Sunday, July 25, 2010

where's waldo?

when touristing, many people hurriedly take pictures in crowded locations.  it can be a flustered experience - snapping the picture quickly before someone steps in front of your camera and before competing groups elbow in to get a picture in the same coveted location.  then, if your loved ones had posed for the picture, they might want to swarm the camera to scrutinize their own appearance and to make sure that whatever perceived flaw they possess was minimized in the picture.  else, they may want you to take the picture again.  the entire process can be a stressful ordeal.

in fact, it can be such a flustering experience that many people miss other things that are going on around them.  for example, when your friends swarm the camera, they may be focusing so intently on their own appearance that they will probably fail to notice anything out of ordinary in the crowd pictured around them.  this is called selective attention.  you pay so much attention to some information that you overlook other information, and can even overlook comically salient information in the world around you.  (try this out (or, show this video to someone without telling them what selective attention is): ).

if you have recently traveled to the city, you may eventually discover something odd about your pictures.  you may find that a new new yorker and her mother are also posing in the picture.  go ahead and play where's waldo with your recent photos - look for two heads of blonde hair, a flower headband, and the slightly sticking out tongues.

1 comment:

  1. Nice :)

    I watched the video, but unfortunately I just heard someone on the radio talking about this study!