Skip to main content
SearchLoginLogin or Signup

A survey of what legal populations believe and know about inattentional blindness and visual detection

Inattentional blindness refers to when people fail to notice obvious and unexpected events when their attention is elsewhere. Existing research suggests that inattentional blindness is a poorly understood concept that violates the beliefs that are commonly held by the public ...

Published onJan 09, 2024
A survey of what legal populations believe and know about inattentional blindness and visual detection
·

Abstract

Inattentional blindness refers to when people fail to notice obvious and unexpected events when their attention is elsewhere. Existing research suggests that inattentional blindness is a poorly understood concept that violates the beliefs that are commonly held by the public about vision and attention. Given that legal cases may involve individuals who may have experienced inattentional blindness, it is important to understand the beliefs legal populations and members of the community have about inattentional blindness, and their general familiarity and experience with the concept. Australian police officers (n = 94) and lawyers (n = 98), along with psychology students (n = 99) and community members (n = 100) completed a survey where they: a) stated whether an individual would have noticed an event in six legal vignettes, b) rated whether factors would make an individual more, less, or just as likely to notice an unexpected event, c) reported their familiarity with and personal experiences of inattentional blindness, and d) indicated whether they believed individuals could make themselves more likely to notice unexpected events. Respondents in all populations frequently responded “yes” to detecting the unexpected event in most legal vignettes. They also held misconceptions about some factors (expertise and threat) that would influence the noticing of unexpected events. Additionally, personal experiences with inattentional blindness were commonly reported. Finally, respondents provided strategies for what individuals can do to make themselves more likely to notice of unexpected events, despite a lack of evidence to support them. Overall, these findings provide direction for where education and training could be targeted to address misconceptions about inattentional blindness held by legal populations, which may lead to improved decision-making in legal settings.

Comments
0
comment
No comments here
Why not start the discussion?