Selective blindness…

… having had my new car for a while, it’s weird how many other ones like it I’ve noticed all over the place. It’s a cunning link from the last post about tricks of the mind really.

Next time you’re with a group of friends, ask them to take 30 seconds to make a mental note of everything a certain colour in a room – say, red – if there’s some red stuff in the room. After the time, ask them to close their eyes, and then describe the blue things in the room. Unless they know what you’re up to they should really struggle with it (again, make sure there are some blue things in the room – plenty of them), because their mind filtered them out whilst concentrating on the red things.

It’s a bit like that – before I had the car I noticed hardly any like it, even when I knew I was getting it, in the past I or family members have got new cars – I remember Dad getting a Focus that was a metallic light green – we thought it was terribly original – soon after we saw Focuses (Focii?) everywhere in the same shade of green… and similarly, now my new car is here and has been made relevant in my subconscious – it means little signals go off whenever I see one now, making it seem like there are suddenly more of them – when there aren’t.

Isn’t it odd how your mind filters things out until you make them relevant to yourself and suddenly you start to register them everywhere. I think this selective blindness must have been at play in reverse for the clueless buffoon of a referee who gave Huddersfield a penalty against Forest on New Year’s Day!

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Categories: blog | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Selective blindness…

  1. From the book “What The Bleep Do We Know!?”…we are only aware of 2,000 bits of information out of the 400 billion bits of information we are processing per second.

  2. Wow! 2,000 is quite a lot though… I wonder what information I’ve stopped being aware of to accommodate a different type of car?!

    I hope it wasn’t important!

  3. Although we can only hold 7 pieces (plus or minus 2) of information in our conscious mind at any one given moment….

    The effect you refer to re ‘filtering’ Al is labelled as ‘perceptual set’ in psychology 😉

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