Think You Know the Apple Logo? Think Again

In a study, 84 of 85 people couldn't draw it from memory
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2015 10:43 AM CDT
You Probably Can't Draw the Apple Logo From Memory
In this Sept. 5, 2014 photo, the Apple logo hangs in the glass box entrance to the company's Fifth Avenue store, in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

You may be reading this story on your iPhone, but if you were asked to draw the Apple logo from memory, there's a good chance you couldn't. That's what UCLA psychologists found to be the case after asking 85 undergrads to do that very task; 52 of those students were "strictly" Apple users, while another 23 used some Apple products. The grand total of students who drew it correctly? One. Seven were able to draw it with "minimal errors," defined as 3 or fewer, write the researchers. (Some of the attempts, published as part of the study in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology are, well, interesting; see them here.) Students were then shown 8 variations of the logo and asked to pick the right one; 47% succeeded.

In a second experiment, participants were asked to rate how well they thought they'd be able to draw the logo before doing so. "There was a striking discrepancy between participants' confidence prior to drawing the logo and how well they performed on the task," study author Alan Castel says in a press release. "People's memory, even for extremely common objects, is much poorer than they believe it to be." Why might that be? The researchers suggest "attentional saturation, which could then later result in 'inattentional amnesia,'" could be at play—more plainly, "people are often exposed to this logo and may then stop attending to the details of the logo, perhaps due to its simplicity and availability." They also point out that the only reason a consumer might have to "encode the details of the logo" would be to spot a counterfeit product. (Another recent study found that your memories of 9/11 might be wrong.)

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