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.
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...
Chabris and Simons provide an eye-opening exploration of the miscalculations and false logic that surround our senses. From cellphone use to courtroom identification, the authors illustrate a variety of ways our sight and memory are unpredictable. Their insightful research will inevitably make listeners reconsider their own sensory awareness and challenge assumptions about everyday actions. Dan Woren has a deep and gentle voice that guides listeners through anecdotes and intellectual discussions; he is playful with stories and patient with the research and detailed analyses. However, some sections of the book, particularly the details of studies, might be better read than heard. A Crown hardcover (Reviews, July 5). (May)