By Barry Brownstein at The Foundation of Economic Education
Imagine you have been asked to watch a video of two teams passing a basketball and count the number of passes made by one of the teams. Now, suppose that in the middle of the action, a person wearing a full-bodied gorilla suit steps into the center of the scene for a full nine seconds, thumps her chest, and walks off. Would you notice the gorilla? Based on a famous replicated experiment by psychology professors Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, over half of us would not notice the gorilla.
When people devote their attention to a particular area or aspect, they tend not to notice unexpected things.In their book The Invisible Gorilla, Chabris and Simon explain the phenomenon of “inattentional blindness” as an “error of perception [resulting] from a lack of attention to an unexpected object.” Chabris and Simon further explain that “when people devote their attention to a particular area or aspect of their visual world, they tend not to notice unexpected objects, even when those unexpected objects are salient, potentially important, and appear right where they are looking.”
We are so busy considering what we think is important, that we literally overlook other very significant events. Most of us may not see the “gorilla,” but that doesn’t mean the gorilla isn’t there.
The “Gorilla” in This Year’s Election
No matter whether Trump or Clinton is elected this year, the cause of liberty is certain to take more blows. Following every pronouncement Trump and Clinton make keeps us fixated on the “ball” being passed while we ignore the “gorilla.” What Trump or Clinton believes may be important, but what we believe is even more important. What we believe is the gorilla.
Do we believe that politicians can and should control the economy, or do we believe that the attempts to control are counterproductive, misguided, and have unintended consequences? If a critical mass of us believes that politicians can and should control the economy, we will cheer policies such as a $15 an hour minimum wage…. read more here
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