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Can You Pick The Apple Logo From This Line-Up?

Scientists asked 85 people to choose the right logo from a selection and more than half of them failed. Think you can do better?

More than half of the 85 students who took this test as part of research conducted by a team from University of California, Los Angeles, got it wrong.

Blake and his colleagues weren't just testing people for the sake of it – experiments like this can actually teach us something about human memory.

A similar study published in the 1970s showed that people weren't able to recall the features of a penny, either. You might think that being exposed to something every day would mean it becomes deeply ingrained in your memory, but the opposite seems to be the case.

That could be because we don't bother remembering things that are so prevalent. According to the British Psychological Society's Research Digest:

Blake and his team said one explanation is that the over-exposure to, and availability of, the Apple logo stops people attending to its details (this makes sense from a functional perspective – why bother remembering something that's ever present?). Consequently people form a "gist memory" for the logo (i.e. "it's an apple") and they end up drawing what it "should look like instead of what they remembered it to look like".

H/T: BPS Research Digest

"The Apple of the mind's eye: Everyday attention, metamemory, and reconstructive memory for the Apple logo" was published in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology last month.