Where are all the aliens? The difficulty in finding them may lie in ourselves, says a group of psychologists from the University of Cadiz (Spain). An article by scientists published in Acta Astronautica magazine says that we could just overlook the signs of the presence of intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations. Moreover, this is not surprising, since this is one of the features of the work of our consciousness that has a scientific explanation.
The human brain is very complex and at the same timevery strange thing. He has to process a huge amount of information of various kinds of usefulness every day. It often happens that a person simply does not notice what is in front of his eyes, because his attention at this moment is directed in a completely different direction.
This is called blindness of inattention. The term was coined in 1992 by scholars Erien Mark and Irwin Rock and used as the title of their collaborative book published in 1998. The phenomenon does not apply to vision problems and is purely psychological in nature. Moreover, it’s very bizarre, as you can see by watching the video created by two Harvard researchers Daniel Simons from the University of Illinois and Christopher Chaprice from Harvard. This is a visual experiment. Your task is to concentrate and count the number of passes of the basketball between students.
Phenomenon can be defined as inabilityan individual to see an irritant that suddenly appeared in the field of vision, such as a person in a gorilla costume, who appeared and then disappeared from the frame again. Really noticed a gorilla? Congratulations Then maybe they noticed how the color of the curtains changes during the video, and another girl in black leaves the frame? No? Then review again.
Psychologists from the University of Cadiz decided to conduct another experiment with the gorilla to clearly demonstrate why scientists still did not find any signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life.
"And what if the reason that interferes with the implementationis this scientific task hidden in the human factor or the biopsychological features of our brain? ”, psychologists Gabriel de la Torre and Manuel Garcia are asking.
To test their ideas, the researchers invitedparticipate in a simple experiment to test the cognitive abilities of 137 volunteers. The participants were tasked with answering three questions posed. The test results were supposed to show how many people would be predisposed to give quick answers without actually thinking about them (these people were referred to the “first group”), and which should be more attentive to solving these three questions (“second group”) .
After completing the test and filling out the questionnaires,thanks to which the researchers were able to find out the level of attention of each person, the participants were asked to carefully check the provided aerial photographs of the surface of our planet and note artificial structures like buildings, as well as natural objects like rivers and mountain ranges.
However, one of the photographs had a tinysize 3 mm, gorilla. As the researchers expected, representatives of the “second group” of subjects should have noticed the “hidden” figure of the gorilla more often than the first, but the results were even more impressive.
Among all the participants in the experimentonly 32.8 percent of people found the gorilla in the picture, while almost all of them showed the level of cognitive attention of the "first group", that is, they relied on a "more impulsive / intuitive method of perceiving information."
“It seems like focusing on a certaina search method, for example, a search for radio signals of extraterrestrial origin, can dazzle us, protecting us from other possible options, ”the researchers report in their conclusions.
“People may not notice the painted gorilla in the picture. The question is, how many “gorillas” could we lose sight of while searching for signs of extraterrestrial life? ”
Besides reminding astronomers of this phenomenon,as blindness of inattention, psychologists in their work propose the introduction of a new classification for possible intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations. Going beyond the famous Kardashev scale - a method that suggests evaluating civilizations by how much energy these civilizations can use for their needs - psychologists from the University of Cadiz speak of the possibility of the existence of more diverse types of civilizations: starting from ephemeral, living only a small amount of time, and ending very fantastic, with the possibility of "multidimensional travel and using dark matter as a source of energy."
This study does not offer any newmethods of detecting extraterrestrial life forms, but quite accessible explains how the “cosmic gorilla” is able to confuse us with all the cards and make us look in the wrong direction.
Of course, there are other explanations whyhumanity is still awaiting first contact. It is possible that this is just a matter of time. It may be that extraterrestrial civilizations are represented only by microbial life forms or are so far away that the signals from them have not yet reached us.
It is possible that aliens are actively trying to avoid us or have already become extinct, and we have remained the only representatives of intelligent life in this Universe.