Inattentional Blindness

Amanda Holmes |

In 1999, Harvard researchers conducted an unusual test. They formed two teams of three students each.

One team wore white shirts. The other team wore black shirts.

Each team was given a basketball and told to move around and only pass the ball to members of their own team.

The exercise lasted about 30 seconds and was captured on video.

Next, volunteers were told to observe the video and silently count the number of passes made by the players wearing white while ignoring the passes of the players wearing black.

Halfway through the video, a student wearing a gorilla suit entered the screen from the right side and walked into the middle of the activity.

The gorilla suddenly stopped.

It turned to the camera and it beat its chest.

The gorilla then exited to the left side of the screen. Here’s what’s interesting.

After viewing the video, about half of the volunteers were so focused on counting the passes, they didn’t notice the gorilla at all.

That’s right.

Half the volunteers didn’t notice a large gorilla that was visible onscreen for nearly ten seconds

This test has been repeated numerous times all around the world and the results are always the same.

The gorilla is invisible to half the people who watch the video.

And folks are absolutely shocked when they find out what they missed. This phenomenon is called “inattentional blindness.”

People focus their attention on what they’re doing and tend not to notice anything unexpected.

Inattentional blindness happens in business all the time.

Companies concentrate on familiar aspects of their business, while not seeing problems or opportunities that are right in plain sight if only they knew where to look.

But, how can you see the invisible gorillas in your finances?

But be warned. You might find some of the questions challenging or uncomfortable. This is by design.

Breakthroughs come when you’re out of your comfort zone. But you won’t be alone.

You are also sure to unmask problem areas you need to shore up. 

Credit: Amanda Holmes, Chet Holmes International (855) 244-1990