Friday, December 26, 2014

Attention test

Spend a minute watching this auto commercial for the new SKODA Fabia; your time won’t be wasted.



Interesting, isn’t it? It may only be a commercial but it provides a perfect example of what we’re up against on the roads. If that driver coming up to the intersection is so focused on watching the light to make sure he gets through on the green, or is concentrating on whether she has room to turn in front of the truck that’s right behind you, you simply will not register on their conscience.

I’ve blogged about this before (here and here) but it’s a message that deserves repeating again, and again, and again.

Don’t misunderstand, I’m not excusing anyone’s inattentiveness and bad driving, but being forewarned is, as they say, forearmed. Knowing how we all ‘see’ the world around us under certain conditions might some day save your life.

Something to think about as we slowly emerge from our winter cocoons to start a new riding season.

14 comments:

  1. And here I was... completely irritated by the constant changes. What again was the the commercial for?

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    1. Sonja - I admit, I didn't notice a thing until the narrator brought it to my attention. I always thought of myself as reasonably observant, but now I guess I had better be extra vigilant out there.

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  2. It is that time of year, you are right. Over the years, I believe there is a trend to better see motorcycles. Distracted driving is something else again.

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    1. Coop - Agree, especially when distracted driving means distracted by texting, phoning, eating, shaving... the list goes on, and on, and on.... But when it's "just the way our brains work" it's harder to change behaviour.

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  3. I'll admit that I was paying more attention to what the narrator was saying, more than watching the street. It's a good reminder to pay attention while on the road...and a good example of how advertising can fool us.

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    1. Listening to the narration could be equated to carrying on a phone conversation while driving - same level of distraction.

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  4. Replies
    1. Gary - It is. There have been some fascinating studies on the phenomenon.

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  5. A great reminder.

    I noticed the bicycles and the blue sign changing and thought about the colors of the buildings, but then couldn't remember if they were different colors before. Oh, the mind is a tricky thing.

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    1. Trobairitz - I didn't even see that!

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  6. I noticed a couple of things, but couldn't remember what they changed from. It took a few flashes or frame changes for me to realize what was happening.

    I did notice the scooter/bicycles of course, the woman holding the pig, the taxi and the chimpanzee on the roof.

    Great video, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Interesting how some people noticed some things while others (like me) saw nothing unusual at all until it was pointed out. The brain really is a curious thing.

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  7. Magicians exploit the fact that what we truly see is a very small patch in our visual field. The visual field as a whole, what we think we see, is a construct in our brains and an approximation and amalgam of what's going on in our field of vision.

    Added to that, is the fact that our brain compensates for information gaps and the limits of its ability to process information by making us 'see' what we expect to see.

    It's a good thing all this works as well as it does. Otherwise we would have been extinct a long time ago.

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    1. David - Illusionists in particular have perfected the art. It would be a fascinating field of study I think if I were smarter, and younger.

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Please feel free to comment, but any comments with commercial links will be deleted. You have been warned.