Seeing Vs Looking

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 23

I was waiting for an appointment the other day when I struck up a conversation with another woman in the lobby. She noticed my bike helmet and the conversation quickly turned to a discussion of cars versus cyclists.

It was just on of those casual conversations you have with a stranger in passing. After voicing the usual complaint about cyclists never stopping for red lights she added that she just “was not looking for cyclists.”

I started thinking about the word “looking.” Do drivers only see what they are looking for? And are they only looking for other cars? Which would mean, to a driver, a city intersection looks like this:

This is possibly the greatest visual example of this phenomenon I have ever witnessed.  From the always amazing Bikeyface, if you are not reading her comic you should start today!

I created the gif, go to the bikeyface website to see it in all its glory.


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One Response to “Seeing Vs Looking”

  1. By Mark on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    When I first saw the illustration, I thought the “all cars” view was supposed to be from the viewpoint of a CYCLIST.

    Fact is, when I’m riding, I’m so focused on cars, trucks and potholes (and to a lesser extent bikes and pedestrians) that I often don’t see all the other scenery–unless I’m out in the country.

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