If you asked someone what Apple’s logo looks like, odds are they will be able to tell you what it is. Ask them what it exactly looks like, however, and you’ll have an entirely different conversation, as a recent UCLA study revealed.
Reported by Fast Company, the study asked 85 students, 89 percent of whom revealed they were Apple users, to draw the Apple logo from memory. Out of the 85 students, only seven were able to draw the logo without major errors, with only one student able to draw the logo accurately.
Some drawings had the right idea, but missed minor details. Other drawings had the bite in a different location, while others still added two stalks on the top, or completely forgot to draw the bite. Interestingly enough, this low accuracy also translates to picking out the Apple logo, with just 47 percent of the students picking the right answer.
So what exactly is going on here? The scientists who conducted the study concluded the students’ foggy memories may be the result of “a form of attentional saturation,” which could lead to “inattentional amnesia.” In other words, because Apple’s logo is simple and ubiquitous, people don’t notice details and their brains tell them they don’t need that information. Since there is no need to memorize and accurately reproduce the logo, we only acknowledge its existence and nothing more.
In short, if you ask people what the Apple logo looks like, they’ll likely be able to tell you it’s an apple. Simple enough. Ask them to specifically reproduce the logo, however, and the answers will be quite a bit more complicated.