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Friday, December 18, 2009

Changing the way we look at things

An interesting psychology experiment was performed by researchers from Harvard University covering what is termed as, “change blindness.”

Basically speaking it’s “information selection” – we see what we want to see, or better yet, what we (our brain) deems as important.

So much for cognitive correctness, I think you will find this brief video a fascinating mirror held up to the human condition. (No wonder eyewitnesses are oftentimes diametrically opposed in a courtroom, particularly if there is an eyewitness for the defense and one for the prosecution!)

It reminds me a bit of that old childhood game, “Telephone” – where you tell one person a secret and it goes around the room to everyone, and by the time it reaches the last person the original statement is often altered beyond recognition. (I would venture to say that would be called, “change hearing?”)

I doubt if young Robert Burns, the beloved Scottish poet (1759-1796) had change blindness in mind when he wrote: “O would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us.”

But, then again, maybe he did. You be the judge.


BarryGillogly said...

Makes me think that cognitive blindness like this applies to politics... how often we can be told the same lie and forget that we were told that lie just months or days ago.

Paula Slade said...

If it weren't so true Barry, that would be FUNNY!