What's this bit of psychology called (missing something over and over)?

I’d like to do some reading on this, but I have no idea what it’s called.

Basically, it’s possible for me to write a paper and proof it a dozen times. In all of that, I will STILL miss the same error over and over. The same error that you, on your first reading, will make you think to yourself, “Did he even proof this thing, or was he just drunk?”

What’s this whole mistake blindness called?


This reminds me of when I’m looking for a tool on my workbench, or a certain box of food in the pantry. I look right over the exact item several times before even seeing it, when it was in a very obvious place.

I was thinking it was some sort of pre-conceived bias, maybe that I “know” it’s not where it really is because that is too obvious of a place.

I’d be interested too. Just yesterday I spent 5 minutes looking for my hot sauce. Nobody else lives here, and I always keep it in the same cupboard; I stared really hard at that shelf a few times trying to get rid of my blind spot. I eventually gave up but wasn’t at all surprised this morning to see that it was exactly where it always is.

confirmation bias? i.e. you expect it to be a certain way so you don’t see reality?

Chessplayers have something similar called chess blindness. the way it works in chess:

*Chessplayer thinks if I play this move threatening his queen he’ll respond with this move. Then I take. He takes. I play check. He moves king then I take his bishop for free.

Plays move. Other player plays Checkmate.*

I can see that, but the fact of the matter is I shouldn’t be operating that way…because the whole reason I’m going through this process is to find those mistakes.

If I’m going to blow past parts of it anyways, there’s no point to doing the proofing!


In engineering, we give it to a second checker who has “fresh eyes.”

Vaguely similar to blindsight. The phenomenon itself is just pattern completion though.