Go Back   Team-BHP > Team-BHP > Road Safety > Drive Safe


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 9th March 2018, 21:28   #1
Senior - BHPian
 
Latheesh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore/Kannur
Posts: 3,193
Thanked: 3,402 Times
Lightbulb Illusion of Attention: You have no idea what you are overlooking!

I came across this few years back in a book and thought of sharing.

"After heavy rains in the south of England, a river in a small village overflowed its banks. The police closed the road, the shallow part of the river where vehicles cross, and diverted traffic. The crossing stayed closed for few weeks, but each day at least one car drove past the warning sign and into the rushing water. The drivers were so focused on their car's navigation systems that they did not notice what was right in front of them.

The above observation is from cognitive psychologists Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris. At Harward in the 1990s, they filmed two teams of students passing basket balls back and forth. One team wore black T-shirts, the other white.

Please watch the video before reading further



Monkey business test is considered one of the most famous experiments in psychology and demonstrates the so-called illusion of attention: we are confident that we notice everything that takes place in front of us. But in reality, we often see only what we are focusing on - in this case, the passes made by the team in white. Unexpected, unnoticed interruptions can be as large and conspicuous as a gorilla.

The illusion of attention can be precarious, for example, when making phone call while driving. Most of the time doing so poses no problems. The call does not negatively influence the straightforward task of keeping the car in the middle of the lane and braking when a car in front does. But as soon as an unanticipated event takes place, such as child running across the street, your attention is too stretched to react in time. Studies show that drivers' reactions are equally slow when using a cellphone as when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Furthermore it does not matter whether you hold the phone with one hand, jam it between your shoulder and jaw, or use a hands free kit/earphone; your responsiveness to unexpected events is still compromised"

Source:
The Art of Thinking Clearly
Author: Rolf Dobelli
Thread created with book author's permission

Last edited by GTO : 12th March 2018 at 17:57. Reason: As requested
Latheesh is offline   (62) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 9th March 2018, 22:00   #2
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Trivandrum
Posts: 177
Thanked: 399 Times
Default Re: Illusion of Attention: You have no idea what you are overlooking!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Latheesh View Post
Monkey business test is considered one of the most famous experiments in psychology and demonstrates the so-called illusion of attention: we are confident that we notice everything that takes place in front of us. But in reality, we often see only what we are focusing on - in this case, the passes made by the team in white. Unexpected, unnoticed interruptions can be as large and conspicuous as a gorilla.

Thanks a lot.
I had stopped taking long/serious phone calls while driving (i meant hands free too). If its just a line like I'm on the way/will reach shortly it is fine else I stop the car and continue the conversation.
I learned that it is too risky to have conversation while driving as i had to slam the brake once due to slower reflexes (lapse of concentration).

Last edited by kozhissery : 9th March 2018 at 22:02. Reason: Removed full quote for easy reading
kozhissery is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2018, 01:17   #3
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: RJ-19 / UK-07
Posts: 278
Thanked: 355 Times
Thumbs up Re: Illusion of Attention: You have no idea what you are overlooking!

Thanks for the video Latheesh. Watched it intently , with a bit more attention, because I sensed there was a trick in it somewhere . The results :
  • Got the count wrong (the number of time the players in white the passed the ball)
  • Noticed the Gorilla - only as he was exiting.
  • Just about noticed the player in black exiting - nearly missed it.
  • Totally missed the transition of the colour of the curtains

And all this because I was paying extra attention. I'd have missed all of them had I watched it like just another video.

Have learnt the results of not paying attention the hard way, of not having noticed another bike at an intersection and being rammed by it (and fracturing an arm in the process). Ever since then I make a conscious effort to be extra cautious on the road - keep reminding myself about the traffic ahead, making small mental notes about the two wheeler eager to join the road from the bylane, or the errant auto-rickshaw looking for a gap in the median, or that sugarcane laden tractor trolley wanting to ease on to the road from a roadside field. On my bike, especially at highway speeds, I say it out loud inside my helmet ! To make myself more visible on the bike , I keep the lights switched on, and since my car doesn't have DRL , am planning to replace the parking-light bulbs with high intensity LEDs, which I hope will act as bright DRLs, while keeping the power consumption low. Honking , though irritating to fellow road users, is another thing that I feel gets one noticed by that pedestrian with his head in the cloud, or the oblivious cyclist/ motorcyclist , who is sauntering across the highway with nary a thought for the passing traffic.

