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Culture & Religion

The ‘Selective Attention Test’ 17 Years Later, And What It Still Means For Humans

When I first saw the video of people playing basketball, I counted each pass — and missed the obvious. You?

The experiment video, from 1999, is here:


One of the creators of that experiment and video, Christopher F. Chabris, wrote a book about it, and in the clip below, he talks about how it came to be:


Think it’s just something to make you go, “Hmmm”?

As he says beginning at around 3:30, it has implications for things like driving while talking on a cell phone, security screeners at airports, lifeguards on duty, and more. 

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Even scarier implications, actually — especially in this age of drivers with tablets or phones showing video clips and headlines and images of presidential candidates comparing the size of their junk. Yes, I’m talking about using Facebook while driving. 

But it goes far beyond that.

Like distracted Daddy-ing

More from Christopher Chabris


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