I love mind games and optical illusions, so the chapter on sensation and perception really piqued my interest. The idea that our minds can so blatantly fool us just baffles me! Out of all the various mind games and tricks, however, change blindness was by far my favorite. Change blindness is the mind's ability to essentially block out peripheral things in favor of a more central task. The brain doesn't have the capacity to focus on all aspects of a situation at all times, so instead, it focuses on one key component and assumes the rest stay the same. There are countless examples of this on the internet, from our textbook, and in real life, a few of which I'll share below.
My first example is one that came straight out of the textbook. From the cards below, pick a card, any card. Then say it's name aloud 5 times. After you're sure you have the card cemented in your head, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and I will have removed the card you chose. Did I read your mind? Look upside down at the bottom of page 133 in the Lilienfeld text to find out!
There are also plenty of examples of change blindness on YouTube. I've attached four videos below that all illustrate this concept if you'd like to give them a try.
Change blindness is more than just an amusing phenomenon, however; it has some pretty devastating real-world applications. Think of it this way: if you couldn't see the gorilla in the previous video, do you think you could see a jaywalking pedestrian? What about a motorcyclist that just came out of your blind spot? We all think we see the important aspects of a situation, and more often than not, that's the problem. One day, it's just a moonwalking bear that we miss, but tomorrow it could be that guy who "just came out of nowhere." So even though the videos and card tricks above are good for a chuckle, don't forget that change blindness isn't always a laughing matter.