It is amazing how malleable memory and perception can be – much more than we think. For example, in one research study subjects were standing at an airport ticket counter. The ticket agent pretended to drop something, ducked behind the counter and a different person finished the transaction. Many of the subjects didn’t even recognize the change had been made. We tune out big chunks of the environment. In another study, subjects were asked to count the number of times players with white shirts passed a basketball in a video. Most of the subjects achieved a fairly accurate account of the passes, but only 42% saw something more important. A person in a black gorilla costume walks right into the center of the action, beats his chest and moves off. More than half the subjects were so engrossed in the task at hand that they couldn’t see the gorilla. An entire gorilla, right in front of their eyes! It is very sobering to think about. Our models and attention create blinders that limit what we see. What gorillas are moving through your field of vision right now that you fail to see?
Source: Jerry Wind (What’s Behind the 4-Minute Mile, Starbucks and the Moon Landing? The Power of Impossible Thinking | Knowledge@Wharton)
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