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Showing posts from March, 2011

Crazy, Sexy Consumer Culture


      In a famous Harvard University study published in the journal Perceptionvolunteers were told to watch a thirty-second film of six people playing basketball, and count the number of passes made by one of the teams. Three people on each team wore matching T-shirts. In one version of the video, a woman holding an umbrella walks through the action taking place on the court. Another featured a woman in a gorilla suit.
     While tallying the number of passes recorded, observers were asked whether they noticed either anything unusual on the video or any people other than the six players. Forty-six percent simply did not notice the woman in the gorilla suit, even though in one version of the film she stopped in the middle of the court, faced the camera and thumped her chest. Out of those nonnoticers, eighty-eight “did not believe that the event had happened until the videotape was replayed for them.”[i]
     The counters who missed the gorilla were so intently focused on their …