Forensic psychology
Forensic psychology

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Forensic psychology

1 Testing your powers of observation

Not paying attention to something that happens in front of you is something that is undoubtedly familiar to most of us. It can be easy to miss things in fairly mundane situations, so imagine what it might be like in the rapid events of an armed robbery.

The ‘Observation test’ video tests your powers of observation and attention. The situation is not as fast-paced as an armed robbery, and all you have to do is count how many times a folder is passed from person to person. Think that sounds easy? Give it a go and see how you get on.

Download this video clip.Video player: ou_futurelearn_psychology_vid_1007_dangermouse_video_output.mp4
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Here's a quick test of your powers of perception. There are two red files and two green files. Count how many times this red file is passed from one person to another in the next 20 seconds. Ready? Start counting.
OK, so how many times did they pass it? If you've got near to 8, you've done pretty well. But just how much were you paying attention? Watch again.
You may have spotted that this giant mouse joined halfway through the game and then left again. Did you notice? This is called 'inattentive blindness' - not being able to see things that are actually there, which can be the result of having to think hard about one thing, and so not noticing something else.
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