On the topic of distractions, I have completely stopped taking calls while on the move. If it is ringing, I park on the shoulder and only then take the call. You could call me extra cautious, but for this reason I don't pair the phone with the music system too.

Given the high density of traffic and the way people drive nowadays, one can't be too cautious. Still, one endeavours to be. This thread reminds me of a BRO road sign :

Name:  Alert.png
Views: 10569
Size:  339.8 KB


Cheers !

Last edited by Ironhide : 11th March 2018 at 01:30. Reason: Structure
Ironhide is offline   (12) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2018, 13:39   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
Latheesh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore/Kannur
Posts: 3,193
Thanked: 3,402 Times
Default Re: Illusion of Attention: You have no idea what you are overlooking!

Here is a TEDx video related to this subject by Christopher Chabris

Latheesh is offline   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2018, 13:48   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
ashis89's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 1,498
Thanked: 1,358 Times
Default Re: Illusion of Attention: You have no idea what you are overlooking!

Wonderful thread. This is most relevant in a country like ours, where anything and everything could appear on the road. Expect the unexpected.

A few of my experiences and observations:

1. I had learnt riding and was going down a flyover on my bike. I noted a rickshaw trolley much ahead of me and mentally decided how I will overtake and cross it. I was a few feet away and suddenly saw iron rods protruding from the rickshaw. I made a last moment maneuver to escape it. Now, I maintain an extra safe distance from vehicles carrying such rods, bamboos, etc. Extremely risky.

2. On rare occasions when I take the help of Google Maps, it has tried to convince to me to drive into the forest or a narrow walking path between agricultural fields. I refer the map and note key places enroute. I ask local people for guidance and refer Google when I am confused and alone. Has worked for me on all my trips.

3. Vehicles parked beside the road might seem harmless. They have the potential to hide living beings who might feel like come out of their hiding and onto your path.

4. I had been foolish enough to follow large vehicles (trucks, bus or SUVs) while they were overtaking other vehicles. They make a close last minute maneuver and I am left confronted with the oncoming traffic. Couple of instances but our speeds were very low and we stopped without issue. Learnt my mistake not to believe others. I look with my own eyes if the road is empty before making my move.

5. Sticking to a lane and maintaining safe distance from the car in front is never enough. The vehicles around you might want to jut in right in front of you, especially the bikers.

6. I believe the ORVMs more than the reverse camera (my car doesn't have one) while driving.

7. If we are too focused on the road and the traffic, we might not notice road block boards (used by police). Even a parked or broken down vehicle might seem to be part of the moving traffic until you realize the gap between you and that car is falling faster than usual. And this becomes risky if you following a trail of vehicles where your focus is just the vehicle just in front of you.

8. We are accustomed to well functioning Red brake lights and expect them to light up when the vehicle in front brakes. We are in trouble if those are malfunctioning. Following vehicles and maintaining short gaps is risky in such cases as it reduces our time to react.

9. We must learn to expect that people tend to cross roads where it curves, park right after curves or drive on the wrong side of roads. Slowing down here is better.

10. Wherever there is a break in the median, anticipatory braking is advisable. Or we can move to the left lane so that we get more space if some one juts in. Announce your arrival with a dab on the horn so that the other party is aware and hopefully doesn't try something stupid.

11. For people driving a high vehicles such as SUVs, we need to be accustomed to the height of our vehicles. I learnt driving on a M800 which was a short car. One day I was driving a Scorpio on a 2 lane highway. There was a truck trailer in front with some big machinery loaded. The machinery was jutting out of sides of the trailer by 4-5 feet. I saw the trailer and was confident I would drive under the machinery to overtake the slow moving truck. My reference was my height within the car and I saw myself clearing it with ease. Only when I very close to executing the overtake, I realized this was a tall SUV and there were a lot of metal above my head which won't squeeze under the machinery.

12. Cows, bulls, buffaloes moving slowly and move straight ahead. Cross them from behind without issue. Dogs, cats and calfs are unpredictable as they are agile enough to move in any direction and we need to slow down when crossing them.

13. Large vehicles like trucks and buses have a lot of blind spots, especially on the sides and right in front of them. They also carry a lot of momentum and can't stop within short distances when loaded. We need to keep these in mind when they are in our vicinity.

