t h e i n v i s ib l e g o r i l l aBy Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons
Design by Scot Covey, Rafael Fernandez, and Daniel Simons
overview | excerpt | international editions
Reading this book will make you less sure of yourself-and that's a good thing. In The Invisible Gorilla, we use a wide assortment of stories and counter intuitive scientific findings to reveal 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.
We combine the work of other researchers with our own findings on attention, perception, memory, and reasoning to reveal how faulty intuitions often get us into trouble. In the process, we 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 with chess masters
-Why measles and other childhood diseases are making a comeback
-Why money managers could learn a lot from weather forecasters
-Again and again, we think we experience and understand the world as it is, but our thoughts are beset by everyday illusions.
-We write traffic laws and build criminal cases on the assumption that people will notice when something unusual happens right in front of them.
-We're sure we know where we were on 9/11, falsely believing that vivid memories are seared into our mind with perfect fidelity.
-And as a society, we spend billions on devices to train our brains because we're continually tempted by the lure of quick fixes and effortless self-improvement.
The Invisible Gorilla reveals the numerous ways that our intuitions can deceive us, but it's more than a catalog of human failings. In the book, we also explain why people succumb to these everyday illusions and what we can do to inoculate ourselves against their effects. In short, we try to give you a sort of "x-ray vision" into your own minds, with the ultimate goal of helping you notice the invisible gorillas in your own life.