Change blindness is a relatively new field of study in psychology, referring to the propensity of individuals to ignore changes in the environment if they are not being actively attended to during one's interaction. In this study, the question of how cues in the form of descriptive words would effect participant's ability to detect changes in a short film was explored. Participants were shown a list of random words and cue words before a film in which changes occurred in each shot of the film. After the film, participants were asked to recall the words they had been asked to remember before the film. Those who were able to recall cue words shown before the film were better able to detect changes during the film than students who were unable to recall cue words.
[...] Out of 40 students shown the film, only 33% of students reported that the actor changed between scenes, even though those who did not report the change reported very specific details about the film, such as the desk being cluttered, the direction the man walked, and what color shirt he was wearing (Levin & Simons, 1997.) In another experiment on change blindness, Simons and Levin (1998) showed that change blindness does not merely exist in a lab nor is it caused by cuts between scenes in a film nor by flicker paradigm. [...]
[...] Results The rate of detection for uncued changes and changes where the cue was seen by the participant but not recalled were similar while there was moderate statistically significant difference in frequency of change detection between the changes where the cues were not encoded and changes where the cue words were encoded. Fisher's Exact Test revealed marginal significance with a P value of .06 and a degree of freedom of one (Figure 2). Out of twenty-five participants, twenty one were unable to detect any changes without viewing the corresponding cue words, three were able to detect one change, and one was able to detect two changes = S = 0.67 When participants were able to recall cue words after seeing the video, change detection increased: twenty failed to detect any changes, but four successfully detected one change each, and one noticed three out of four cued changes = 0.12 ; SD = 0.33 When the cue words were seen but not recalled after the film, however, change detection dropped to below the level of change detection when no cue was presented = 0.2 ; SD = 0.5 Twenty two students were unable to recall any changes to which a cue word had been forgotten and three were able to recall one word each (Figure 4). [...]
[...] (1999). Gorillas in our midst: Sustained inattentional blindness for dynamic events. Perception 1059-1074. Levin, D. T. & Simmons, D. J. (1997). Failure to detect changes to attended objects in motion pictures. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 501- 506. Rensick, R. A.; O'Regan, J. K.; & Clark, J. J. (1997). [...]
[...] (2002). Volatile visual representations: Failing to detect changes in recently processed information. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 744-750. Fougne, D. & Marois, R. (2007). Executive working memory load induces inattentional blindness. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 142- 147. Jones, B. T.; Macphee, L. M.; Broomfield, N. M.; Jones, B. C.; & Espie, C. A. (2005). Sleep-related attentional bias in good, moderate, and poor (primary insomnia) sleepers. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 249-258. Levin, D. T. & Chabris, C. F. [...]
[...] The dialogue may have provided a distraction or diverted attention from the changes taking place, and thus may explain the lower change detection in the original experiment, though distraction for the new experiment in the form of ambient noise from participants in surrounding experiments and concentration on their own currently-running experiments may have provided a similar distraction. A potential confounding variable that was not accounted for is the potential for inattentional blindness to have an effect on the experiment. Levin and Chabris (1999) found that when individuals are mentally engaged in a task, such as counting the number of passes of a ball, they may often miss novel events in front of them, such as an individual in a gorilla suit. [...]
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