The Invisible Gorilla by Christopher Chabris
How Our Intuitions Deceive Us

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Synopsis

Reading this book will make you less sure of yourself—and that’s a good thing. In The Invisible Gorilla, Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, creators of one of psychology’s most famous experiments, use remarkable stories and counterintuitive scientific findings to demonstrate an important truth: Our minds don’t work the way we think they do. We think we see ourselves and the world as they really are, but we’re actually missing a whole lot.
 
Chabris and Simons combine the work of other researchers with their own findings on attention, perception, memory, and reasoning to reveal how faulty intuitions often get us into trouble. In the process, they explain:
 
• Why a company would spend billions to launch a product that its own analysts know will fail
• How a police officer could run right past a brutal assault without seeing it
• Why award-winning movies are full of editing mistakes
• What criminals have in common with chess masters
• Why measles and other childhood diseases are making a comeback
• Why money managers could learn a lot from weather forecasters
 
Again and again, we think we experience and understand the world as it is, but our thoughts are beset by everyday illusions. We write traffic laws and build criminal cases on the assumption that people will notice when something unusual happens right in front of them. We’re sure we know where we were on 9/11, falsely believing that vivid memories are seared into our minds with perfect fidelity. And as a society, we spend billions on devices to train our brains because we’re continually tempted by the lure of quick fixes and effortless self-improvement.
 
The Invisible Gorilla reveals the myriad ways that our intuitions can deceive us, but it’s much more than a catalog of human failings. Chabris and Simons explain why we succumb to these everyday illusions and what we can do to inoculate ourselves against their effects. Ultimately, the book provides a kind of x-ray vision into our own minds, making it possible to pierce the veil of illusions that clouds our thoughts and to think clearly for perhaps the first time.
 


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Christopher Chabris

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CHRISTOPHER CHABRIS and DANIEL SIMONS are cognitive psychologists who have each received accolades for their research on a wide range of topics. Their "Gorillas in Our Midst" study reveals the dark side of our ability to pay attention and has quickly become one of the best-known experiments in all of psychology; it inspired a stage play and was even discussed by characters on C.S.I. Chabris, who received his Ph.D. from Harvard, is a psychology professor at Union College in New York. Simons, who received his Ph.D. from Cornell, is a psychology professor at the University of Illinois.
 
Published May 13, 2010 by Harmony. 295 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Professional & Technical, Self Help. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Invisible Gorilla

Publishers Weekly

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Professors of Psychology Chabris and Simons write about six everyday illusions of perception and thought, including the beliefs that: we pay attention more than we do, our memories are more detailed t

Jul 05 2010 | Read Full Review of The Invisible Gorilla: How Ou...

The New York Times

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An exploration of human illusions related to perception, memory and knowledge, with vivid examples of the problems they cause.

Jun 04 2010 | Read Full Review of The Invisible Gorilla: How Ou...

The Wall Street Journal

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David A. Shaywitz reviews Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons's "The
Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us."

| Read Full Review of The Invisible Gorilla: How Ou...

Tampa Bay Times

The Invisible Gorilla, filled with fascinating experiments that call into question our assumptions about our mental abilities, is a must-read for anyone who wants to better understand how the mind works.

Jun 01 2010 | Read Full Review of The Invisible Gorilla: How Ou...

Scientific American

The illusion here is that if there was a gorilla – or if the color of the curtain on the stage did change – you are convinced, you are certain that you would have noticed.

Aug 13 2010 | Read Full Review of The Invisible Gorilla: How Ou...

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