|Born||November 19, 1966|
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
|Known for||The Invisible Gorilla|
|Fields||Psychology, Experimental psychology, cognitive science, Cognitive Illusions|
Christopher F. Chabris (//) is an American research psychologist, currently Senior Investigator (Professor) at Geisinger Health System, Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, France, and Associate Professor of Psychology and co-director of the Neuroscience Program at Union College in Schenectady, New York (on leave 2016-2017). He is best known as the co-author (with Daniel Simons) of the popular science book The Invisible Gorilla, which presents the results of research into attention and other cognitive illusions.
Chabris was born in New York City in 1966, grew up in Westchester County and has lived in Massachusetts since graduating from college. He received his B.A. in computer science (1988) at Harvard University and was then Artificial Intelligence Program Manager in the Psychology Department for five years. In 1999 he received a Ph.D. degree in psychology from Harvard University, with a thesis titled "Cognitive and Neuropsychological Mechanisms of Expertise: Studies with Chess Masters." From 1999 to 2001 he was a Research Fellow at the NMR Center, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In Fall 2002 he was a Lecturer teaching an introductory course on cognitive neuroscience, and from 2001 to 2002 he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Harvard Psychology Department.
Chabris has been a chess master since 1986. He was a founder of the American Chess Journal and a former editor of the Massachusetts Chess Association (MACA) magazine Chess Horizons. He has produced several chess events and writes on monthly column called Game On for The Wall Street Journal.
His research focuses on how people differ from one another in mental abilities and patterns of behavior, and how cognitive illusions affect our decisions. He has published papers on a diverse array of topics, including human intelligence, beauty and the brain, face recognition, the Mozart effect, group performance, and visual cognition. Currently his research interests are: Individual differences in human cognition and their relationship to brain function and structure, molecular genetics of human cognition and decision-making, cognitive and neural mechanisms of expertise, intelligence, and decision-making, behavioral economics and cognitive biases, neurodevelopmental disorders, visual cognition and the design of information graphics. His most recent work concerns the genetic origin of intelligence, demonstrating that many genes formerly associated with intelligence are actually false positives. Chabris is also a regular media commentator on psychology-related topics such as the theory that 10,000 hours of practice make someone an expert and that listening to Mozart makes you more intelligent.
The Invisible Gorilla
Chabris is best known outside the academic community as the co-author with Daniel Simons of the book The Invisible Gorilla, published in 2010. Simons and Chabris were awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for the Invisible Gorilla experiment.
- What We Miss, New York Times review of The Invisible Gorilla, Accessed 10 October 2012
- Fact or Fiction?: Babies Exposed to Classical Music End Up Smarter, Scientific American 13 September 2007, Accessed 10 October 2012
- Harvard Biography Page, Accessed 21 September 2012 Archived 7 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- Most reported genetic associations with general intelligence are probably false positives, Psychological Science, 24 September 2012, Accessed 9 October 2012
- Seeing If 10,000 Hours Will Make You an Expert, Scientific American, 6 June 2011, Accessed 10 October 2012
- Mozart's nice but doesn't increase IQs, CNN, 25 August 1999, Accessed 10 October 2012
- Invisible gorilla steals Ig Nobel prize, New Scientist, 1 October 2004, Accessed 9 October 2012
- The Invisible Gorilla, Crown, 2010