Learning to perceive what is important: Orient to Ignore the Irrelevant

A School of Psychology Colloquium by Mitchell Rabinowitz, Fordham University

Understanding what is important in any domain is an important yet challenging skill.  Since an early age, many people have been trained to find what is important by simply searching for it.  However, this approach has its limitations. What is important is often not explicitly presented; it is implicit and requires some level of inference making.  In addition to this, what is important often is embedded within distracting and irrelevant information, making such a task like finding a needle in a haystack. I propose to explore an approach that is opposite to what we have been instructed to do. Rather than having the goal of searching for what is important, people should consciously search for what is NOT important so to categorize this distracting information for removal, consequently making what is actually important more visible.

Reception follows in J.S. Coon second floor atrium.





Event Details


  • Wednesday, March 14, 2018
    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm