Really! How Much Do I Miss?
In a day’s time, how much visual information do we miss? According to one estimate, between saccades and blinks, a full hour of visual information is lost throughout the course of a day, without any perceived blanks in our visual stream of consciousness. If that estimate is correct, what else are we missing?
Let’s consider what we miss when we look instead of see. Looking is using one’s vision to view something or someone and yet not see them or, maybe, see what we already know or have seen previously. Seeing seeks to understand, perceive, and pay attention. In other words, looking and seeing are very different actions with very different outcomes. A good example might be going to an art museum. As you walk through the rooms, are you rushing through looking at the work, or are you taking the time to actually see the work [for example, visual information, brush stroke, mood]. If you rush through the museum is it because you lack training, experience cognitive impatience, or maybe just are not in the mood that day?
Interesting information, how is it meaningful to me? Here are a few thoughts, did you miss that glance from your daughter on the soccer field, the client’s puzzled look by your proposal, or the use of color in your next marketing campaign? In today’s whizzing world, it may be worth a taking a moment to really see the world around you
Interested in a deeper read on the science? A select book is offered: Kandel, E. R. (2012). The Age of Insight. Random House.