Less than half of people can correctly identify the Apple logo in this photo

Without checking, which of the above images represents Apple’s official logo? Less than half of people, both Mac and PC users, can tell, according to a recent study at the University of California Los Angeles.

Apple’s logo is relatively simple — just two colours in a shape we learn alongside the alphabet. It’s also often considered one of the most famous and recognisable logos today. Yet 53% of people chose one of the imposters, the study found.

Try the test here for yourself ยป

Why can’t people identify the iconic apple? “Seeing” and “noticing” are different actions. Just because we encounter an object doesn’t mean we commit it to memory. And even if we do, some images reach a point called “attentional saturation,” two of the study’s authors, Adam B. Blake and Alan D. Castel, noted in Psychology Today.

“Through constantly seeing and attending to the same thing over and over again, our brains may learn that it is unimportant to remember the specific details — if we ever need to find them we can just look around,” as they explain it.

Along the same lines, can you describe the letters surrounding the “T”on your keyboard? Or the location of the nearest fire extinguisher? What about the details on the head of a penny?

Probably not.

The stats plummeted even further when people attempted to draw the Apple logo from memory: only one in 85 made no mistakes, according to the study.

People, however, remain largely unaware of their lack of awareness. When asked before the test, participants indicated high levels of confidence that they could, in fact, identify and draw the logo correctly. That confidence, however, fell drastically, as soon as participants saw the task at hand.

While previous research has indicated that visual memory can be quite accurate, the study provides important information on subjective bias when assessing your own performance.

And for the record, the answer is the third logo down in the far right column.

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