How about that: the guys who did the “invisible gorilla” study at the University of Illinois wrote a book.
You might remember the famous “Gorilla Test,” in which you count the number of times a basketball is passed. Here’s an updated version for those who’ve already taken the test.
This “inattention blindness” results in the many instances of “That bicycle came out of nowhere!” collisions, or what our friends in the UK now call SMIDSY (for “sorry mate, I didn’t see you.”) Motorists don’t see us because they don’t expect to see us.
Driving safety is the obvious application of this inattention blindness research, and Dan Simon’s video inspired Transport For London’s famous “Do the Test” cycle awareness campaign, in which motorists are reminded to look out for cyclists.
This book is not about transportation, nor is it just about inattention and change blindness. In a recent blog post, for example, Dan Simons shows us that people who are unskilled are unaware of their incompetence — in other words, the Lake Wobegon effect in which all of us are above average drivers; it’s all the other idiots on the road causing the problems out there.