Have you ever heard about the Invisible Gorilla?
Insert1: Spoiler alert coming for those who haven’t heard of it yet!
Insert2: Watch this quick little video if you don’t know what I’m talking about and/or would like a refresher.
Insert3: Stop reading/press pause if you want to get the full effect.
Alright. You watch it? 🤓
Recap: That experiment was conducted by two leading cognitive psychology researchers: Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons. It’s one of psychology’s most famous experiments.
The fascinating (!!) results?
Focus people’s attention on something as simple as counting the number of times a group of people dressed in white t-shirts pass a ball while weaving in and out of a group of people in black t-shirts passing a ball and…
YOU CAN HAVE A GORILLA WALK THROUGH THE SCENE AND 50% (!!!) OF THE PEOPLE WATCHING IT WILL MISS THE GORILLA.
90% of people say they’d definitely notice something that obvious. Yet, 50% of them miss it.
One more time: THAT’S CRAZY!! (Right? lol)
That’s the power of our attentional spotlight. We selectively focus on something and our brains are so powerful (and follow directions so well) that we’ll basically delete all the distractions that aren’t important to achieve that particular goal.
SUPER (!!!) useful.
Most of the time.
Well, for our purposes Today, let’s just say that when “distraction” itself is (most people’s!) full-time jobs, there’s no room to focus on anything meaningful!!
Recall the stat from our +1 on Distraction that when we combine the 4+ hours the average person spends watching TV with the 4+ hours they spend on their smartphones, DISTRACTION IS A FULL-TIME JOB!!
(Am I shouting a lot Today? lol. Sorry? 🤓)
But… That’s crazy!!!!
As Daniel Simons says (in this great little video going into a little more depth on the study): “The key is that when you’re focusing your attention on one aspect of your world, you don’t have an unlimited amount of attention to devote to other things.”
On what are you shining the spotlight of your attention?
Let’s know that we don’t have an unlimited amount of attention.
Shine the light of our attention on the important stuff.
Deliberately let the gorilla distractions walk on by. 😉