In part one of this interview, we began exploring the limits of human perception with Daniel Simons, a Psychology professor and co-winner of an Ig Noble prize. This conversation is part two of that discussion.
Assuming you can name only one, what is one of the most popular myths associated with attention? How about one for memory?
We assume that we will automatically notice anything that appears before our eyes, regardless of what else we’re doing. But, in reality, we’re only aware of a tiny subset of the world around us, and our awareness depends critically on the focus of our attention. Without focusing our attention, we can look without seeing. We tend to miss unexpected objects and events because they do not attract our attention. And, without our attention, we don’t consciously perceive them.
The illusion that looking is the same as seeing underlies the mistaken belief that we can multitask effectively (we don’t notice what we’re missing, so we assume we’re not missing anything) and it contributes to dangerous behaviors like talking on a cell phone while driving.
Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. The comments below begin with the oldest comments first. Click on the last comments page to jump to the most recent comments.
Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines.Post a Comment: