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The Illusion of Voting

By farl in MLP
Wed Dec 27, 2000 at 01:32:01 PM EST
Tags: Science (all tags)

the nature of illusions is evidenced greatly in this wonderful little image sent to me (by of all people) my mom.

Count The Dots

Do you know of any other great, similar illusions?


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The Illusion of Voting | 13 comments (12 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Not quite an illusion but... (4.00 / 3) (#1)
by chrisbolt on Tue Dec 26, 2000 at 09:27:44 PM EST

...still interesting: try it

<panner> When making backups, take a lesson from rusty: it doesn't matter if you make them, only that you _think_ you made them.
Hmm... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
by sinclair on Tue Dec 26, 2000 at 11:00:24 PM EST

So, what does it say about me that I had no trouble speaking the color of each word? Am I one of the few people in his right mind? ;-)

[ Parent ]
Obviously not... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
by Midnight Ryder on Tue Dec 26, 2000 at 11:35:51 PM EST

Nope, you aren't the only one in your 'right mind' <GRIN> I did it without a problem too - must be one of those things that some individuals do and some don't. (Like those damned posters that have stuff embeded into seemingly random noise... can't see anything on those!)

Davis Ray Sickmon, Jr

Owner / President

MidnightRyder.Com - game developer, among other things

[ Parent ]
must be a sliding scale... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
by gregholmes on Wed Dec 27, 2000 at 06:22:19 AM EST

Had only a minor feeling of something not quite being right as I read the colors ... and it takes me a long time to see the pictures in the dots, but eventually I can.

[ Parent ]
Strange. (none / 0) (#12)
by 11223 on Wed Dec 27, 2000 at 12:48:15 PM EST

I can do the pictures in the dots with ease (I'll get it about two seconds after looking at it) but these I have to do by taking off my glasses. (Try it, it works. If you can't read the word you can say the color!)

The dead hand of Asimov's mass psychology wins every time.
[ Parent ]

all I can say is... (none / 0) (#4)
by Notromda on Tue Dec 26, 2000 at 11:20:09 PM EST

ouch. That hurts!

[ Parent ]
Checked that out. (3.50 / 2) (#6)
by Dolgan on Tue Dec 26, 2000 at 11:55:42 PM EST

I checked that out for a while, and at first it got me. Especially when I tried to read the names aloud instead of simply echoing them in my mind.

But if you just sort of let your vision blur, I've noticed that it's pretty easy to simply identify the colors and sort of subconsciously pronounce them, instead. It also works to concentrate on an isolated position in one of the names. Just don't think about the words you see, and it's not that tough. :P

[ Parent ]

Spare a thought for me! (none / 0) (#10)
by daani on Wed Dec 27, 2000 at 08:26:24 AM EST

They had this same thing up as a poster on my train home from work. I tried it every day for weeks until I could finally do it. Then I tried to demonstrate my new ability to someone, only to be informed that some of the words I thought were black were actually dark green. I gave up after that.

BTW, to the people who said they had no trouble with this at all: Did you have to concentrate to not be "tricked"? Can you do it really fast?


[ Parent ]
There's a very simple way of doing it right.... (4.50 / 2) (#11)
by 11223 on Wed Dec 27, 2000 at 08:52:12 AM EST

The solution is quite simple: Take off your glasses! With my glasses off, I can do it with 100% accuracy (as far as my color-recognition ability permits) and as fast as anything!

The dead hand of Asimov's mass psychology wins every time.
[ Parent ]

the idea being... (none / 0) (#13)
by neetij on Wed Dec 27, 2000 at 11:27:12 PM EST

IMHO, of the image is that we say the color on impulse. it is easy to not err when one gives some prior thought to our actions; as is the case in other instances too. surprise, surprise.

[ Parent ]
www.illusionworks.com (4.50 / 2) (#7)
by plastik55 on Wed Dec 27, 2000 at 03:13:31 AM EST

Dr. Shin Shimojo of Caltech runs a website which has a big collection of optical illusions: http://www.illusionworks.com/. The site has a page on the scintillating grid illusion (as this one is called,) as well as many others like (one of my favorites) the filling-in illusion

(it's little things like this that keep me happy about my school...)

Shoot, I forgot... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
by plastik55 on Wed Dec 27, 2000 at 03:25:22 AM EST

There is a very good, recently discovered illusion which you can see if you follow the link on Shimojo's page to "Visual Illusion induced by sound." Dr. Shimojo demonstrated this one to our neurobiology class.

The setup is a screen with circles at the top-left and top-right corners. The circles both move to the center of the screen and continue to the opposite corners, so that there are two ambiguous interpretations; one is that the two objects passed by each other; the other is that they bounced off each other.

Now, most people will say that they saw the balls pass by each other without touching... but if there is a loud sound when the balls pass by each other, everyone will say that they saw the balls bounce off each other! The effect is quite striking, so I recommend you view the Quicktime movie for yourself.
[ Parent ]

The Illusion of Voting | 13 comments (12 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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