Understanding Inattentional Blindness
If you were asked to watch a video and count the number of times one set of participants passed a basketball, you’d surely notice if a person wearing a gorilla suit walked through the scene, wouldn’t you?
Well, maybe not. Psychology professors Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simon s conducted this experiment and have found that while 90% of people believe they’d see the gorilla, only 50% do.1 The Invisible Gorilla test, which is also the title of the book they co-authored, is a prime example of the psychological phenomenon known as inattentional blindness.
“When people focus on a task that demands their attention, they often fail to notice unexpected objects and events that occur in full view. This phenomenon is known as ‘inattentional blindness’ because people typically do not consciously perceive aspects of their world that fall outside of the focus of their attention,” Simons writes on his website.
The American Psychological Association (APA) says U.S. psychologists Arien Mack and Irvin Rock coined the term in 1998,2 and offers these examples: “magic tricks in which observers fail to see the magician’s sleight of hand in front of them and accidents in which drivers fail to see others on the road.”2
A Topic in Psychology Degree Programs
If you pursue a bachelor’s or master’s in psychology, you may explore inattentional blindness or choose it as a topic for research in psychology. Better understanding the capabilities and limits of human consciousness and cognition can be useful in many psychology careers, including educational psychology, health psychology, and social psychology.
How does this apply in real life? Inattentional blindness, for example, can lead to traffic accidents.
The National Safety Council offers this example: “Let’s say a driver is using voice commands to order takeout food. The driver’s brain becomes lost on that order (thin or thick crust pizza?). Instead of focusing on what’s ahead, the driver can miss up to half of what is in his or her driving environment, including slow or stopped vehicles up ahead. This behavior can have deadly consequences. In America, eight people die every day in distracted driving crashes.”3
Inattentional blindness research has helped traffic safety experts design measures to limit distracted driving and help save lives.
Earn a Psychology Degree Online
Psychology studies can help you make a difference in the world. And Walden University, an accredited university that emphasizes the importance of positive social change, can help you focus your impact.
Walden’s BS in Psychology online degree program can prepare you to work in a diverse array of career fields. As a psychology major, you can choose a general course of study, or focus your psychology courses on a career field that meets your interests. You can choose one of the following concentrations: Addiction, Criminal Justice, Forensic Psychology, Human Services, and Workplace Psychology.
And if you want to pursue an advanced psychology degree, the Accelerate Into Master’s (AIM) concentration lets you earn up to 25 master’s-level credit hours by taking graduate-level courses at the undergraduate tuition rate.
In Walden’s online MS in Psychology degree program, you’ll choose from a General Psychology program and seven specializations that also let you tailor your studies to your career goals. Study cognition and lifespan development in the Educational Psychology specialization. Explore Health Psychology to understand the biological, psychological, and social factors that influence health. Choose the Social Psychology specialization for a thorough study of human behavior.
Walden designs its online psychology degree programs for working professionals who want to earn a degree while continuing to work and enjoy family life. The accredited university’s flexible online learning platform lets you study on your own schedule, wherever you have an internet connection.
If you’re ready to launch your bachelor’s or master’s journey to arrive at a better understanding of human behavior, choose an online degree program that can prepare you for a rewarding career in psychology.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering online BS in Psychology and MS in Psychology degree programs to help you meet your professional goals. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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