A Magician Explains Why We See What’s Not There
In the vanishing ball illusion, a study found that when the magician pretends to throw the ball in the air, and his gaze follows the imaginary trajectory of the ball, almost two-thirds of the participants will be convinced that they had seen the ball move up. If his gaze did not follow the imaginary ball, the illusion was far less effective.
This illustrates that the illusion is mostly driven by expectations. Our eyes find it difficult to track fast-moving objects. Looking at the ball is only possible when we can predict where it will be in the future.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
A team of neuroscientists believes there might be a meaningful link between creativity and seeing faces in clouds.
The scientific term for seeing familiar objects in random images, abstract things, or patterns is 'pareidolia.' Pareidolia has been reported in sounds too.
At first, pareidolia (seeing shapes in clouds and in other inanimate objects) was seen negatively rather than a sign of creativity. It was even considered to be a symptom of psychosis or dementia.
In 1895, French psychologist Alfred Binet - known for his work on IQ tests - suggested that inkblots could be used in psychological research to study differences in involuntary imagination. This idea was further developed, resulting in inkblots to investigate people's personality and assess their psychological state.
The creative aspect of pareidolia became known in the 19th century with the practice of 'klecksography' - the art of making images from inkblots.
Writer Victor Hugo experimented with folded papers and stains by holding his quill upside down to use the feather-end as a brush. Another practitioner of klecksography, German poet Justinus Andreas Christian Kerner, published Kleksographien (1890), a collection of inkblot art with accompanying short poems about the objects that can be noticed in the images.
It is the idea that we see what we want to see.
It’s similar to another concept — motivated reasoning, where we come to conclusions we’re predisposed to believe in.
It is the feeling that our perception of the world reflects the truth.
Of all our senses, we tend to trust our eyes the most. And we believe that the way we see the world is the way that the world really is.
Over the years, research has shown that individuals tend not only to prefer contoured lines over straight ones but also to associate more joyful feelings with the first ones.
Furthermore, a recent study has proven that people's preference for curved real objects has not changed a bit. We tend, it seems, to identify angular shapes with fear, aversion, and dislike, while circles bring to our mind feels like safety and peacefulness.
According to research in the field, people have the tendency to associate happiness with circles and anger with triangles.
This seems to find its meaning in individuals' attraction to the roundness of a child's face, as, involuntarily, we associate innocence and honesty to round-shaped items.
Taking into account that our own eyes function based on the existence of spheres, such as the iris or the pupil, there is no wonder that we all are, as individuals, prone to choose circular lines over straight ones.