Simons and Chabris

  • Created by: Tia Neary
  • Created on: 15-03-23 14:51

Simons and Chabris

  • BackgroundChange blindness: individuals often do not detect large changes to objects and scenes from one view to the next, particularly if those objects are not the centre of interest in the scene (Rensink et al, 1997).
  • aim- to build on previous research into divided visual attention and to investigate inattentional blindness for complex objects and events in dynamic scenes.
  • laboratory experiment, independent measures.(IVs) If participant took part in: (i) The Transparent/Umbrella Woman condition (ii) The Transparent/Gorilla condition (iii) The Opaque/Umbrella Woman condition (iv) The Opaque Gorilla condition. For each IV there were four task conditions:(i) White/Easy (ii) White/Hard (iii) Black/Easy (iv) Black/Hard.(DV) number of participants in each of the 16 conditions who noticed the unexpected event (Umbrella Woman or Gorilla). Sample- 228 participants (‘observers’), almost all undergraduates. Either volunteered to participate without compensation,got a large candy bar or was paid a single fee for participating in a larger session including another, unrelated experiment. Data from 36 participants were discarded. This is because they had heard about the study previously. Therefore, results were used from 192 participants. These were equally distributed across the 16 conditions.
  • Materials- 4 video tapes,75 seconds. Two teams of three, one team wearing white shirts, the other black. Transparent condition, the white/black team,+ unexpected event were all filmed separately, The three videos were partially transparent.Opaque conditon, the gorilla walked from right to left into the live basketball-event, stopped in the middle of the players as the action continued all around it, turned to face the camera, thumped its chest, and then resumed walking across the screen.
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Simons and Chabris

  • Procedure-participants tested individually gave informed consent.Before viewing the video tape, participants were told they would be watching two teams of three players passing basketballs and that they should pay attention to either the team in white or the team in black.Told to silent mental count of the total number of passes made by the attended team (Easy condition) or separate silent mental counts of the number of bounce passes and aerial passes made by the attended team (Hard condition).(i) While you were doing the counting, did you notice anything unusual in the video? (ii) Did you notice anything other than the six players? (iii) Did you see a gorilla/woman carrying an umbrella walk across the screen? After any “yes” responses, participants were asked to provide details of what they noticed
  • Findings: 1-,54% noticed the unexpected event and 46% failed to notice the unexpected event.2- More participants noticed the unexpected event in the Opaque condition than the Transparent condition. 3- More participants noticed the unexpected event in the Easy (64%) than the Hard (45%)condition. 4- The Umbrella Woman was noticed more often than the Gilla overall. 5- The Gorilla was noticed by more participants who attended to the actions of the Black team than those who watched the White team (Black 58%, White 27%, per condition). Conclusions- 1. Individuals have a sustained inattentional blindness for dynamic events.2- Individuals fail to notice an ongoing, unexpected event if they are engaged in a primary monitoring task. 3- The level of inattentional blindness depends on the difficulty of the primary task.4- Individuals are more likely to notice unexpected events if these events are visually similar to the events they are paying attention to. 5- Objects can pass through the spatial extent of attentional focus and still not be ‘seen’ if they are not specifically being attended to.
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