Wednesday, October 16, 2013

inattentional blindness and a plug for @gapjumpers

In their book The Invisible Gorilla, titled after the now famous Gorilla experiment in inattentional blindness (vid below if you're one of the few who have never seen it), authors Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons make a point about how experts often miss information that novices will pick up.

In their examples, experienced pilots can often be less likely to notice an unexpected plane on a runway than new pilots who have only landed a plane a few times. Similarly, experienced doctors can sometimes find it harder to diagnose a rare condition than a trainee doctor or recent graduate.

This is because the more experience one has in any given situation, the more one sees similar conditions over and over again.
Therefore one becomes blind (to a degree) to outliers, extremely infrequent occurrences and randomness.

Over time, we (humans) have developed a number of ways of managing choices more easily.
Most commonly we'll raid our existing stocks of knowledge and beliefs in order to manage new choice situations.

If previous similar decisions have involved certain biases and/or beliefs then those pre-existing behaviours will be likely to exert disproportionate influence on future situations.

That's a long way round to this pimp for Gapjumpers.

GapJumpers is a platform that connects experts that need help solving business problems and young people, so that young people can earn recommendations for their skills.


Being recommended, by an industry expert or someone at a company is the fastest way to getting a job, but young people often lack the network and work experience to get recommended. So it helps them gain that credibility.

And from this advertising planner's point of view, the fact of being very experienced means sometimes that one does see similar conditions over and over again, sometimes one does find it harder to uncover fresh insights, or new research than a fresh aspiring planner who has had less time to develop certain biases.

But I'm in good company with these foibles as people from W+K, Ogilvy Sau Paulo, Google, TBWA, ZeusJones have posted challenges and had young planners contribute insights and research.

The Gapjumpers people are, of course, friends of this blog. Have a look at and see if there's a problem you are grappling with that some fresh brainpower might help to solve.

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