Myths about Optical Illusions

The spinning ballerina illusion

The spinning ballerina illusion has been used as a Right brain vs. left brain tester. It is said that the direction of spin of the ballerina that the viewer perceives says something about their dominant brain hemisphere. If the viewer sees the ballerina spin clockwise then their right hemisphere is more developed. This hemisphere is where all the creative processes take place. Those who see anti-clockwise have a more developed left-hemisphere which is connected to rationalism and mathemaical thinking. If a person sees it spin in both ways, then their left and right hemispheres are balanced.

 

Results :

 

In the ages between 11 and 20, people are more creative or logically-and-creatively balanced as compared to more rationalized thinking. In the 21-30 group, most people are either in their college years or have just started working. For most people this is a transitional period in which they try to figure out their life. Therefore, a more developed left hemisphere might be more common. In the 31-40, 41-50 and 51-60 groups, more people tend to lean towards one type of thinking or the other than in other groups. This may be influenced by that persons' occupation. Those people in these groups have grown accustomed to their workplace and the nature of their work. To excel in it, people may need to think in a certain way as befits their work. For example, Lottie Lyle teaches drama and saw the ballerina spin in the clockwise direction. Ritesh saw it spin in the anti-clockwise direction and he manages Operations in a bank. This requires a more logical approach.

 

Many more males saw the ballerina spin in the clockwise direction which points to a more-developed right hemisphere which controls the creative aspects of a person’s nature. Females on the other hand have a more developed left hemisphere which controls logical and rational thinking and are also shown to have a more balanced development of both the hemispheres.

 

  

The rabbit or duck illusion

 

The rabbit or duck illusion can gauge the creativity of a person. The faster a person can flip between both animals in the picture, the more creative they are. This is because a small creative insight is induced in the brain the moment the viewer flips between the animals. The more number of creative flashes induced, the more likely the person is to be highly creative.

 

Results :

 

In th 11-20 group, 12 people saw the duck first while 3 people saw the rabbit. Only 1 person saw both the animals at first glance. In the 21-30 group, all the 6 rspondants saw the duck first. In the 31-40 group, 4 people saw a duck, 3 people saw a rabbit and 1 person saw both. Nivedita Banerjee saw both the animals at first glance and this is a sign of high levels of creativity. Her answer to the first question (the spinning ballerina), on the other hand was counter-clockwise which points to a more logical thinking. But this could mean that while she is a highly ceative person, the left side of her brain is more developed. In the 41-50 group, only 1 person replied and he saw a duck. In all these age groups more people saw he duck than the rabbit and very few people saw both animals. There is a study which was conducted which show that more people tend to percieve the rabbit first during Easter (due to the Easter bunny myth) and the duck first in October.  I send this survey out in July which is kind of in the middle of these two months, but Easter was in March which was 4 months ago and October is in three months thereby being closer. This may have influenced some people subconsciously to perceive the duck first. It may also be because Easter was in the past and has been forgotten for now while people may be looking forward to October.

 

An overwhelming majority of the males answered duck while a very tiny part deviated from the norm and saw the rabbit. In the females, there is a wider range of answers with the majority still seeing duck but with a few rabbits mixed in too. There were also a couple people who saw both the images within the female group.

The up and down which staircase ? illusion

The up and down which staircase ? illusion is said to be influenced by culture. It is stated that most western people choose to go up the left stairs and down the right stairs as they are influenced by the western way of writing from left to right. Most people who have lived in those countries in which Arab is written or spoken choose to go up the right stairs and down the left as Arabian is written from right to left. 

 

Results :

In a gender point of view : In both the groups roughly the same amount chose to go up the left stairs and down the right stairs and vice versa. The percentage of respondents who chose to go up the left stairs in both groups were in the 70-80% bracket while the percentage of respondents who chose to go up the right stairs in both groups were in the 20-25% backet.

 

All the people who chose to go up the right stairs are as follows : Anna, Aryan Katyal, Mr. Bank, Hana Ozawa, Mehak, Minami Nagao, Nisma Roy Sophy, Pearly James, Prateek Gaur, Rina, Sapna and Shambavi. Out of these, Aryan, Mehak, Nisma, Pearly, Prateek, Sapna and Shambavi are Indians. Furthermore, Nisma has lived in the UAE before. All of the japanese people who have answered ( Hana, Minami and Rina ) chose to go up the right stairs. Mr. Bank and Shambavi have both lived in Germany before. Anna is Austraian and has lived in Singapore. In japan, the writing is usually from top to bottom and their books are flipped from right to left, meaning that in Japanese books the first page is the futhermost one on the right and the last page is the furthermost one on the left. This mans that they read from right to left. This might have influenced their perception.  

