Could you draw from memory the Apple logo? We don’t really notice much of what we see
Human attention to specific details seems to be quite poor – a new study reveals. In a memory test, people were asked to recall and draw the famous Apple logo: the results are quite surprising.
In a new study published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, UCLA psychologists asked 85 undergraduate students to draw the famous Apple logo from memory. Astonishingly, only one candidate was able to reproduce it correctly, while fewer than half were able to correctly identify it once it was shown among a number of similar logos with slightly altered features. Among the participants 52 were Apple users, 10 PC users and 23 were both Apple and PC users.
This result is quite interesting since logos, and specifically the Apple’s one, are usually well recognizable. “People had trouble picking out the correct logo even when it was right in front of them” – said Alan Castel, associate professor of psychology at UCLA, who also showed in 2012 that most people did not know the location of a bright red fire extinguisher near their office, even though they had walked by it hundreds or thousands of times.
A possible explanation is that in favour of efficiency, the human brain sacrifices attention for specific details. In the end, it does not really matter if we cannot remember whether in the Apple logo the leaf is pointing to the right or to the left. We can usually make the ‘general’ association so long as we are not trying to spot a counterfeit.
Several studies have shown that most people have a really poor memory when it comes to remember past events or even objects they encounter and use every day. Famous examples include Richard Wiseman’s Basketball Court and Card Magic Trick cases of ‘inattentional blindness’.
Also surprisingly, is the fact that we are often quite confidently wrong about our memory skills. In fact, “there was a striking discrepancy between participants’ confidence prior to drawing the logo and how well they performed on the task” – Castel said. “People’s memory, even for extremely common objects, is much poorer than they believe it to be”.
If you want to see how good your memory is at recalling the Apple logo, have a try yourself here.
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