The 25th Annual Midwest Institute for Students and Teachers of Psychology

Friday, Feb. 23, 2018

Keynote speaker: Daniel Simons, University of Illinois

Missing What's Missing

We all have intuitive beliefs about the workings of our own minds, and those beliefs are firmly grounded in our daily experiences; we believe we see the world as it is and that we know why we see it the way we do. Yet, our experiences can be misleading, fostering illusions about our cognitive abilities and delusions about the richness of our understanding. My presentation will draw on research from visual perception, attention, and metacognition to illustrate how the unnoticed limits of our own minds affect what we see and think.

Dan received his B.A. in Psychology and Cognitive Science from Carleton College and his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Cornell University. He spent five years on the faculty at Harvard University before moving to Illinois in 2002. He is now a Professor in the Departments of Psychology, Advertising, and Business Administration at the University of Illinois. His scholarly research focuses on the limits of human perception, memory, and awareness, and he is best known for his research showing that people are far less aware of their visual surroundings than they think. He has published papers on an array of topics including the limits of visual awareness, change blindness, inattentional blindness, driving and distraction, overconfidence, "brain training," among others. His work is published in top scientific journals and is discussed regularly in the popular media. His studies and demonstrations have been exhibited in more than a dozen science museums worldwide. He speaks regularly to companies, trade organizations, and government agencies, and he contributes occasionally to the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and other national publications. In his spare time, he enjoys juggling, running, bridge, and chess.


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