Last edited by ashis89 : 11th March 2018 at 14:05.
ashis89 is offline   (15) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2018, 14:38   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
Latheesh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore/Kannur
Posts: 3,193
Thanked: 3,402 Times
Default Re: Illusion of Attention: You have no idea what you are overlooking!

This happened around half an hour back near my house. There is a T junction and green box is my car and red box is a Dzire. He was taking left at the junction and I was taking right. Half way through the turn when his car and my car exactly in the position shown, he changed his mind and decided to turn right driving straight to my car (driver side door). I accelerated and avoided his car hitting mine.He rolled down the window and said exactly the same "Sorry, I did not see your car" and had phone in his hand. Forget car, looks like he did not even see the glowing turn indicator light of my car (on the fender right in front of him).
Attached Images
 

Last edited by Latheesh : 11th March 2018 at 15:08.
Latheesh is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2018, 16:35   #7
Team-BHP Support
 
noopster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Auckland/Pune
Posts: 8,899
Thanked: 9,606 Times
Default Re: Illusion of Attention: You have no idea what you are overlooking!

Nice thread. The only reason I think I noticed the gorilla was that the experiment had “monkey business” in the title. And once I spotted the hairy ape, the substitution for the player in black was a logical step. Of course I completely missed the change in background colour. Got the number of passes correct, for what it is worth!

I have been thinking about this phenomenon where we miss things in front of our very eyes a lot recently, ever since I was pulled over by a Kiwi cop for doing 105 in an 80 zone. Important to mention here that the speed limit on New Zealand highways is almost consistently 100 kph, so 80 is necessarily a reduced-speed zone (duly signed).

The cop very patiently explained to me that he started in pursuit of me when he saw me not reducing my speed after passing the first speed limit sign stating 80. He then saw me INCREASE my speed to the clocked 105 (caught on radar) before pulling over to the side. Apparently during this time i had crossed 3 more speed limit signs.

He seemed puzzled over this fact and I confessed that I had absolutely NOT noticed the speed limit signs nor indeed had I observed him tailing me till he switched on his siren.

I pieced it all together a bit later. This was, roughly, the sequence of events:

1. I genuinely miss the first reduced-speed sign. Am doing just under the legal 100 limit at the time.
2. Cop pulls into the road in pursuit. My friend in the back seat notices this (I don’t).
3. Friend warns another friend in the back seat to put his seat belt on because there is a cop car behind us (I still don’t register that the cop is tailing me specifically).
4. Second friend refuses to buckle up, or at least dilly dallies. This upsets me and I yell at him to do it. Then I notice the cop’s siren light up and immediately slow down and pull over.
In the space between 1 and 4, my attention is diverted from the road and I miss three “80” signs and my speed goes even beyond 100 that I was earlier UNDER.
It was the most disconcerting experience of my driving life. Mind you the cop was extremely patient and polite. I reciprocated and apologised.
Drove 500 km after that on the trip and made sure I focused on the road and the speedometer. Valuable lesson to learn even at the expense of my first traffic ticket.
Will never take distractions within and outside the car lightly after this. Bickering children, Google maps, an incoming phone call, changing the radio station, beautiful scenery, road rage...the list is endless.

One silver lining is that the speeding ticket never arrived in the mail- it’s been 5 weeks now! Quite possibly the cop accepted my contrition as genuine and decided to let me off with a warning.
noopster is offline   (18) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2018, 21:15   #8
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: RJ-19 / UK-07
Posts: 278
Thanked: 355 Times
Exclamation Re: Illusion of Attention: You have no idea what you are overlooking!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kozhissery View Post
Thanks a lot.
I had stopped taking long/serious phone calls while driving (i meant hands free too). If its just a line like I'm on the way/will reach shortly it is fine else I stop the car and continue the conversation.
I learned that it is too risky to have conversation while driving as i had to slam the brake once due to slower reflexes (lapse of concentration).
I have witnessed first hand how severely can you ability to observe your surroundings be impaired while talking on the mobile phone.

This happened in 2011. I was travelling to Paonta Sahib from Hisar by a Haryana State Transport bus . The bus had pulled in the Kaithal Bus terminus for refreshments. As the bus pulled out, and started to inch forward, it was to turn to the right cross a large patch of tarmac & was to exit the gate on the right (west). I was sitting right behind the driver. As the bus started to pull out, I saw another bus coming in from the gate from the right (west). As the bus came nearer, I could see that the driver was chatting animatedly on the cellphone, and nonchalantly speeding in a straight line towards what seemed to be the off duty parking across the tarmac. Our bus was pulling out at crawling speeds and our driver looking to his left towards the off duty parking, failed to see the bus speeding in from the right.

