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ERIC Number: EJ934233
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Individual Differences in Susceptibility to Inattentional Blindness
Seegmiller, Janelle K.; Watson, Jason M.; Strayer, David L.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v37 n3 p785-791 May 2011
Inattentional blindness refers to the finding that people do not always see what appears in their gaze. Though inattentional blindness affects large percentages of people, it is unclear if there are individual differences in susceptibility. The present study addressed whether individual differences in attentional control, as reflected by variability in working memory capacity, modulate susceptibility to inattentional blindness. Participants watched a classic inattentional blindness video (Simons & Chabris, 1999) and were instructed to count passes among basketball players, wherein 58% noticed the unexpected: a person wearing a gorilla suit. When participants were accurate with their pass counts, individuals with higher working memory capacity were more likely to report seeing the gorilla (67%) than those with lesser working memory capacity (36%). These results suggest that variability in attentional control is a potential mechanism underlying the apparent modulation of inattentional blindness across individuals. (Contains 1 figure and 3 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Utah