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Inattentional Blindness Also Known As Perceptual Blindness #195.

It is where an individual fails to perceive an unexpected stimulus in plain sight. When it becomes impossible to attend to all the stimuli in a given situation, a temporary “blindness” effect can occur.

It looks as though cognitive biases seem to not allow us to perceive fact, when it’s too incomprehensible to conceive. Recently a male German nurse was convicted of 87 counts of murder. This is the number they have proof of, the actually total could be upwards of 200. That number can’t be proven due to the many postmortem cremations the hospital performed. So the question is, how did so many coworkers over the years working with this man seem to have complete blindness to his actions?

Perceptual Blindness
Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

Hospitals Can Be One Of The Best Place To Exercise Tunnel Vision.

Death is commonplace within the hospital walls and I’m sure if you don’t build a tough skin to it, you won’t last long in the medical field. But that shouldn’t be an excuse to completely disregard warning signs that your coworker may be this mass murderer. Granted that is the unexpected stimuli in this scenario. The cause of the blindness, the fact that someone was actively killing off the patients and everyone failed to see it happening in plain sight. The nurse would poison patients in an attempt to show off his revival skills. Making it seem like he was very passionate about saving lives not taking them.

How Are We So Unaware And So Naive?

At what point does something arise within you, that makes you feel off and question the many red flags you may be privy too? And how is it hospitals don’t have loss ratios? There simply has to be data on how many patients perished and under who’s care for any given time frame. The patterns in data don’t lie and clearly had this been an area of focus, this man would have been caught far sooner. Maybe that is the silver lining for this action, that hospitals will take greater focus on who they’re hiring and what those hires due on a day to day basis. Making it impossible for any other to commit these kinds of acts in plain sight. They will now be attentive to the acts of others including their coworkers.

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