Change blindness: testing our powers of observation

change blindnessIt’s happened at some point to anyone who drives a motor vehicle. You inch slowly into the intersection, cautiously looking in all directions to make sure that the right of way is clear. Convinced that you can now safely make your turn, you pull forward. Suddenly, out of nowhere, its horn blaring, appears a car, swerving to avoid you. In a panic, your heart pounding loudly in your ears, you slam on your brakes, wondering how in the world you could have missed that car.

The subject of numerous studies, including research done by the Visual Cognition Lab of the University of Illinois, change blindness is the failure to detect large changes in what is literally right in front of our eyes.

Paying attention is important, not just for drivers. Daily life demands our attention, otherwise we may inadvertently overlook the important.

So, how observant are you? Test yourself with this video, created as part of a motor vehicle safety awareness campaign for the City of London:

More change blindness links on Mediation Channel here:

Hat tip to @SmilingMind.

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