Invisible Gorilla by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1515 Words
Date:  2022-08-23

Determine the authors' purpose for the book.

In the Invisible Gorilla, by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, the authors intent to picture the cognitive psychology of everyday illusion we encounter. Such illusions include memory, attention, memory, knowledge, confidence, potential and cause. As stated by the authors, the illusions are created by the perceptions that we have regarding the mechanisms of our minds, whereby they are incredibly wrong and can lead to many adverse issues in our lives. Chabris and Simons are triggered by the mental mechanism of how attention, perception, thinking and seeing counter relates in different situations and how they affect one another. The ultimate goal for the reader of the book is that they need to be much mindful to their surrounding and enhance their level of judging what they see.

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Explain why you think the authors wrote this book?

The authors were inspired through a simple experiment that was conducted with the help of the college-aged students and the gorilla suit individual at Harvard University. The experiment was in the form of a video form. It involved the students passing a basketball from one to another. Then viewers were supposed to count the passes made by the white team, but the primary intent was to determine whether it was possible for them to identify a person wearing a gorilla suit walking through the middle of the screen. Out of all participants, nearly half of them did not realize that there was something odd going on within the players, until when their attention was focused on it. The authors reflected this occasion to our everyday activities. Out from the experiment, the authors were stimulated with several cognitive psychology theories that explain the conducts of the audience who were watching the video. Through their discussion, they wanted to prove that individuals who focus on one thing could undoubtedly overlook something else.

Define the Authors' Ideas and Concepts: Create A Context for the Reader.

Through the idea of the illusion of attention, the authors bring up some of the ideas and concepts that support their argument. The illusions include memory, attention, memory, knowledge, confidence, potential and cause.

The illusion of memory: This concept explains that people believe that their memory will not fail them. Memory is not like a video recording and is not impartial. Memory can be compromised by emotions, the occurrence of the events and the duration from the time the information was captured alongside other factors.

The illusion of confidence: The idea is that people who speak with confidence tend to be more knowledgeable and offer a correct statement.

The illusion of knowledge: The concept applies where people perceive that they know a lot than they do. As Chabris and Simons state, we incline to choose the advice we are given by the experts who act as they know a lot and who greatly have confidence in the knowledge they possess.

The illusion of attention: the idea of the illusion derives from what we see that we can perceive everything our eyes sense. The authors, however, state that people experience a little of their visual world compared to what they think they do.

The illusion of confidence: the idea states that individuals who speak with confidence are more knowledgeable and offer more precise statements (Chabris and Simons).

The illusion of cause: the illusion is inclined in the idea of false causation between two events. Chabris and Simons compel that it rises when we see patterns in uncertainty, and it is much possible that we see patterns when we think we understand what is causing them.

The illusion of potential: the concept view that the human mind has some form of free power that we need to pursue and utilize to attain our maximum potential (Chabris and Simons).

The Authors' Arguments and their Target Audience

The authors applied the concept of illusions to create a sense of understanding of Invisible Gorilla. The perception created is based on the ordinary behavior of human beings, on how the sense of seeing and thinking operates from a psychological point of view. The audiences being targeted by the authors are ordinary people who are keen and focused on one thing and not aware of what happens to their surroundings. This behavior is natural in many. Significantly, the concepts of illusion presented the significant facts on human psychology and behavior. The arguments presented by the authors are based on the following notions.

Seeing without seeing: inattentional Blindness: In psychology, intentional blindness refers to the not noticing something despite it being in the clear view, this is caused by not paying attention to the actual place or object. Based on the authors' argument, people overlook objects that are before their eyes, but since the attention is not focused on object A which they are not interested, they become blind to it as they concentrate on their interested object B. This perception goes aligned with the illusion of attention since it lies on attention focusing principle. The principle concisely explains why driving and texting or calling is prohibited. A driver will be more focused on texting, and little attention will be on the steering whereby he will be drifting.

Seeing without Seeing: Change Blindness: In psychological view, change blindness refers to the striving in realizing changes in similar, but in a somewhat different scene that is introduced one after another. The changes can be quickly realized once the attention is focused on them, but they will be utterly undetectable if the needed attention is absent. The concepts presented by Chabris and Simons is aligned with the change blind when demonstrating Invisible Gorilla experiment, where it shows that looking at something, is different from seeing as is the case with change blindness. In respect to the experiment, Chabris and Simons affirm that inattentional blindness happens when we do not realize the appearance of something that we are not expecting to see. The change blindness comes in when we are not able to compare what is there presently and what was there previously. Majorly, the change blindness deals with things changing rather than directing needed attention to remembering each detail at the moment, while inattentional blindness emphasizes with directing a lot of attention to one thing without noticing other things. Change blindness comes up due to the reduced brain capacity that humans are capable of being attentive.

Knowing without Knowing: Intuition: intuition is referred to be the sense of acknowledging something without any analytical consideration. It is thought that intuition is the typical kind of thought and it is the connection between unconscious and conscious thought; therefore it is powerful and accurate than analytical thought. Chabris and Simons argue that our daily illusions are entangled into our habits of mind such that we fail to notice that they undergird all of the 'common sense. In that case, common sense is what oversees our intuition as well as everyday life.

Through the theories presented by the authors, it is eminent to state that we are more focused on a predetermined issue that we focus all our attention and never to notice any changes that occur on our surrounding. Unless we shift our attention to a singular aspect of the surrounding, that is when we will study the changes that have occurred.

Analyze how the authors present their ideas to the reader.

The author used the ideal way that will make the reader understand the basis of their theory as well as the main concepts respective to cognitive psychology. They applied the most natural way of performing the experiment where the volunteers were involved. The visualized experiment was meant to attract the audience's attention to the possible theories that characterize the experiment. The authors used a theory that is similar to what we encounter on a daily basis, for the views to familiarize with the concepts of the theories.

There are dozens of theories that the authors have come along with to substantiate the concept of illusions. The most prevalent aspect of the book was the discussion of the experiment that was carried out by Gene Weingarten that involved violin virtuoso violinists Joshua Bell. The authors used the theories from other researchers to bring an in-depth understanding of how their concept of Invisible Gorilla is included. Therefore, the theory of illusion is derived from other concepts that exist, though this is profound on the attention and focus of human psychology when interacting in daily activities. The authors wanted us to know how our senses tend to play the trick on us.

In some instances, the book asked some question in the case studies to gauge the understanding of the reader based on the context. This technique was effectively used as it introduced the sense of self-awareness to the idea that the authors are trying to present. Through the presentation of his ideas, it showed how people are not mindful to their surrounding, and they are blind to other objects apart from the ones they are focused.

Work Cited

Chabris, Christopher, and Daniel Simons. The invisible gorilla: And other ways our intuitions deceive us. Harmony, 2010.

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Invisible Gorilla by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons Essay. (2022, Aug 23). Retrieved from

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