Entire contents © 2010
by Simons and Chabris
All Rights Reserved.
Design by Scot Covey, Rafael Fernandez, and Daniel Simons
Booklist (review by Carl Hays) - June 1, 2010
Since psychologists Chabris and Simons first teamed up in the late 1990s for a study on perception, the so-called invisible-gorilla video buttressing their experiment has become world famous. In the clip, two teams pass a basketball around while a gorilla-suited woman briefly appears and pounds her chest before walking away. When viewers are instructed to count only the basketball passes, 50 percent completely miss seeing the gorilla. Even more surprising, however, is most people's insistence that they could never miss something so glaringly obvious. This overconfidence in perceptual accuracy serves as the springboard for Chabris and Simons' engaging treatise on how our intuitions often lead us astray. In chapters with titles like "I Think I Would Have Seen That" and "Jumping to Conclusions," they methodically deconstruct what they refer to as our "everyday illusions." Other forms of self-deception include faulty memories and misconstruing cause and effect, both illustrated with eye-opening, often humorous examples. Chabris and Simons gratifyingly supplement such ego-deflating illustrations with ways to better use the mind and ultimately protect ourselves from wrongdoers.