The images in a vase illusion

The images in a vase illusion tests the 'purity' of the mind. Those people who see the dolphins are more innocent-minded and therefore a larger majority of young children see this picture. Children older than that usually see two people in the vase. The media has been filled with sexual themes and those children who may not watch much of these shows and programmes may be able to see the dolphins. 

 

Results :

 

In the 11-20 group, 21 people saw two people in the vase while 2 people saw dolphins. In the 21-30 group, 6 people saw two people in the vase while 1 person saw dolphins. In the 31-40 group, all the respondants saw two people with 1 person, Nivedita Banerjee being able to percieve both dolphins and people. In the 41-50 age group, both the respondants saw two people and in the 51-60 group, both the respondants saw two people while Mr.Bank also percieved the dolphins.

 

All 14 of the male respondants saw two people in the vase with Mr.Bank being the only one who could percieve both pictures. In the female respondants, 24 people (85.71%) saw two people in the vase while 3 people (10.71%) saw the dolphins. 1 person (3.57%) saw both the people and the dolphins.

The face in the coffee beans illusion

The face in the coffee beans illusion helps to identify the stage of development of the right hemisphere of the brain. If the viewer found the face in 3 seconds, then their right hemisphere is more developed than the average person. If the face was found in under a minute, then the right hemisphere is of the average person. If the viewer took more than a minute to find the face, then their right hemisphere is slow or less developed than of an average person.  

 

Results :

 

6 people found the image in 3 seconds, 13 people found the image in 1 minute and 4 people found the image after 1 minute. I have seen that all the people who found the image in 1 minute either perceived the ballerina spinning in the clockwise direction or in both ways. Both the people who saw the face after 1 minute saw the ballerina spinning in the clockwise direction. 3 of the people who found the picture in 3 seconds saw the ballerina spinning in both directions while 1 person saw it spinning in the counterclockwise direction and the rest did not answer the first question. In the 21-30 group, 1 person found the image in 3 seconds, 2 people found the image in 1 minute and 2 people found the image after 1 minute. The person who saw it in 3 seconds perceived the ballerina in the clockwise position while both the people who saw it in 1 minute perceived the ballerina spinning in both directions. One of the 2 people who found it after a minute saw the ballerina spinning in both ways while the other one saw it spinning in the clockwise direction. In the 31-40 group, 5 people found it in 3 seconds, 1 person in 1 minute and 3 people after 1 minute. In 3 of the people who found it in 3 seconds, 1 saw the ballerina spinning in the clockwise direction, the other in the counterclockwise direction and the third in both ways. The person who saw it in 1 minute perceived the ballerina in the counterclockwise direction and the 3 people who saw it after 1 minute perceived the ballerina in the clockwise direction. In the 41-50 group, 1 person found the image in 3 seconds and the other one after 1 minute. The person who found it in more than 1 minute saw the ballerina spinning in both directions. In the 51-60 group, 1 person found it in 1 minute and the other after 1 minute and they both saw the ballerina spinning in the clockwise direction.

Ink blot tests are more along the lines of being personality testers than an optical illusion. The ink-blots that I have taken are from a new personality test which revives the Rorschach Inkblot Test. Each of the following ink blots ask a question of 'what can you see ?' The answer to that question can give an insight into a person's personality. 

 

The Rorschach test is a set of cards containing pictures of inkblots that have been folded over on themselves to create a mirror image. The idea behind the test is that when people are shown an ambigious, meaningless picture and asked what they see in them, they try to find some meaning behind these pictures. This meaning is generated by the mind and can offer a glimpse into the test-takers' psyche. The mind, to come up with a meaning will project itself into the pictures and the person will actually be describing themselves or their outlook on life through the meanings they derive from these pictures. There have been a few problems with the Rorschach test. The main one is that it is too unreliable. Different testers can come up with different interpretations for the same image seen by the testee. For example, if the person being tested sees a bra, a male psychologist might classify this as a sexual response, whereas a female psychologist may classify it as clothing ("What's behind the Rorschach Inkblot Test?" BBC News. N.p., 25 July 2012. Web. 02 Aug. 2016.). 

