The Invisible Gorilla

The Invisible Gorilla

And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us

Book - 2010
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Two experts in psychology and human behavior examine misperception and understanding, explaining why people fail to recognize the evidence right in front of them, and providing a kind of x-ray vision that will enable readers to conquer faulty thinking.
Publisher: New York : Crown, c2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780307459657
0307459659
Characteristics: xi, 306 p. ; 25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Simons, Daniel J.

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debwalker Jul 27, 2011

How missing the obvious ends up wrecking success, a New York Times Editor's Choice

ksoles May 19, 2011

There seems to be a general formula for popular psychology books: 1) present an interesting and unbelievable anecdote 2) rationalize the anecdote using both expert opinions and data from scientific experiments that range from the banal to the fascinating. Perhaps I've read too much Malcolm Gladwell and William Poundstone to find The Invisible Gorilla ground-breaking but the book does illuminate false assumptions that are worthy of attention.

Authors Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons explain six illusions that have significant impact on human life: attention, that we think we see far more than we actually do; memory, that it changes over time and is much less reliable than we realize; knowledge, that we equate it to familiarity though the two differ significantly; confidence, that we generally believe we're more skilled than we are; causation, that one event directly leads to another especially if the two are chronologically distinct; and potential, that certain mythical processes can unleash latent powers of the brain.

What makes this book unique is that it focuses not on societal trends but on the responsibility of the individual. The authors do not dilute their scientific reasoning; rather, they write in a compelling fashion and allow their readers to think complexly. And their conclusion provides an encouraging send off: relying more on fact than on illusion translates into a society with less condescension, less danger and more cooperation.

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lisastitch
Apr 19, 2011

Interesting and very readable look at how our brains work-or don't work!--and how we get led astray.
If you enjoy this, you would probably also like THE BRAIN THAT CHANGES ITSELF, by Norman Doidge.

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mbakaitis Aug 17, 2011

mbakaitis thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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