Ok, seriously, this commercial pisses me off. For several reasons. First, because the first time I watched it I was only very barely casually watching. So when I realized the big HUGE black hole in my vision, I was dumbfounded. Seriously, I know all about the experiment that illustrates that this phenomenon actually occurs in real life situations, but seriously? Against an all white screen? I just HAD to see it again. But I didn’t wanna cheat. I was not going to find it on youtube prepare myself and then pause it at the exact moment where my perceptual black hole had missed the hippo. I wasn’t. I was going to see it on TV and I was going to catch it, and then I was gonna be all “OHHHHH!!! I see!!”.
The problem was, every damn time the stupid thing came on, I never really caught on it was the same commercial until the rabbit was already at the end of its first run and they were asking if we saw the hippo. DAMMIT!! I exclaimed to myself after about the 20th time this happened on the same day (I told you, I watch a whoooole lotta TV lately. Realistically, if I wasn’t bedridden, I would have done the sane thing and just youtube’d the damn thing and been done with it. BUT…as I told ya, I need to try and find new ways of entertaining myself on a daily basis with the mundane programming on TV and this was certainly one of my little boredom projects).
So…I trained myself to recognize the beginning of the Speedy Gonzalez song. I learned how to focus my attention in a snap, get my wits about me without so much as a blink in preparation. And then…IT HAPPENED!! I FINALLY caught it! Yes, this was the moment…I was entirely focused, completely into the commercial, nothing could distract me. And this is what I saw…. (watch the commercial…please…and then you tell ME what you see…but only watch it through once).
Yeah. Exactly….WTF?!?!? Am I on crack? Are the perks finally frying my brain, and I’m seriously SO high that not only do I not even notice it but that my brain no longer can focus on two things at once? OK! That’s it. Now I’m mad. Not angry…MAD! lol So, I decide for the entire day that I’m gonna watch the channel that I know plays this commercial on the regular, no matter HOW awful I find the programming (as I said, I can most certainly entertain myself with craptacular TV…its all in how you choose to perceive it!). So I catch the stupid thing…not once…not twice…TEN TIMES in a matter of a few hours…
ITS NOT THERE!!!!
It’s not. It just isn’t. It CAN’T be! I refuse to believe that watching it over and over that I could miss it. That (yes, stooping down to the cheater level and youtubing it finally tonight) pausing it I totally keep missing the 200 milliseconds the stupid thing is there. IMPOSSIBLE!!! Just impossible! So…what I want to know is…why? Why did they do this to me? Dude, I don’t even know what the damn commercial is advertising, so it wasn’t all that persuasive of an ad…yes, I admit, I spent waaayyy too many waking HOURS on a 45 second long commercial, but who cares how long I spend contemplating it if I have no idea at the end of it exactly what it was selling? #justsaying. So to Telus (who is apparently who this commercial is) I say “yeah, you got me. Poo on you guys, but you got me. So there. Now let’s never speak of it again!”.
Now, going back to what I said earlier, I am well aware of a psychology experiment that illustrates this point perfectly. As a group of laypeople in the area of psychology, you probably aren’t. Never fear! I have so graciously decided to share this magical little experiment with you, and then tell you little something something about it…. Follow the instructions on the screen and enjoy!
Neat, right? I knew what it was going to be, and yet I STILL didn’t see it while counting the passes! LOL. Your perceptive black hole, or inability to perceive something so clearly in your face is called Change Blindness. Pretty much, its the idea that we only perceive changes that we are expressly and intentionally paying attention to. So if something in the scene changes that we are not paying attention to at the time of the change we’ll never pick it up. Try this other example of change blindness: it’s not a movie, it’s a flashing picture, flashing two pictures one after the other. Each time it flashes one (only one, and always the same part) part of the picture changes….can YOU tell what it is? (seriously I tried to figure it out for a good 20 minutes just now…apparently I am NOT good at these things! lol :-p Especially because I have TAKEN the course that covered this unit in full and yet not only once but TWICE I am re exposing myself to experiments in change blindness (in a matter of an hour here, folks) that I have already seen and STUDIED and yet I STILL can’t pick up on it!!!! LOLOL). Did you check it out already? Amazing that they’re right though eh? Once you know where the change is, you can’t HELP but see it there, even if you try and not pay attention to it anymore! There are SO many experiments where they have tested this phenomenon, and while some are virtually universally stumping, there are some EXTREMELY blatant experiments that fool at least 3 quarters of the population. Check this next one out, which will allow you to watch OTHERS get fooled!
OK, so that’s enough mind f****** for you this Friday! I’m thinking I’m missing the hell outta school and my beloved psych major, cause I SWEAR this wasn’t gonna turn into a mini-psych lesson! Scouts honour! *whispers: I was never a scout ;-)* But isn’t psychology fascinating?!!!?!? Bet if nothing else today you were mildly entertained and learned that what’s in front ofyour eyes and what you “see” aren’t always the same!
So remember, while you’re out this weekend and you get this nagging feeling that something just ain’t right… follow your gut and GTFO! Most likely your eyes picked up on some danger signal your “seeing” did not and your basic instincts are trying to propel you! 😉
Have a great weekend y’all!