Chapter 7 of Biopsychology (9th Edition) introduced you to the change blindness phenomenon. However, to really appreciate the phenomenon, you need video–something that is easy in a blog post but not so easy in a printed textbook.
As you learned, in demonstrations of change blindness, participants are asked to identify the differences between two alternating images–the images are identical except for one gross feature. One important aspect of the testing procedure is that, as the images alternate, a 0.1 second blank screen is always inserted between presentations of the two images. As the following video illustrates, most participants struggle to identify differences that would otherwise be immediately apparent to them if the 0.1 second blink were removed, as the following video illustrates:
Another demonstration is provided in the video below. In this demonstration of change blindness, the entire scene changes quite dramatically over the course of several minutes.
Inattentional blindness is a phenomenon that is closely related to change blindness and is of general interest to many researchers who study selective attention. The following video was used in the first experimental demonstration of inattentional blindness by Daniel Simons and colleagues.
Below is another example of Inattentional Blindness from the Simons lab. This particular demonstration is from a BBC Horizons documentary.
A popular tv show by Derren Brown attempted to illustrate inattentional blindness under more naturalistic conditions. As you will see in the following video, the results were hilarious.
References and Additional Readings