Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Cognitive Psychology

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Raymond Summers
Psychology 202
Cynda Hopper

Change Blindness: The Proof of Ignorance
Cognitive psychology is not so much difficult to see in action, but rather it is difficult to understand why. This did not stop cognitive psychologists Daniel Levin and Daniel Simons. They proposed that when a person meets another object, if that object is not important enough to the person, that same person will in fact pay less attention to it. They performed two experiments involving young and old subjects with a wide range of intellect. In the experiment one of the psychologists, Levin, would ask for directions from a subject (Daniel J. Simons and Daniel T. Levin 1997). Some time after the directions were asked the other psychologists, Simons, would rudely interrupt the discussion by carrying a door between the subject and Levin. During this interruption Simons would switch places with Levin and continue carrying on the discussion. Approximately 50% of the subjects noticed the difference even though both psychologists wore different attire, were of different build, had different hair cuts, and had noticeably different voices (Daniel J. Simons and Daniel T. Levin 1997). The majority of subjects that noticed a difference were roughly the same age as the psychologists. They performed this same experiment again only this time they dressed as construction workers, both different costumes. This time less than half of the subjects noticed the difference. They theorized that the younger subjects are more likely to associate them to there social group and are therefore more aware of the psychologist. The older subjects, however, most likely decided that the psychologists are merely students asking for directions so therefore are less aware of the psychologist. This is the first experiment to prove that change blindness can occur outside of the laboratory (Daniel J. Simons and Daniel T. Levin 1997). Since then scientist have correlated this...