Posted by: hmchang | February 29, 2008

Organization: Ball Passing Experiment – Amusing facts?

OK. Amazingly that I am forced to watch this video four times this week – two times in the Entrepreneur class and one time in the Engineer Insight keynote.  Try it yourself:

Please look at the following video and “count  the number of passes by the white team” 

Don’t look at the answer in the following paragraph until you did the experiment.


The correct answer is 18. However, this is not intended to be designed for you to count the number of  passes. Did you see anything strange in this video? Now, watch the video again without counting the number of passes. See anything strange?

This is a classic example that when a group of people is focusing on certain tasks, they often omit something really obvious in the environment. Although everything may make great sense afterwards, it doesn’t make sense since no one ever seen it! I learned this in the Entrepreneur class.

It also tells us how we filter out information when there are too much to notice. We choose to focus on what we need to accomplish – and omit all the rest. This shows that in this information age, people will only focus on something that interests them or are forced to do. This was presented by the president of Bell Lab in the Engineering Insight.

Both insights from this video make great sense. I personally did not tell anything strange initially. I guess I am the one who focus on accomplishing the task without paying much to the environment.

Therefore, having someone who is always alert to the external changes is critical.



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