Knowing the unexpected does not improve chances of seeing it

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Washington, July 12 (ANI): A new study has established that those who know that an unexpected event is likely to occur do not have better chances of noticing other unexpected events than those who aren't expecting the unexpected.

The study used a new video based on one used in a now-famous experiment conducted in the late 1990s by Simons and his collaborator, Christopher Chabris.

In the original video, two groups of people - some dressed in white, some in black - are passing basketballs back and forth.

Simons and Chabris found that many of those who viewed the video failed to notice when a person in a gorilla suit walked into the game, faced the camera, pounded on its chest and then sauntered out of view.

Simons created a similar video and wanted to see if those who knew about the gorilla before viewing the video would be more or less likely to notice other unexpected events in the same video.

The experiment found that those who knew about the original gorilla video all spotted the gorilla but it did not improve the detection of other unexpected events.

Only 17 percent of those who were familiar with the original gorilla video noticed one or both of the other unexpected events, while 29 percent of those who were unfamiliar with the original gorilla video spotted one of the other events.

"The main finding is that knowing that unexpected events might occur doesn't prevent you from missing unexpected events," said Simons.

"Even when they know that the experimenter is going to fool them, they can miss something that's obvious, something that they could spot perfectly well if they knew it was there," he added.

The study appeared in the new open access journal i-Perception. (ANI)

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