- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (May 18, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307459659
- ISBN-13: 978-0307459657
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 277 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #646,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us Hardcover – May 18, 2010
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The illusions that they illustrate do seem to be common human failings:
o We overestimate our ability to multi-task
o We overestimate the accuracy of our memories
o We mistake confidence for capability
o We confuse causation with correlation
One particular peril that the authors justly explicate is the faultiness of eyewitness identification. No one who reads this book is likely to trust an eyewitness in a court of law.
The book, however, feels padded. The descriptions of the clever experiments are worthwhile, as are the critiques of faulty studies. But the authors expend a lot of verbiage on speculation, trying to squeeze whole chapters out of information that could be conveyed in two pages. They also seem to be rather confident that the next study won't contradict what the last one seemed to prove.
I also don't understand why they take a few illusions that humans fall prey to and declare that intuition is the culprit. We also are vulnerable to optical illusions, but we don't walk around with eyes shut.
So if your customer research is more anecdote than actuality, take a fascinating side trip through "The Invisible Gorilla." The book addresses six everyday illusions: Attention, Memory, Confidence. Knowledge, Cause, and Potential.
Warning! This hard-to-put-down book will be hard on you--if you've based your customer research on the wrong hypotheses, incorrect associations (versus cause), and "change blindness blindness." I'll read this book again--maybe three times!
The authors do a tremendous job of presenting their information in a well laid out fashion, with plenty of real-world examples to put the techno-jargon into easily understood terms. You will do well to read this book cover to cover with an open mind and a recognition that despite your own beliefs (and those of others), you may not be as awesome as you think you are, and that's okay. :)
Would you have thought that, if we write down descriptions of a perpetrator of a crime after we witness it, that we are less likely to identify the perpetrator in a lineup than we are if we do something unrelated before looking at the lineup? Would you believe that there is a good chance you won't notice you are talking to a different stranger with whom you were having a conversation after someone blocked your sight of him momentarily?
These are fascinating controlled experiments that will surprise you. It will also make you a bit less secure in your own memories and a little more tolerant when others differ. This may be a good thing. Is your brother really lying about something he says you did as a kid or have you both misremembered?
The book is very readable and keeps the reader interested throughout.
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