The Limits of Human Awareness

In 1999 psychologist Daniel Simmons conducted an experiment in which people watched a video with six volunteers divided into teams with black or white shirts. Viewers were asked to count the number of times the white team passed their ball, while ignoring the team in black shirts. Most of the volunteers counted the number of passes with no problem. What they did have trouble with was noticing the person in the gorilla suit who strolled to the center of the frame, stopped to beat his chest, and then walked slowly off the set. The experiment was designed to test the limits of human awareness (Charles Q. Choi, “‘Invisible Gorilla’ Test Shows How Little We Notice,” Live Science, July 10, 2010, Just like the people in this experiment, we are unable to notice obvious things going on around us when we focus intently on one task. And if we have our eyes fixed on ourselves, our possessions, and what we are able to achieve, we will never see God’s greatness.