What can testers learn from psychology? Inattentional Blindness

Actually, there is a lot to learn from sciences, that can help testers to be better in their job. I’m focusing on inattentional blindness here.

By definition inattentional blidness is the failure to notice a fully-visible, but unexpected object because attention was engaged on another task, event, or object.

How many times have you been browsing through the software you’re testing and missed an obvious bug? How many times have you felt that you should have noticed the issue that was reported by someone else?

Our attention can be selective when we focus on one particular task at a time. For instance, when we focus on a task, we sometimes miss even when the retrospectively obvious passes right in front of us.

Take a look at this video – actually this is a favorite of mine:


As it says, it’s pretty easy to miss something you’re not looking for.

Now you know it, where can you do with this information as a tester?

For example when you are doing exploratory testing, pair up with someone. Pairing helps a lot in this case, thus your testing can be even more effective.



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