Forget Cronenburg’s Crash…
If you feel your viewing partner cannot see you while watching TV, it could be that the flash of nudity that was on the screen, just then, has caused emotional blindness. The same effect could lead to accidents if drivers succumb to this condition having seen a suggestive billboard.
Portions of the research exploring this effect by Vanderbilt University psychologist David Zald and Yale University colleagues was published in the August 2005 issue of Psychonomic Bulletin and Review.
“We observed that people fail to detect visual images that appeared one-fifth of a second after emotional images, whereas they can detect those images with little problem after neutral images,” Zald said.
Anyone who has ever slowed down to look at an accident as they are driving by–or has been stuck behind someone who has–is familiar with the “rubbernecking” effect. Even though we know we need to keep our eyes on the road, our emotions of concern, fear and curiosity cause us to stare out the window at the accident and slow to a crawl as we drive by. The same thing seems to happen whether it gore or phwoarr!