Professor Susan D. Franck, Associate Professor of Law, recently wrote The Invisible Gorillas in International Arbitration on the Kluwer Arbitration Blog.
The post discusses the classic experiment explored by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons in their new text, The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us. The experiment video can be found here. In the experiment, two teams, one wearing white shirts and the other wearing black shirts, pass two basketballs among themselves. The observer is asked to count how many passes the white team makes. In the middle of the video, a female student dressed as a gorilla walks through the scene, pounds her chest, and continues on. According to researchers, about 50% of observers don’t see the gorilla.
Prof. Franck relates this phenomenon to international arbitration. For lawyers who are consulting with clients, obvious (yet critical) permutations in cases may be missed. She warns that attorneys should try to see as much as possible, so as to not inadvertently miss the proverbial “gorilla in our midst.”
Congratulations to Professor Franck.