Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Do You Expect the Unexpected?

According to a new study (actually a twist on a very old study), people who "expect the unexpected" aren't necessarily more likely to SPOT the unexpected.

Here's the scenario. Study volunteers are told to watch two groups (one group in white shirts, and one in black) pass a basketball from person to person. The volunteers are asked to count how many times the people in white pass the ball.

At some point, while everyone is counting, a person in a gorilla suit walks right through the action. The volunteers are so focused on counting that only half notice the gorilla.

Simple enough, right? Well what if volunteers are TOLD a gorilla might be stopping by? Then things get interesting.

First, test your own skills with the video below. Then click here to read more.

(This should be mandatory training for all future Irregulars.)


Anonymous Undiscovered Universe said...

I've heard of this experiment before! I read about it in Elephants on Acid and Other Bizzarre Experiments, u should check it out Kirsten!
And, I missed the gorrilla but noticed the other two things.... so thats weird

4:01 PM  
Blogger Erin_Flight said...

I fail. I never notice anything.

4:26 PM  
Blogger ShatteredLaughter said...

I got the curtain color change but missed the black team girl leaving

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ummm..........i dont see the unexpected, but i try to expect it. sad to me.....i dont try to give up on myself. im just usually too absorbed in whatever novel im reading at the moment, evenif ive read it 10 times before.

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wasnt focusing on counting, and i only noticed the gorilla. then i watched the beginning again and i saw the color change and the leaving person. it all happaned about the same time. maybe 30 seconds into it?

8:42 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

I noticed the gorilla and the curtain, but not the girl leaving... And I got the answer right! lol

8:46 PM  
Anonymous nocturnal? said...

as much as i'd like to say yes........no. im tired, i didnt get enough sleep this morning.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Alicia said...

Oh Dear. I fell for it very badly. it is kind of like the experiment they did where they had people eat dinner in an enclosed situation, and then told them their food was poisoned (it wasn't) and a lot of people starting having the symptoms of food poisoning. it seems like unexpected vs. expected events cause bizarre things to occur.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...


12:44 AM  
Blogger The Golden Eagle said...

Um, I can't see the video.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

That's awesome.I noticed the gorilla and the player leaving.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous CraftyTeen said...

I don't this was *quite* original...

Observe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahg6qcgoay4

I don't know which came first, but you can decide.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Hana said...

I'm just ashamed now *blushes*. I got the gorilla (frankly, I don't see how you could have missed THAT, haha) but that's all :p

2:39 PM  
Anonymous ~chanel~ said...

Haha I noticed the gorilla and saw the curtain change color. After a while I saw a black shirt left but I didn't see when she left.

3:24 PM  
Blogger kathleen said...

I got the right number of passes. But I have to admit I didnt notice the curtain or the player leaving.

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Nellie said...

I noticed the gorilla, but not the girl leaving or the curtain changing color.

I wonder whether the fact that some of the people were wearing black contributed to the gorilla not being spotted very much. If the black shirt people had been wearing, say, red, the gorilla would have stood out more, I bet.

Also, the girl who left sort of went behind the gorilla, so she wasn't enormously easy to see. Still, I freely admit that I totally missed that!

Very cool post!

10:40 AM  
Blogger ForresterVA said...

Oh, they're good......

12:41 PM  
Anonymous ijij78 said...

I ♥ CUTTLE FISH please do a poast on them i only missed the black player leaving

4:37 PM  
Blogger MushroomCloud said...

i got the right #, curtain change, gorilla and person leaving.

of course my thought process was really funny:

Oh, look a gorrilla. that's funny. why did the curtain change colors? that's a really ugly shade of orange. Hey where'd the gorilla go, and where is that girl going. maybe she got bored. ... 17, never mind 16.

stupid of me really.

6:33 PM  
Blogger MushroomCloud said...

ya know i never liked gorillas. they'vegot nasty pointy teeth. nknnknknkn,

6:36 PM  
Anonymous gilda joyce said...

hey, did you hear about the potential UFO sighting in china?

10:18 PM  
Blogger Reel Dancer said...

I noticed the curtain changing but not the player leaving.

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got the Gorilla, and that's it... :) :(

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

awww....i noticed the gorilla half-way through his walk, and i didn't get the number of passes right (-i missed them while watching the gorilla probably) and didn't notice the team-member leaving or the curtain changing color! :(

haha that was interesting though!


5:17 PM  

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