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The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us | [Christopher Chabris, Daniel Simons]

The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us

Reading this book will make you less sure of yourself - and thats a good thing. 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 dont work the way we think they do. We think we see ourselves and the world as they really are, but were actually missing a whole lot.
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Publisher's Summary

Reading this book will make you less sure of yourself - and that's a good thing. 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're 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 its much more than a catalog of human failings. Chabris and Simons explain why we succumb to these everyday illusions and what we can do to inoculate ourselves 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.

©2010 Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons (P)2010 Random House

What the Critics Say

"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 best-selling author of Stumbling Upon Happiness)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (758 )
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  •  
    Jami Browns Mills, NJ, United States 11-30-11
    Jami Browns Mills, NJ, United States 11-30-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Will Make you Rethink EVERYTHING"

    This book has done something few books have done for me before - as soon as I had finished a chapter, I thought, "This was the best, most thought-provoking chapter in the book." Then as soon as I had finished the NEXT chapter, I thought the same thing.

    The extent of the authors' research, clear and compelling explanations and real-world examples of the experiences they call "The Illusion of Memory", "The Illusion of Knowledge" and "The Illusion of Cause" has really made me stop and deliberately apply their criteria to many aspects of my life - my memories of events, news stories, urban legends, "expert studies" and the things people say to me, among others. If you're interested in being a student of the truth and having culturally imposed and evolution-based blinders stripped from your eyes, I can't imagine a better point of reference than this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael WEST PATERSON, NJ USA 09-15-10
    Michael WEST PATERSON, NJ USA 09-15-10 Listener Since 2007

    Michael

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    "An interesting way to look at life"

    An interesting way to look at life and question the way we think and why

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pavel Czech Republic 08-20-10
    Pavel Czech Republic 08-20-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Interesting"

    It makes you think about simple things like remembering something. I considered to buy it as a book, just to be able to get back to some of these ideas.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gustavo A. Martinez 07-14-10 Listener Since 2008

    gus

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    "Had Higher Expectations"

    Don't get me wrong, the book is interesting. It presents a series of interesting ideas on how our minds perceive situations, experiences and our own selves. To do so, it uses a lot and I mean A LOT of examples to illustrate these ideas over and over and over and over again, so I'm betting you'll get the points they're trying to make.

    I would suggest learning about these ideas to anyone, it's useful to know them and understand them, though after an over-explained lecture on them I would say the easiest way to simplify the book is to say "Our mind sometimes(often) deceive us".
    So, in summary, if you have the time to learn about these ideas it would be an interesting investment for your self-awareness.

    8 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gerardo Austin, TX, United States 03-31-14
    Gerardo Austin, TX, United States 03-31-14 Member Since 2011

    Businessman, Technologist, Marketer. Loves to learn and enjoys books. Mostly nonfiction plus historic novels.

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    "Interesting but not very practical"

    This is a very interesting audiobook that explains four key misconceptions in human psychology: for example, the myth of attention, demonstrated by the gorilla experiment.

    It is well written and narrated. It is engaging and interesting. But it gets a bit boring to spend so much time of=n four key ideas. Especially because of the limited practical value of these. The author fails to connect the science with practical value.

    A good example of an author who has done this is Dan Ariely with Predictably Irrational, and Daniel Pink. Their books are very useful for anyone in marketing or sales. This book is good food for your intellectual curiosity, but not much else.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Miami 02-12-14
    Steve Miami 02-12-14 Member Since 2002
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    "Entertaining and important"
    If you could sum up The Invisible Gorilla in three words, what would they be?

    Important Challenging Interesting


    What other book might you compare The Invisible Gorilla to and why?

    You Are Not So Smart. I heard the author on the You Are Not So Smart podcast.


    What does Dan Woren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Authoritative and clear voice.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When I realized that I really cannot focus 100% if I am talking on my cell phone. I am going to change my behavior now. Most books do not inspire actual change like this for me.


    Any additional comments?

    Good depth behind the gorilla video, if that's all you know about this work so far.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Tsao Hong Kong 03-04-13
    James Tsao Hong Kong 03-04-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Narration is too monotone, book is great"

    I'm relatively new to audio books and while I recognize the need to find a clear and neutral sounding voice, to a certain extent it detracts from the whole experience because when you read, you don't read in a monotonous tone and so listening to such a voice just saps any enthusiasm that you have.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph HUDSON, OH, United States 08-06-12
    Joseph HUDSON, OH, United States 08-06-12
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    "Insightful Book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Only if they appreciate non-fiction of this kind (Predictably Irrational, Frekenomics, etc)


    What did you like best about this story?

    Full of insightful studies, concepts, and ideas.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Omar USA 03-28-12
    Omar USA 03-28-12 Member Since 2011

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” - Albert Einstein

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    "Good Listen"

    The book is an eye opener to some of the systematic irrationalities and bizarre sides we have in our cognition mechanisms and how do we perceive our abilities. A bit too long though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris SAN JOSE, CA, United States 02-24-12
    Chris SAN JOSE, CA, United States 02-24-12
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    "It’s right there in front of you…"
    Any additional comments?

    Captivating topic, perfect examples & study dives, and excellent delivery – The Invisible Gorilla had my attention on page one and maintained it while Chabris & Simpons challenged my perception on how our minds capture & recall memories.

    Right at the onset of an event, it’s remarkable how some artifacts one would assume to be obvious may be completely oblivious & never recorded. How we fill in the blanks (such as assuming a bookshelf was full of books), or don’t capture elements that you wouldn’t expect to be there (such as a giant red gorilla beating it’s chest on a basketball court). The Invisible Gorilla highlights how our minds deceive us, and leaves me with the takeaway to recognize that, as must as we want to believe that our memories are sound, we all have illusions. Recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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