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If You Can't Notice a Gorilla in Plain Sight, How Can You Testify as a Witness?

Science & Tech  (tags: concept, discovery, humans, investigation, memory, research, science, scientists, society, study )

- 2739 days ago -
For example, when we recall a vivid experience, it often passes before our mind's eye in great detail. But we rarely check the accuracy of that imagery, and when we do, the details often are distorted. Our assumptions lead us to trust confident-->


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Terry King (113)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 2:21 pm
The link takes me to my own Email inbox

Vallee R (280)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 2:24 pm
Takes me to a Yahoo site - I don't have a Yahoo account,

Freya H (345)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 2:43 pm
It's freaking amazing - and scary - how our eyes and brain can play dirty tricks on us.

Kit B (276)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 6:23 pm

This is the link I posted for the article: it does work if you copy and paste into your browser.

William K (308)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 6:34 pm
I saw a similar video to this one a while back. It had more people who moved a lot quicker in larger space, was zoomed out more, and I totally did not see the gorilla.

Kit B (276)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 6:43 pm

Under these circumstances people would tend to see it [the gorilla]because the idea is now planted in their minds. The title tells them what to see, so the mind will look for the pattern. Then again, what are you to believe? The title or your own lying eyes? How many people are in prison because of eye witness testimony? Far too many.

Past Member (0)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 7:16 pm
Is this the article fron Crux/ Discovery magazine?

Past Member (0)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 7:17 pm I'm not sure this is it.

Bette M (91)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 7:30 pm
I did not see the gorilla. But did see the storm trooper.
I don't think there was a gorilla in the first clip. I rely on my eyes much more than than the average person & would have seen the gorilla had it been there.
However, it is possible I did miss the gorilla.

Plant & protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are the lungs of the earth.

Terry King (113)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 7:31 pm
I have no doubt that this phenomenon exists. However, police officers are trained and almost unimpeachable witnesses. with extraordinary comer extraordinary responsibility! I believe hat it is more likely than not that in this case justice was done.

Kit B (276)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 7:42 pm

Oh yeah, the gorilla is there, Bette. I missed one count on basketball passes because of the gorilla distraction.

True Terry, police are well trained and better then average witnesses however, in this case things could not have worked more against the police officer. First the high speed chase, then a mile run after a murder suspect all in the middle of the night. I think it more then possible that he missed what was in his peripheral vision.

Past Member (0)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 8:24 pm
I spent many years in a group that was convinced pictures in the mind were an abberation. These were called "bank". We were to get rid of our bank.

Today, the aftereffects of this deception are evident. I don't take good mental picctures. My pictures, at the best are fuzzy and not detailed.

This was a side effect of my search for truth.

However, I do feel the truths which I gained, the understanding, the answers, the appreciation of my having a close relationship with my Higher Power are all worth the risk and the sacrifice of mental pictures.

If I were called to be a witness, I would need to decline with explanation.

Shan D (49)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 11:40 pm
"Before continuing to Yahoo! Mail, please upgrade now" - is it possible to correct the link in the actual headline?

Vallee R (280)
Friday December 16, 2011, 5:54 am
Kit - still got the Yahpo link from here - but received the other in my mail - I always relate it to 2 people who are engaged and so focused on the wedding that they miss things and see only what they want to see.

Vallee R (280)
Friday December 16, 2011, 5:55 am
Try this Shan and others -

Past Member (0)
Friday December 16, 2011, 6:22 am
I've used this for training, It's kind of unfair since you told enough those in black while counting passes between white and the gorilla is obviously black.

Kari Knabe (14)
Friday December 16, 2011, 7:25 am

Holly Lawrence (430)
Friday December 16, 2011, 9:01 am
Ahhh..what we see isn't what we see!

Carmen S (611)
Friday December 16, 2011, 11:14 am
very interesting, thanks Kit

Roger Skinner (14)
Friday December 16, 2011, 11:58 am
This isn't the first time I've seen this, (or, something very similar). The first time I saw it, there was no mention of a gorilla, so it was a more fair test of my powers of observation. I did notice the gorilla and even had the correct number of ball passes between the white players but, there were other details I wasn't sure of or didn't know after one run through. Like, how many times did the ball get passed by the black players? I was sure of how many players were on each team, but wasn't sure how many were male/female on each team. I would also be hard pressed to describe any of the players and what they were wearing other than male/female, dark/white clothing. And this is a non-stressful situation where only my ego at getting the correct "answer" is at stake. In a crime situation, you don't know what the "question" is so you aren't going to be looking for a correct "answer". If there is a gun or knife involved, you are more likely to focus on the weapon hoping to avoid getting hurt than you are to focus on the wielder.

