Can You Boost Your Critical Thinking Skills By Giving This Challenge A Try?

Let’s face it: We’re not as observant as we would like to be. Too often, we spend time trying to find something only to realize it was in an obvious spot all along. Or a friend would point out an interesting sight that we can’t see. Or we don’t notice the gorilla walking through a ballgame, like in the famous Invisible Gorilla experiment. Sometimes we are so focused, we can’t see anything else. Which makes this puzzle even more difficult. 

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Can You Find the Mistake?

Despite its simplicity, this photo is going viral. How long does it take for you to spot the mistake?

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"Share when you find the mitsake" photo
Photo credits: WakeUpYourMind

Did you find it yet? The answer is: Mistake is spelled incorrectly. 

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The Invisible Gorilla Experiment

If you were fooled, don’t be embarrassed. Scientists have tested this inattentional blindness in the famous Invisible Gorilla experiment. The theory is that people will miss something visually obvious when their attention is on something else. 

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Our intuition is that we will notice something that’s that visible, that’s that distinctive,” explained Daniel Simons, lead author of the study, and that intuition is consistently wrong.” [1]

In the study, the researchers asked the participants how often players wearing white shirts passed a basketball in a video. About halfway through, a woman in a gorilla suit walked in, looked at the camera, thumped her chest, and walked away. After the video, the researchers asked the participants if they saw the gorilla. Half of them did not, even those who looked directly at it. Here’s a 2010 remake of the video to see for yourself. Can you spot the gorilla in this one?

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This experiment puts our ability to multi-task into question. Additionally, it shows our limited capacity for distractions. Many people cite this study to dissuade texting and driving. Although many drivers think of themselves as the masters of multi-tasking, their attention capacity is more limited than they might think.

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But this is not a bad thing, however. Inattentional blindness is what allows us to be productive. For instance, imagine trying to read a book at a library while paying attention to the people wandering around. Or a surgeon shutting out the distractions around him. 

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As Simons said: “If you were constantly noticing every little thing around you, how would you get anything done?[2]

Keep Reading:

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Sources

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  1. “Bet You Didn’t Notice ‘The Invisible Gorilla’.” NPR. May 19, 2010
  2. “’Invisible Gorilla’ Video Shows People’s Multitasking Limits; Why Using Cellphone While Driving Dangerous.ABC News. Ned Potter. April 19, 2011
Sarah Biren
Freelance Writer
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender.
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