I like to think I am pretty observant when I am out walking through the city, but I totally failed the “Awareness Test” video up above. How did you do? Transport for London recently put these video advertisements out to draw attention to the “invisible cyclist” and experiments such as this show how easy it is to miss small details—like a cyclist. More Awareness Tests available here.
My interest in this idea of awareness was piqued last year when I saw an article & video at Boing Boing (video after the click) describing a Harvard study on “Change Blindness” that demonstrated a shocking 75 percent of respondents didn’t notice a major change right in front of them. You’ll just have to watch the video.
Both examples demonstrate how little of our visual environment our brain actually processes. In the words of artist James Gurney, “Here’s proof that most of the time we look but don’t see.” [h/t Open Culture.]