Inattentional Blindness in Urban Areas

Intriguing new inattentional blindness study:

You do not talk about Fight Club if you do not notice Fight Club: Inattentional blindness for a simulated real-world assault

Abstract.

Inattentional blindness—the failure to see visible and otherwise salient events when one is paying attention to something else—has been proposed as an explanation for various real-world events. In one such event, a Boston police officer chasing a suspect ran past a brutal assault and was prosecuted for perjury when he claimed not to have seen it. However, there have been no experimental studies of inattentional blindness in real-world conditions. We simulated the Boston incident by having subjects run after a confederate along a route near which three other confederates staged a fight. At night only 35% of subjects noticed the fight; during the day 56% noticed. We manipulated the attentional load on the subjects and found that increasing the load significantly decreased noticing. These results provide evidence that inattentional blindness can occur during real-world situations, including the Boston case.

via i-Perception : You do not talk about Fight Club if you do not notice Fight Club: Inattentional blindness for a simulated real-world assault.

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  5. Urban legends, cow paths, and switchbacks

Comments

  1. Carl Mercurio says:

    Not really news. It's already been proven that if you follow the bouncing ball, there's a good chance you won't see the gorilla.

  2. G H says:

    Carl,

    Few of us follow the mind research to which you referred. Dan Ariely (who designed the gorilla experiment only a couple years ago) is not yet a household name. Likewise Michael Schermer, who has been doing similar research for decades (see “Why People Believe Weird Things”).

    So to most, it IS “news”. I hope the policeman’s defense attorney, at least, found Ariely’s results and presented them as evidence.