Me: I Can’t Find the Teacups. Partner: It’s In Front of You!!!


Your wife/girlfriend tells you to get the teacups from the kitchen cupboard. She tells you its on the second shelf in the cupboard above the cooker. You go, look, and cannot find it. Your wife/girlfriend walks in, opens the cupboard, and points to the teacups straight in front of you. But it was on the first shelf, not the second. You feel silly, but now you have an excuse Р inattentional blindness:

A number of years ago, a pair of US psychologists conducted an experiment where they asked volunteers to watch a game of basketball. Their task was to count the number of passes made by one of the sides. After the viewing, the volunteers were asked for their answers. They were also asked whether they noticed anything else. Many said no. They were then told that midway through the game, a gorilla, well, a person dressed as one, walked on to the court and stood for five seconds looking at the camera, before walking off! This is an example of what is called inattentional blindness. We become so focused on one thing, we miss the obvious straight in front of us.




2 thoughts on “Me: I Can’t Find the Teacups. Partner: It’s In Front of You!!!”

  1. The New Yorker had an article on this phenomenon many years ago. It’s one reason why there are so many traffic accidents: people quite honestly don’t see what’s in front of them. I’ve been in a taxi when the driver hit a bicyclist — sitting in the back seat, I saw him clearly, but the driver for some reason didn’t notice him. (The cyclists was OK.) This is why if I had the courage, I’d buy a white car (the most visible colour, according to research) and cover it with polka-dots, or decorate it like the Evening Standard vans.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.