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The Invisible Gorilla

The Invisible Gorilla

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Add This - The Invisible Gorilla

Written by Christopher ChabrisAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Christopher Chabris and Daniel SimonsAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Daniel Simons

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony
  • On Sale: June 7, 2011
  • Price: $15.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-307-45966-4 (0-307-45966-7)
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download and an eBook.
about this book

In The Invisible Gorilla, Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, creators of one of psychology’s most famous experiments, use remarkable stories and counterintuitive scientific findings to demonstrate 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 are actually missing a whole lot.

Chabris and Simons combine the work of other researchers with their own findings on attention, perception, memory, and reasoning to reveal how faulty intuitions often get us into trouble. In the process, they 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

The Invisible Gorilla reveals the myriad ways that our intuitions can deceive us, but it is much more than a catalog of human failings. Chabris and Simons explain why we succumb to these everyday illusions and what can be done to inoculate against their effects. Ultimately, the book provides a kind of x-ray vision into our own minds, making it possible to pierce the veil of illusions that clouds our thoughts and to think clearly for perhaps the first time.

“An engaging and humane book with a hope that a better understanding might help us temper these [illusion-driven] reactions. The invisible gorilla just might teach us to be more humble, understanding and forgiving."
--New York Times

"Tightly reasoned…With each chapter, the reader's self-awareness grows as previously neglected dimensions of our everyday experience are witnessed…by making us aware of the realm of everyday illusions, THE INVISIBLE GORILLA teaches us a lesson of cognitive modesty: think before you leap."

“Persuasive, surprising, even amusing…will have you rethinking the way you see the world.”
--Dallas Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Wonderful…a terrific book for anyone who wonders how their mind works.”
--Philadelphia Daily News

“An engaging romp through a variety of cognitive illusions…written so well it would make Gladwell envious.”
--Psychology Today

“Spins the plain world you know into a wonderment of surprising new insights.”
--Time magazine

"The authors seek to inspire doubt in the mind's ability — and they absolutely succeed...THE INVISIBLE GORILLA is filled with fascinating and revealing experiments that call into question assumptions we have about our mental abilities and those of others...a must-read for anyone who wants to better understand how the mind works."
--Associated Press
“Engagingly and persuasively explores the illusions that trick us…a persuasive warning that intuition often fails us."
--Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Whether on a chessboard or in the courtroom, these illusions constantly influence the choices we make, sometimes with lives in the balance. Though Chabris and Simons threaten to pull the rug of reality itself from under us, their fascinating experiments and well-chosen examples keep our feet on the ground, perhaps even more than before."
--Seed Magazne

“A fascinating look at little-known illusions that greatly affect our daily lives…offers surprising insights into just how clueless we are about how our minds work and how we experience the world…Bound to have wide popular appeal.”
--Kirkus Reviews

“Full of humor and insight, this book is enlightening and entertaining…Readers beware: your perception of everyday occurrences will be forever altered.”
--Library Journal

“Eye opening…Writing with authority, clarity, and a healthy dose of skepticism, Simons and Chabris explore why these illusions persist – and, indeed, seem to multiply in the modern world – and how we might work to avoid them.”
--Tom Vanderbilt, author of the New York Times bestseller, TRAFFIC (Guest Review, Amazon)

"THE INVISIBLE GORILLA is an eye-opening, thought provoking look at our fallible minds. A must read for Lawyers, Judges, Law Enforcement officers, and anyone else who deals with forensics."
--Joe Navarro, best selling author of LOUDER THAN WORDS

"The illusion of attention is one of the most important, surprising, and least known flaws in human thinking. This lucid book examines it in great detail."
--Nassim N. Taleb, author of THE BLACK SWAN

"Entertaining and illuminating ... We all have incredible confidence in the accuracy of our senses, and the tales they tell us about the world we live in. Through clever experiments and captivating stories, THE INVISIBLE GORILLA shows that our confidence is misplaced.  This book is a surprising guide to everyday illusions and the trouble they can steer us into."
--Dan Ariely, New York Times bestselling author of PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL

"From courtrooms to bedrooms to boardrooms, this fascinating book shows how psychological illusions bedevil every aspect of our public and private lives. An owner's manual for the human mind!"
 --Daniel Gilbert, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and New York Times bestselling author of STUMBLING ON HAPPINESS 

“Chabris and Simons’ experiments have become classics, and their influence extends well beyond psychology, with implications for our understanding of consciousness and rationality. Having taught their research to my students at Harvard, I was eager to read THE INVISIBLE GORILLA, and the book did not disappoint."
--Steven Pinker, author of HOW THE MIND WORKS and THE STUFF OF THOUGHT