The point is that "eye-witness" testimony has been proven over and over again to be notoriously unreliable, yet they are often given more weight than they deserve in a court of law and many innocent people have been convicted solely on that basis.

Sue Matheson (79)
Friday December 16, 2011, 12:44 pm

Past Member (0)
Friday December 16, 2011, 1:37 pm
Eyewitness testimony is the worst evidence you could possibly have, but at trial it's the strongest evidence you could possibly present. This fact sure helps to explain the phrase 'blind justice'.

Is Eyewitness Testimony Reliable?

Linda h (86)
Friday December 16, 2011, 2:55 pm
That was wild. I totally saw the gorilla. Of course I was looking for it in a way. So I tried my husband and he completely missed it. My husband is very good at noticing details it's part of his work. Really wild stuff.

Helle H (21)
Friday December 16, 2011, 3:53 pm
A policeofficer should be trained to see what's happening around him, but he's also human and can easily be so concentrated on a specific job he will miss everything else. I've bee to some funerals where I went completely deaf when the coffin was carried out of the church so I didn't hear the music they played. The first time it happend I got really angry until I was told they did play that music.

Christopher Fowler (82)
Friday December 16, 2011, 3:54 pm
Hey Kit, the links do not work. they take you to the Yahoo mail account of the person clicking them. The html address that you posted afterward does work bu the hyperlinks do not.

Kit B (276)
Friday December 16, 2011, 4:34 pm

Sorry folks this is the link I used for the article and the only one I have. I dunno why it's taking people any where but the Dicover magazine article.

Matloob ul Hasan (81)
Friday December 16, 2011, 6:48 pm
Noted, thanks.

Kenneth L (314)
Saturday December 17, 2011, 7:38 am
As you say Kit, one immediately looks for the gorilla in the scene or to come into the scene from the title of the article. However, even without knowing about it beforehand, you are TOLD at the start of the video to put your attention on something in the first place, in this case to count how many times the ball is passed between white shirted people etc. That's different than someone whose attention is not fixed but sweeping in a general way and thus would record in their mind white shirted, black shirted, ball, and yes gorilla.
To me all it 'proves' is the human mind attempts to solve things all the time (count how many times with the ball etc.) and attention can be fixed or sweeping, too fixed and too sweeping, and optimum.

. (0)
Saturday December 17, 2011, 8:53 am
the link is broken...

Veronique L (209)
Saturday December 17, 2011, 4:37 pm
I'm sorry, but there's no link at all...just a Yahoo video....

Veronique L (209)
Saturday December 17, 2011, 4:44 pm
The gorilla is quite obvious, or maybe I was expecting him???

Gary C (5)
Saturday December 17, 2011, 5:24 pm

Past Member (0)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 4:22 am

Marianna Molnar (9)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 5:13 am

Brenda Towers (0)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 6:08 am
It just takes me to my email box!

Lindsay K (6)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 7:08 am
I always live in fear of having to give evidence in a legal situation - I can never remember what people were wearing, or, if I don't know them, what they looked like or what they were driving!

Alicia N (87)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 3:41 pm
noted with gratitude.

David C (75)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 7:47 pm
I can't get to the link, but I know the video and think its fantastic!!!

LeMoyn Salmonsen (88)
Monday December 19, 2011, 1:50 am
Sorry Kit, frog ate your star for this week already. Kinda creepy but interesting stuff.

Carl Nielsen (7)
Thursday December 22, 2011, 12:49 pm
Nothing new here - the brain does a lot of interpretation and simplifying of our world view from our sensory input in order to make sense of the world.

Anyone know the classic cartoon where everybody remembers the razor in the black mans hand when its clearly the white man holding it in the picture?

This is also a major danger in traffic when the brain filters out information as being of no interest. This is how pedestrians can suddenly appear from nowhere - they cannot hurt the cars driver, so he doesnt waste time keeping track of them once they are categorized as a non-threats.

Past Member (0)
Monday January 9, 2012, 6:01 am
I've added this Care2 news to our Children's Hope and Voice group's News to Note thread:

Thanks Kit!
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