Illusion of Attention: You have no idea what you are overlooking!-kaithal-accident.png

What followed was in slow motion . As I said, I was sitting right behind the driver, next to the window in an empty seat (the bus was sparsely occupied at this point). Realising that the two buses were on a collision course, I lunged towards the aisle and grabbed hold of the upright pole in the centre while at the same time yelling to get the driver's attention - all in the span of a second or two. The next moment the bus on the right slammed into where I was sitting , caving in the side, and trapping the driver's lower body in a heap of mangled steel,flesh, blood and what looked like some kind of automotive fluid (probably transmission / engine oil). People standing on the steps/floorboard/ aisle were flung violently. I too was almost flung, but since I was hanging on to the pole will all my strength, I just hit something real hard, and remember a mighty, socket popping jerk to my shoulders. There was mayhem, with people having been flung resulting in broken teeth, serious lacerations, contusions, fractures and everything else that happens to human body in case of an automobile accident. I got a nasty laceration on my brow which I got patched later in the evening, a serous contusion to my lower back and sore shoulders and neck for many days afterwards. The serious cases were evacuated immediately to the local district hospital. I'm not sure whether the driver survived.

What I am pointing at is that I watched (with increasing horror) the other driver while he talked into his phone and continued speeding towards the eastern portion of the bus terminus. He didn't notice our bus until he rammed it .

That's what talking on the cell phone while driving does to you. It renders you incapable of observing the details of (and reacting to) your surroundings, and makes you a threat to everyone else on the road.

Having learnt a lesson the hard way, I always pull over when I get a call while driving - I don't even take the call over bluetooth. So, people, at the cost of repetition, do remember that while you may be highly accomplished drivers with millions of miles under your belt - talking on the cellphone while driving even on the bluetooth / hand free, renders you incapable of noticing details on the road that you would otherwise have noticed, and makes you you extremely dangerous to the point of being lethal, to other living souls on the road.

Drive responsibly, drive safe.

Cheers !

Last edited by Ironhide : 11th March 2018 at 21:42.
Ironhide is offline   (12) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2018, 14:22   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
ariesonu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bombay
Posts: 1,162
Thanked: 1,477 Times
Default Re: Illusion of Attention: You have no idea what you are overlooking!

An Israeli company, NETRADYNE (http://netradyne.com/) has introduced a concept called "DRIVERI". It is primarily for commercial fleet but we may see its application in PV also.
It is suppose to wok on AI methodology & works to cover various factors driving like tailgating, red-light jumps, dozing, phone calls etc.
Illusion of Attention: You have no idea what you are overlooking!-001.jpg
Illusion of Attention: You have no idea what you are overlooking!-002.jpg
Illusion of Attention: You have no idea what you are overlooking!-003.jpg

DISCLAIMER: No association with Netradyne.

Regards-Sonu
ariesonu is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2018, 14:47   #10
BHPian
 
Divya Sharan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Bangalore, BKSC
Posts: 384
Thanked: 858 Times
Default Re: Illusion of Attention: You have no idea what you are overlooking!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariesonu View Post
An Israeli company, NETRADYNE (http://netradyne.com/) has introduced a concept called "DRIVERI". It is primarily for commercial fleet but we may see its application in PV also.
It is suppose to wok on AI methodology & works to cover various factors driving like tailgating, red-light jumps, dozing, phone calls etc.
A promising looking concept. The logo makes one read it as DriverIQ though.
But how many data points to such devices cover? I mean, in general. If we represent each moving thing as a dot in the device's computer, how many dots do such systems incorporate? 50? 100?
Can these systems handle a tier2 city traffic in India?
Divya Sharan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2018, 22:18   #11
Distinguished - BHPian
 
SS-Traveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 6,737
Thanked: 11,730 Times
Default Re: Illusion of Attention: You have no idea what you are overlooking!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Latheesh View Post
Monkey business test is considered one of the most famous experiments in psychology and demonstrates the so-called illusion of attention: we are confident that we notice everything that takes place in front of us. But in reality, we often see only what we are focusing on - in this case, the passes made by the team in white. Unexpected, unnoticed interruptions can be as large and conspicuous as a gorilla.
"The eyes do not see what the mind does not know."

