Activity 18.1 Change Blindness and Inattentional Blindness

Change Blindness

Although we may feel that we are quite good at comparing two versions of the same scene, research proves that people are actually surprisingly poor at this task. If two photos of the same basic scene are presented serially, and separated by just a brief flicker or blink, the viewer can miss some very dramatic differences between the photos, as the examples below demonstrate.
(Movies courtesy of Ron Rensink, University of British Columbia.)

Inattentional Blindness

If a visual scene is sufficiently complicated, focusing your attention on one aspect of the scene can result in a failure to notice nonattended stimuli that you would normally think were impossible to miss. The video below gives a nice example of this phenomenon.

Textbook Reference: Attention Selects Stimuli for Processing, pp. 549–553