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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Informative & important

This is the sort of book that more people need to read and understand. There are countless limitations on our brains and cognition. Our intuition is not always the cure all for any one situation. Sometimes slow analytical thinking is called for, and sometimes intuition is helpful. What I enjoyed most about this book was that it presents a very counterintuitive message. Well worth reading or listening to.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Every leader MUST read this, three times or more

I've encountered far too many leaders that use there intuition and memory as their primary decision making factor. This book challenges that with clear, fact-based analysis.

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The trees may be full of monkeys - don't believe what you think you see

An interesting look at 6 illusions that cause humans to make poor decisions. Excellent use of research examples, yet as the reader learns more regarding everyday illusions of thought questioning of the assumptions by the authors becomes problematic.

The data within this book can be utilized to influence others through their natural biases.

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Very insightful

Thought provoking and debunks most assumptions about how we think. We are not as smart as we think we are

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One of the best books on human biases

This is a great book. By understanding the biases we all can be better human beings. The book is based on solid research and the authors haven't cherry picked the results that support their arguments. I have used the invisible gorilla experiment in my PhD seminars on experimental methods.

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loved it, will listen to it repeatedly!

will take time to listen to it again as to take more from it each time.

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  • Gerardo
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 03-31-14

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.

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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.

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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.

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  • Joseph
  • HUDSON, OH, United States
  • 08-06-12

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.