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Library Journal - April 15, 2010
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Through a backdrop of amusing anecdotes and accounts of psychological experiments, Chabris and Simons -- psychology professors and winners of the 2004 Nobel Prize [sic] in Psychology -- paint a surprising picture of the everyday illusions that cause shifts in our sense of reality. The authors begin with an explanation of their famous "gorilla experiment," in which half the people asked to count passes among basketball players in a video missed the gorilla that appeared on the screen (available at, to illustrate our inability to notice obvious details. They then move on to shatter many preconceived notions regarding attention, memory, confidence, knowledge, cause, and potential. These false notions have an impact on decisions made in everyday life and can determine whether or not a witness is credible, a consumer informed, or a physician trusted. The authors simultaneously engage readers and authenticate their claims by providing mini-experiments in which readers can participate. VERDICT Full of humor and insight, this book is enlightening and entertaining. Highly recommended for psychology students and others wishing to establish a more realistic picture of their intuition. Readers beware: your perception of everyday occurrences will be forever altered. --Melissa Mallon, Univ. of Pittsburgh Johnstown, PA