindness. Psychological Science, 12, 9-17.). However, even when the attended items are white, the ignored items are black, and the unexpected object is bright red, 30% of people still miss it.

  • I heard the NPR interview and just looked at the video on your site. Query what would have happened if none of the ball players were wearing black pants – or black at all? Since you have asked people to focus on the passing of the ball, and the gorilla never touches the ball, maybe the result isn’t as surprising as we think?

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