The idea you should focus on, however, is that disbelief is not an option. The results are not made up, nor are they statistical flukes. You have no choice but to accept that the major conclusions of these studies are true.
She still says that I should have been able to avoid the bread since she warned me.
Let’s start with a careful look at Simons and Chabris’s classic experiment, and see how it might suggest something different, and more positive, about human nature. In the experiment, subjects were asked to watch a short video and to count the basketball passes. The task seemed simple enough. But it was made more difficult by the fact that subjects had to count basketball passes by the team wearing white shirts, while a team wearing black shirts also passed a ball. This created a real distraction. (If you haven’t taken the test before, consider briefly taking it here before reading any further.)
The experiment came with a twist. While subjects try to count basketball passes, a person dressed in a gorilla suit walks slowly across the screen. The gorilla even stops in the middle of the screen, thumps its chest, and then walks off. The surprising fact is that some 70 per cent of subjects never see the gorilla. When they watch the clip a second time, they are dumbfounded by the fact that they missed something so obvious. The video of the surprising gorilla has been viewed millions of times on YouTube – remarkable for a scientific experiment. Different versions of the gorilla experiment, such as the ‘moonwalking bear’, have also received significant attention.
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