312. Throwback Episode! The Invisible Gorilla with Christopher Chabris

Have you ever considered that, while being super focused can be a positive quality, it may also have its drawbacks? Think about it: when you channel your attention so intensely on one thing, you could be neglecting a whole realm of valuable information and stimuli out there.

Embark on a journey with us into the mysterious world of illusions! Piggy-backing off of the previous episode on the science of deception, we are taking you back in time to revisit an eleven-year-old conversation between Debbie and Christopher Chabris for the New Books Network about, “The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us “. 

Through this captivating book, you’ll discover how to view the world through the lens of illusions and how our perceptions can be deceived. From the illusion of attention, flashbulb memory, and The Mozart Effect to the illusions of confidence and knowledge, challenge your assumptions and gain insight into how our brains can be tricked and our decision-making influenced.

Listen and Learn: 

  • How was The Gorilla Experiment conceived, and what were the key findings? 
  • What did the experiment reveal about attention in particular?
  • How the illusion of attention can affect our daily lives
  • Why do we not notice significant changes in our visual world when our attention is distracted?
  • Do we actually pay attention to our memories?
  • The illusion of knowledge and how it pertains to investing
  • Why do we think we know cause and effect better than we actually do?
  • The Mozart Effect: is it really beneficial to our cognitive abilities?
  • The illusion of potential and why we have the tendency to believe that there are quick and easy ways to achieve dramatic results
  • How to change your environment to make you less prone to falling victim to these illusions


About Christopher Chabris

Dr. Christopher Chabris is a cognitive scientist who has taught at Union College and Harvard University and is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. His research focuses on decision-making, attention, intelligence, and behavior genetics. Chris received his Ph.D. in psychology and A.B. in computer science from Harvard University. He is a chess master, poker amateur, and games enthusiast; for three years he wrote the “Game On” column in The Wall Street.

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Episode 312