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Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture
Video Attention Test

Here is a little test I want you to do. Don’t cheat or jump ahead, just press play and follow the instructions:

If you are reading this without viewing the you-tube clip them I’m very disappointed in you and think you should be ashamed of yourself. Go back and view the clip in order to redeem yourself!

Watched it? Good! Let’s put all this ugliness behind us and move on … ;-)

Did you spot the gorilla? I didn’t the first time I did this test, and when watching it again I was amazed that I failed to spot it!

The point of this test is that is shows that we “see” what we are looking for, and that we subconsciously block out that which we are not looking for.

Self-defence wise this is really important because it illustrates that “awareness” is not just a matter of “looking”. We need to know what to be aware of if we are to have true awareness and see things in time to act. Instructors who don’t educate their students on the specifics of what to be aware of are therefore failing them no matter how much they stress the general concept of “awareness”.

I’ve put this video in the self-development section though as I feel it illustrates another very important point. That point being: We often don’t see things we are not looking for.

If you believe yourself to be lucky and that great opportunities are coming your way all the time, then guess what you are far more likely to see? If you are not looking for the good, the exciting, the great opportunities etc, then you will be blind to then … even when they are as “in your face” as a guy standing in front of you in a gorilla suit!

Richard Wiseman wrote a great book about this test and its ramifications on how we live our lives called “Did You Spot The Gorilla?: How to Recognise the Hidden Opportunities in Your Life”: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Did-You-Spot-Gorilla-Opportunities/dp/0099466430

It’s a great book and having done the test above, one that you should all read.

Look for all the good today and see what you see!

All the best,


DaveHaze's picture

Counted 15 and saw the gorilla,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I guess my 24 years of training has been good for something :)

Jon Sloan
Jon Sloan's picture

ditto ...

but it helped that Al Peasland showed a similar video on Geoff Thompson's Masterclass a couple of months ago ;)

I missed the gorilla that time round!

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

I wonder if Nideffer's attentional styles may have a bearing on who spots it or not? Being a "narrow-external" type that may account for why I missed it? Or maybe it's the struggle I have with counting? ;-)

Stuart D
Stuart D's picture

I only counted 13 - but saw the gorilla - what does that prove? Maybe that I can't count