This is an experiment on auditory awareness. In order to participate in this experiment you need to listen to an audio file (step #1). After that, you have to answer two questions about what you heard (step #2). You will then be given further information about the purpose of the experiment (debrief/step #3). It is important that you follow the experimental sequence below in order.
Put on your headphones and click the play button below when you are ready to start the listening task.
After listening you can continue with step #2 below.
Emprical results show that on average 50% of participants completely miss the “auditory gorilla”. Did you hear it? If not, listen again and you will be surprised how you could miss it in the first trial. This experiment tells us a lot about the inherent limits and the task-specificity of attentional resources. The phenomenon is called “inattentional blindness”. Our attention has been metaphorically compared to a spotlight which only illuminates a small proportion of the vastness of reality.
Inattentional blindness or perceptual blindness (rarely called inattentive blindness) occurs when an individual fails to perceive an unexpected stimulus in plain sight, purely as a result of a lack of attention rather than any vision defects or deficits.
The term was chosen by Arien Mack and Irvin Rock in 1992 and was used as the title of their book of the same name, published by MIT Press in 1998, in which they describe the discovery of the phenomenon and include a collection of procedures used in describing it.
The original article associated with the experiment at hand was published by Dalto & Fraenkel (2012) in the journal ‘Cognition’.
Show/hide publication abstract
A famous study that demonstrated inattentional blindness asked participants whether or not they noticed a person in a gorilla costume walking through the scene of a visual task they had been given. Research on inattentional blindness suggests that the phenomenon can occur in any individual, independent of cognitive deficits. However, recent evidence shows that patients with ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) performed better attentionally when engaging in inattentional blindness tasks than control patients did, suggesting that some mental disorders may decrease the effects of this phenomenon. Recent studies have also looked at age differences and inattentional blindness scores, and results show that the effect increases as humans age.