It is described in most introductory textbooks and is featured in more than a dozen science museums. In the book, we also explain why people succumb to these everyday illusions and what we can do to inoculate ourselves against their effects. In short, we try to give you a sort of "x-ray vision" into your own minds, with the ultimate goal of helping you notice the invisible gorillas in your own life.
It has been used by everyone from preachers and teachers to corporate trainers and terrorist hunters, not to mention characters on the TV show C.
In the process, we explain: Why a company would spend billions to launch a product that its own analysts know will fail How a police officer could run right past a brutal assault without seeing it Why award-winning movies are full of editing mistakes What criminals have in common with chess masters Why measles and other childhood diseases are making a comeback Why money managers could learn a lot from weather forecasters Again and again, we think we experience and understand the world as it is, but our thoughts are beset by everyday illusions.
To our surprise, it has become one of the best-known experiments in psychology. The Invisible Gorilla reveals the numerous ways that our intuitions can deceive us, but it's more than a catalog of human failings.
We combine the work of other researchers with our own findings on attention, perception, memory, and reasoning to reveal how faulty intuitions often get us into trouble. But when we did this experiment at Harvard University several years ago, we found that half of the people who watched the video and counted the passes missed the gorilla.
In The Invisible Gorilla, we use a wide assortment of stories and counterintuitive scientific findings to reveal an important truth: Our minds don't work the way we think they do. This experiment reveals two things: that we are missing a lot of what goes on around us, and that we have no idea that we are missing so much.
And it got us thinking that many other intuitive beliefs that we have about our own minds might be just as wrong.