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Is there a gorilla hiding in your practice?

Posted by Tom Cockley | Posted on August 31, 2014

We often fail to recognize hidden, unexpected factors in our lives.  It’s been said that focusing too much of our attention in a particular area may cause us to miss the obvious.  This phenomenon is called “inattentional blindness” and simply being aware of the phenomenon is an important first step toward reducing its effects.

 Study demonstrates inattentional blindness.

One of the best known studies demonstrating inattentional blindness is the “invisible gorilla” experiment reported by D.J. Simmons and C.E. Chabris in the journal Perception (“Gorillas in our Midst: Sustained Inattentional Blindness for Dynamic Events”).  Participants were asked to watch a video of people passing a basketball and count the number of times the basketball is passed to each person in the video.  During the video a person dressed in a gorilla suit walks through the scene where people are passing the basketball.  After watching the video, the participants are asked if they saw anything out of the ordinary.  Certainly, a gorilla passing through the scene would be considered “out of the ordinary,” however about half of the observers did not report seeing the gorilla.  The invisible gorilla illustrates failure to notice an unexpected factor.  The experiment suggests that our ability to recognize harmful or less than ideal factors or events can be impaired more than we might think.

 Gorillas were overlooked on lung scans

In another experiment performed at Harvard Medical School and reported in the journal Psychological Science (“The Invisible Gorilla Strikes Again: Sustained  Inattentional Blindness in Expert Observers”)  24 radiologists were asked to review lung scans and detect any nodules present.  The last scan contained an image of a gorilla that was 48 times the size of the average nodule, however 83% of the radiologists did not report seeing the gorilla!  Eye tracking indicated that the majority of the radiologists had looked directly at the gorilla’s location but failed to “see” it. 

 Which gorillas are hiding in your ophthalmic practice? 

“Gorillas” might be present as time wasters … or using less than ideal diagnostic tools … needing too much time to try to explain a condition to a patient… having to go to a different treatment room to get a testing tool … searching to find a test solution in your treatment area … waiting while your patient tries to find somewhere to place his eyeglasses.  There are a host of areas that we just take for granted as necessary when there might be a solution that saves time and makes exams and treatments better and more efficient.

 We have tools, supplies, and equipment to chase the gorillas out of your practice.

Among the many time savers and better treatment tools check out some notable examples: 

       … and many more.

 Have an unusual problem?

If in looking objectively at your practice and your procedures you see a problem area that you don’t know of a solution, ask us.  Many of our products have been developed in conjunction with professionals like you and successfully help you and others make their practices and patient treatment better. 

 Tell me what you think.

 Gulden provides a wide range of eye models that help eye care professionals, staff, and patients gain a better understanding of ocular function, diseases, and other issues.  View our eye models at:

 Be visionary with Gulden!

 Tom Cockley is president of Gulden Ophthalmics and is the third generation of the nearly 75-year-old visionary company that brings innovative, time-saving, utilitarian products to vision and health care professionals.




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