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Melissa R. Beck, Daniel T. Levin; The role of object stability in change blindness and change blindness blindness. Journal of Vision 2002;2(7):502. doi: 10.1167/2.7.502.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
People are poor at detecting changes in their visual environment (change blindness). In addition, people predict they will notice more changes than they actually do (change blindness blindness). Here we explore whether change blindness, and possibly change blindness blindness, is affected by object stability. Object stability refers to the plausibility or probability that an object will change from one moment to the next. For example, it is plausible for a red car to be at a stop sign one moment and a silver car the next moment (unstable object change), but implausible that there will be a stop sign at an intersection one moment and then a yield sign the next moment (stable object change). In Experiment 1 we asked participants to detect changes (to stable or unstable objects) in naturalistic scenes. Participants were better at detecting changes for unstable objects than for stable objects. In addition, we asked whether observers are blind to the role stability plays in change detection. In Experiment 2 participants viewed the same scenes as in Experiment 1, and judged whether they would detect each of the changes. In contrast to change detection findings, observers predicted better change detection for stable objects than unstable objects. This inaccurate belief may explain why there are different levels of change detection for stable and unstable objects. If subjects expect relative ease in detecting changes to stable objects they may focus on these objects less closely, thus leading to increased change blindness for stable objects.
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