The first study of inattentional blindness?

Over on our Gorilla Guys blog at Psychology Today, I’ve just added a new post on what might well be the first series of studies documenting inattentional blindness. It comes from an unlikely source, but it’s seasonally appropriate. Check it out.

4 comments to The first study of inattentional blindness?

  • I’m not sure what this comment refers to. The post was a link to my post on the Psychology Today blog that described another study. That study didn’t involve watching videos. It’s also not clear what you mean by “tunnel vision.” Tunnel vision is a common-language term that conflates several different phenomena. One is inattentional blindness, which is a failure to notice something unexpected because attention is focused on something else. Another is narrowing of atttention so that anything falling spatially outside the focus of attention is missed. Tunnel vision comes closer to the second sort of “blindness,” but that is not what is going on in the “gorilla” video and other related inattentional blindness tasks. In fact, people often miss the unexpected object when looking right at it. The “blindness” is not due to a spatial narrowing of vision or attention in that case. In fact, the early selective looking studies by Neisser were designed specifically to demonstrate that the failure to notice unexpected events was NOT due to a spatial narrowing of attention.

  • Sammy Finkelman

    It probably has a lot to do with whether or not people were told to watch something which was very hard to do – it took up all their attention. People were not looking at the background at all, or if they did they could not devote any time to remembering something – or they’d lose count.

    This was not inattention blindness – it was tunnel vision.

    I suspect that if you ran the experiment with two different videos you’d get different averages on the different videos.

  • LOL

    Hi,

    I wasn’t sure where to post this. I would love to see this experiment taken one step further. Maybe hold up a sign with a trivial fact on it. Then see how many people didn’t see the gorilla, But did get the fact right. This show a lot about, “learned behavior”.

  • [...] The first study of inattentional blindness? – via Invisible Gorilla – I’ve just added a new post on what might well be the first series of studies documenting inattentional blindness. It comes from an unlikely source, but it’s seasonally appropriate. Check it out. [...]

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