An article worth reading, which presents another viewpoint.

Go through the Monkey Business video a few times - it took me 4 replays - and you can predict as well as notice the incidents where the player walks off, the gorilla enters, the curtain changes colour as well as the number of times the players in white jerseys passed the ball. The repetition of the video is called practice when one draws an analogy with driving. And traffic and driving behaviour in the First World is predictive, unlike the chaos on Indian roads. However, practice and experience make one able to avoid crashes despite the chaos. A newbie untrained driver is a bigger hazard on the road than an experienced and/or trained one.

Fit in one more task while watching the video, such as writing a letter, and one might not notice the sudden changes in the video, despite the practice. Similarly, trying to add one more task - holding a mobile phone to one's ear and carrying on a conversation - leaves one unable to notice simple changes in traffic patterns.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 12th March 2018 at 22:20.
SS-Traveller is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2018, 22:25   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
reignofchaos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,303
Thanked: 1,309 Times
Default Re: Illusion of Attention: You have no idea what you are overlooking!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariesonu View Post
An Israeli company, NETRADYNE (http://netradyne.com/) has introduced a concept called "DRIVERI". It is primarily for commercial fleet but we may see its application in PV also.
It is suppose to wok on AI methodology & works to cover various factors driving like tailgating, red-light jumps, dozing, phone calls etc.

DISCLAIMER: No association with Netradyne.

Regards-Sonu
Netradyne's software stack is built right here in Whitefield Bangalore . A junior from college works there.
reignofchaos is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2018, 23:35   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: EU - Nordic
Posts: 1,634
Thanked: 1,084 Times
Default Re: Illusion of Attention: You have no idea what you are overlooking!

I have a few experiences of reduced attention on the road, which luckily haven't caused any problems so far.

1. First experience happened a couple of years ago on a road trip. I was driving on a 100-kph limit road and I noticed a speed limit sign showing 80 as the new limit, maybe 100m before a curve on the road. I slowed down to 80. However, there was another speed limit sign for 60 just beyond the curve, which I totally missed - as I did not expect a new speed limit sign so soon. My Garmin then started sounding warnings, and I was surprised why. I looked at the Garmin and it showed the speed limit was 60 and I was doing 76. I turned my eyes back to the road and there was a speed camera! Luckily, the camera was for "show" (about half the cameras are, in Finland). So I escaped a speeding ticket.

2. It was at the time I was shifting my residence. A couple of trips in the car from the old residence to new (about 40km round trip), plus loading/unloading the car at both sites and general stress meant I was a bit too tired and lazy and I failed to stop for a red light. Again luckily, no other cars crossed my path, no cameras and no cops.

3. A couple of days after I first ran a red light, I did it again!! This time again, I was preoccupied with something related to the change of residence. No damage done again.

4. I came very close to doing it again yesterday! The light was red, I was preoccupied with something and wasn't slowing down at all. Luckily the light changed to green, and that was when I noticed the lights!!
StarrySky is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th March 2018, 11:57   #14
BHPian
 
nishsingh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 223
Thanked: 522 Times
Default Re: Illusion of Attention: You have no idea what you are overlooking!

Not just while driving, your attention should also extend a little beyond it.

My alertness typically switches off once I reach my destination, and I need to re-wire my brain - all my near-miss experiences in the past couple of years have been while opening the car door. And I have over 2 decades of driving experience!
nishsingh is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th March 2018, 14:18   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
Latheesh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore/Kannur
Posts: 3,193
Thanked: 3,402 Times
Default Re: Illusion of Attention: You have no idea what you are overlooking!

Here is another video, and it is shocking!
Latheesh is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can I have the attention of computing audio gurus! Bass&Trouble Gadgets, Computers & Software 66 11th January 2009 22:55
Skoda Superb ICE: Steg/ Illusion Audio/ Alpine Bass&Trouble In-Car Entertainment 56 13th August 2008 15:19
UVA ICE! (Pio 7950U + Illusion Electra 6.1) EatMyDust In-Car Entertainment 21 3rd October 2007 20:03
"Mobile Court" have you been there, i have! xinome Street Experiences 24 2nd August 2007 17:39
Any idea about FIAT Idea? Minardi The Indian Car Scene 13 28th May 2005 12:38


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 02:23.

Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks