False predictions about the detectability of visual changes: The role of beliefs about attention, memory, and the continuity of attended objects in causing change blindness blindness

Consciousness and Cognition 11 (4):507-527 (2002)
Abstract
Recently, a number of experiments have emphasized the degree to which subjects fail to detect large changes in visual scenes. This finding, referred to as “change blindness,” is often considered surprising because many people have the intuition that such changes should be easy to detect. Levin, Momen, Drivdahl, and Simons documented this intuition by showing that the majority of subjects believe they would notice changes that are actually very rarely detected. Thus subjects exhibit a metacognitive error we refer to as “change blindness blindness.” Here, we test whether CBB is caused by a misestimation of the perceptual experience associated with visual changes and show that it persists even when the pre- and postchange views are separated by long delays. In addition, subjects overestimate their change detection ability both when the relevant changes are illustrated by still pictures, and when they are illustrated using videos showing the changes occurring in real time. We conclude that CBB is a robust phenomenon that cannot be accounted for by failure to understand the specific perceptual experience associated with a change
Keywords *Attention  *Stimulus Change  *Visual Memory  *Visual Perception  Vision Disorders  Visual Stimulation
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