pretending to be blind

Is it possible to successfully pretend to be blind and ignore your own sight? I’ve seen some television shows where the plot involves pretending to be blind, which is always given away after a certain time (Monk and Quantum Leap, off the top of my head). How long could you actually get away with faking it?

Well in a dark room for quite a while I suppose, but I think it would take extraordinary will power not to give yourself away if someone tried to prove you could see. The blink reflex is pretty powerful.

Given that blindness covers a spectrum of vision problems, and isn’t always a person only “seeing” black, I’d say you could fool people that you were blind to some degree quite easily.

So is the ‘get out of the way/catching’ reflex if someone throws something at you…like a bible in a court room while not realizing you were actually blinded by a some perfume earlier in the day.

There was a bit in an old WC Fields movie, where a blind man came into a store swinging his cane around, destroying displays of light bulbs and the like.

My little brother and his friend thought that was funny, so they pretended to be blind and did the same thing in local stores. AFAIK they never got in trouble for it.

Jeffrey Archer wrote a short story awhile back (I forget the title) in which a cop catches someone faking blindness by popping out his (the cop’s) fake eyeball and cleaning it right in front of the guy. The guy can’t help but react.

ISTR another short story in which soldiers of an evil regime force a confession from a faking-blindess prisoner by silently bringing in the prisoner’s son, bound and gagged, and pretending that they were about to shoot the boy.

From the film “It’s A Gift”.

This was done in some movie, can’t remember which. Don’t know why but I think it was Joseph Bologna doing it for a gag. Very hazy memory on that so it could be way off.

Anyway, if I were doing it, I’d black out the glasses or put very limiting eyepatches on underneath. Leave just enough vision to navigate by looking down, or to the side, but still be blind to everything happening right in front of me. That way someone who doubted my blindness wouldn’t trip me up by doing something right in front of my face. It would still take practice to avoid being too readily able to avoid obstacles.

This is making me think of the Rockford Files lol…

But sure I’d buy, except, for example an encroaching fire (or for that matter, let’s test their sight with a flame thrower) that a person can consciously or unconsciously condition themselves to ignore something which wouldn’t be instantly life threatening. Or to use a more real example, if they are standing near someone they care about and the other person slips and will fall, will they catch them.

Now thats assuming they were pretending as opposed to blindness from psychological trauma.

While we’re talking movies, there’s an Australian movie about a prisoner faking blindness to get lenient treatment.

LOL, that’s the one! I forgot he was the house detective.

There’s a scientific study that can be performed to see if an individual is faking blindness. Electrodes are placed on the skull at the occipital lobe. and it can be determined objectively if one has vision or not. I forget the name of this or the details but perhaps one of the medical doctors can give the details.

It was also used in the Gene Wilder film The Woman in Red (Charles Grodin played the “blind” guy in the prank).

Hah! That’s the one I was trying to remember.

Watched an episode of Episodes last night. One of the characters is a blind woman played by a sighted actress. At one point she leans in to kiss a guy and lands square on the mouth with her head tilted just right.

My first reaction was “That ain’t right.” But I was wondering if blind people can really home in on the other person to plant one perfectly. Especially, in this case, if the other person was just talking.

Makes one wonder.

I think you win the internet. This has to be the answer to one of the great sinking stones of the SDMB, one of my threads, with no replies: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=611295