Do you think you know about everything that is happening around you? You will be surprised to learn that you really aren’t aware of much. In a 1998 research conducted by researchers from Kent State University and Harvard jointly, they targeted pedestrians around the college campus to find if they were aware of what was in their immediate surroundings.
For instance, an actor would walk up to pedestrians and ask them for specific directions. As the pedestrians gave direction, two men would bring a large wooden door and walk right between them and the actor, thus blocking the view for a few seconds. In this time, the actor would be replaced with another actor of differing build, height, outfit and even haircut as well as voice. Nearly half of the candidates did not notice the sudden change of individual.
Change blindness is what this study brought forth and it was one of the first experiments that proved this theory which suggests that we are very selective about the information we gather from any visual scene. We tend to rely a lot more on pattern recognition and memory rather than what’s right in front of us.