“A riveting romp across the landscape of our psychological misperceptions. Read this amazing book, but not while you are doing anything else. It will change the way you see the world, and yourself. With vivid examples, sneaky experiments, and everyday experiences, Chabris and Simons convincingly show not only that our minds play tricks on us, but also, more important, that we are -- at our own peril -- programmed to resist recognizing our own blindness. In THE INVISIBLE GORILLA, you should expect the unexpected, to your very great delight. If any work of social science could be a page-turner, this is it.”
--Nicholas A. Christakis, Professor, Harvard Medical School, and co-author of CONNECTED: THE SURPRISING POWER OF OUR SOCIAL NETWORKS AND HOW THEY SHAPE OUR LIVES

"Too often thinking is depicted in its extremes as the triumph or travesty of intuition. Chabris and Simons present a uniquely nuanced understanding of the power and pitfalls of perception, thought, and memory. This book will delight all who seek depth and insight into the wonder and complexities of cognition."
-- Jerome Groopman, M.D., Recanati Professor, Harvard Medical School, and author of HOW DOCTORS THINK

"A breathtaking and insightful journey through the illusions that influence every moment of our lives.”

"An eye-opening book. After reading THE INVISIBLE GORILLA you will look at yourself -- and the world around you -- differently. Like its authors, the book is both funny and smart, filled with insights into the everyday illusions that we all walk around with. No matter what your job is or what you do in life, you will learn something from this book."
--Joseph T. Hallinan, Pulitizer Prize winning author of WHY WE MAKE MISTAKES

“Everyday illusions trick us into thinking that we see —and know more -- than we really do, and that we can predict the future when we can’t. THE INVISIBLE GORILLA teaches us exactly why, and it does so in an incredibly engaging way.  Chabris and Simons provide terrific tips on how to cast off our illusions and get things right. Whether you’re a driver wanting to steer clear of oncoming motorcycles, a radiologist hoping to spot every tumor, or just an average person curious about how your mind really works, this is a must-read.”
-- Elizabeth Loftus,  Ph.D, Distinguished Professor, University of California—Irvine, and author of MEMORY and EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY

"Cognitive scientists Chris Chabris and Dan Simons deliver an entertaining tour of the many ways our brains mislead us every day. THE INVISIBLE GORILLA is engaging, accurate, and packed with real-world examples -- some of which made me laugh out loud. Read it to find out why weathermen might make good money managers, and what Homer Simpson can teach you about thinking clearly."
--Sandra Aamodt, Ph.D., co-author of WELCOME TO YOUR BRAIN and former Editor, Nature Neuroscience

"THE INVISIBLE GORILLA is not just witty and engaging but also insightful. The authors offer a fascinating set of examples that show how poorly we understand the limitations of our own minds in business, medicine, law enforcement, journalism--and everyday life. Reading this book won't cure you of all these limitations, but it will at least help you recognize and compensate for them."
--Thomas W. Malone, author of THE FUTURE OF WORK and Founder of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence

"In the long history of psychology a handful of experiments stand out as epochal in their impact on our understanding of human behavior–Milgram's obedience to authority shock experiments, Zimbardo's role playing prison experiment, Asch's conformity experiments, and Harlow's baby monkey experiments. In that league is the now-famous "gorilla" experiment by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, demonstrating how blind we all are to objects clearly in our midst, and especially how unreliable eyewitness testimony is in any criminal investigation (or any other walk of life). THE INVISIBLE GORILLA should be required reading by every judge and jury member in our criminal justice system, along with every battlefield commander, corporate CEO, member of Congress, and, well, you and I...because the mental illusions so wonderfully explicated in this book can fool every one of us."
--Michael Shermer, Publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist for Scientific American, and the author of WHY PEOPLE BELIEVE WEIRD THINGS

“It isn't often you come across a book that is rigorous but also witty, one that is sound science but also relevant to everyday life -- but here it is! Clever, illuminating, by turns shocking and delightful, this book, if you take it to heart, will change a lot of your bad habits and could even save your life."
--Margaret Heffernan, CEO and author of WOMEN ON TOP

“Wonderfully refreshing…THE INVISIBLE GORILLA makes us smarter by reminding us how little we know. Through a lively tour of the brain's blind spots, this book will change the way you drive your car, hire your employees and invest your money.”
--Amanda Ripley, Senior Writer for Time magazine and author of THE UNTHINKABLE