Inattentional blindness — not seeing something in plain sight because the mind is paying attention to something else.
We all know it’s dangerous to text or use hand-held cell phones while driving, but it’s also dangerous for the driver to converse on the phone, or even with a passenger. We stop tuning into the cars around us. This chart shows how when we use our brain to listen to another person we mostly stop checking for cars behind and to the side of us. And even when our eyes are on the road ahead of us, there’s no guarantee we’re seeing everything we need to. Humans don’t have enough brainpower to pay attention to everything, so we have “inattentional blindness.” Magicians are a great example of how this works:
We’re not aware of everything that’s going on.