If you have taken a college psychology course in the last 10 years or so, you may have seen this video of a selective attention task from Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris. Watch the video before reading on.
Did you see it? According to Simons and Chabris, around 50% of people don’t notice the gorilla because they’re paying attention to counting the balls. The two researchers have just come out with a new book called The Invisible Gorilla, which is about multitasking and paying attention. I really enjoyed a recent segment from NPR’s Science Friday program, with Ira Flatow and the book’s authors going into more depth about this topic. You can listen to a podcast of the program (or read the transcript) on the NPR website.
Here is another Simons and Chabris attention task, called “Monkey Business”. Watch this one and see if you aren’t scratching your head at the end.
I knew about the gorilla in the first video, so I wasn’t fooled that time around. The second video, however, was pretty stunning for me. How about you?