Yeah, but Did You See the Gorilla? Creating and Protecting an ‘Informed’ Consumer in Cross Border Online Dispute Resolution
Posted: 7 Aug 2012 Last revised: 14 May 2014
Date Written: August 7, 2012
In 1999 Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons designed a now infamous experiment to test intentional blindness. In their study, participants were asked to watch a video in which two teams, one in black shirts and one in white shirts, passed a ball amongst themselves. The study participants were told to count the number of times the players in white shirts passed the ball. Mid-way through the video, a gorilla walks through the game, stands in the middle, pounds his chest, and then exits. After watching the video study participants were asked, "But did you see the gorilla?" More than half the time, subjects miss the gorilla entirely. Even after the participants were told about the gorilla, they remain convinced they could not have missed a gorilla pounding its chest in the middle of the group. Although this study, and subsequent studies that validated its findings, cover issues in relation to intentional blindness, its outcome highlights one of the perplexing issues in relation to online dispute resolution. How do we create a body of ‘informed’ online consumers that take note of a dispute resolution clause within contract of adhesion presented to them at the moment of sale? And if this cannot be accomplished, how do we protect quasi-informed consumers entering into the cross-border online dispute resolution arena?
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