Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Harder We Look, The Less We See.

Research has shown that anxiety disrupts people's ability to notice the unexpected.

In one experiment, people were asked to watch a moving dot in the centre of a computer screen.

Without warning, large dots would occasionally be flashed at the edges of the screen.

Nearly all participants noticed these large dots.

The experiment was then repeated with a second group of people, who were offered a large financial reward for accurately watching the centre dot, creating more anxiety.

They became focused on the centre dot and more than a third of them missed the large dots when they appeared on the screen.

The harder they looked, the less they saw.