 

Therefore, to forego this unreliability I have chosen these five standardized Ink Blots for everyone so that there can be fluctuation of interpretations. Each image seen will have a fixed answer and there will be no interpretation of the tester involved. But as the testees are not allowed to say exactly what they have seen but instead only able to choose an answer most like the one they saw, it is also possible to say that only the basics of their psyche will be revealed. 

 

 

Ink Blot Tests

Ink Blot 1

Images that can be seen :

 

  • An X-ray image of a chest, showing red heart, lungs, blood ? 
  • An eccentric professor with fringes of white hair, a top-knot and big nose ? 
  •  A stingray or skate ?

Meaning of perceiving these images :

 

  • X-ray: This suggests that you have things welling up inside you that you want to express, but you'd prefer to suffer in silence and not rock the boat. You find it hard to say no in general.
  •  Professor: You are benevolent, self-effacing, and a very good friend and thinker.
  • Stingray or skate: You tend to put yourself second, and are familiar, though not necessarily comfortable, with being elbowed aside by more powerful characters. As a result you can sometimes be apologetic to a fault.

Results :

  • 30 people (65.2%) in all saw the x-ray image.
  • 3 people (6.52%) saw the professor. 
  • 13 people (28.25%%) saw the stingray.

Ink Blot 2

Images that can be seen :

 

  • A pair of emus facing one another, wearing feather boas ? 
  • A beetle or scarab, possibly with crab's claws ? 
  • Sunglasses, bra or beard ?

Meaning of perceiving these picures :

 

  • Emus: You feel the pull of the highlife  -  though, sometimes, you don't like how you feel the next day; you waver between extreme moods, taking yourself too seriously or just not caring.
  • Beetle: You are very hard-working; success comes naturally to you. You lay your plans, and follow them through.
  • Sunglasses, bra or beard: You like dressing up, although you can worry excessively about what people think of you and seek external solutions  -  a new car, new clothes  -  to internal problems

Results :

 

  • 18 people (40%) saw the emus.
  • 12 people (26.67%) saw the beetle.
  • 15 people (33.33%) saw the sunglasses.

 

 

Ink Blot 3

Images that can be seen :

 

  • A strong man, flexing his muscles ? 
  • A scorpion ? 
  • Fallopian tubes ?


Meaning of percieving these images :

 

  • Strong man: This suggests that you are highly capable, mastering everything you turn your hand to. You are naturally gifted and extremely determined. You pride yourself on always being equal to the challenge.
  • Scorpion: You are highly tuned, like a gymnast, so diet and sleeping can be problematic, since you are physically very sensitive, but not emotionally; anything that smacks of therapy gets on your nerves.
  • Fallopian tubes: You have a sense of stalled potential, of putting an enormous amount into life, yet still waiting for it to start. Your idea of how things should be  -  for instance, whom you should be with, what you should be doing  -  is very vivid, and if reality falls short of expectations, your considerable achievements provide little consolation.

Results :

  • 7 people (14.89%) saw a strong man.
  • 24 people (51.06%) saw a scorpion.
  • 16 people (34.04%) saw fallopian tubes.

 

Ink Blot 4

Images that can be seen :

 

  • Clown with a runny nose, melting face or someone sticking out their tongue ? 
  • A lady in a dress holding her skirts above a pair of jumping dolphins ? 
  • A long-lost cuddly toy ?

 

Meaning of percieving these images :

 

  • Clown, face or someone sticking out their tongue: This suggests that you're social and seeks out company  -  no one could call you a recluse. However, you do have aloof tendencies, a habit that will cause your friends concern.
  • Lady above dolphins: You are charismatic, often in a darkly brooding way. this draws attention to you, which is good for your ego, but it does not necessarily add much to your self-esteem.
  • Cuddly toy: sometimes, when things are difficult, you tend to dwell on your past, a time when you felt you belonged in the world and didn't have to fight constantly to prove yourself.

 Results :

 

  • 29 (61.7%) people saw a clown.
  • 13 (27.66%) people saw a lady in a dress.
  • 5 (10.64%) people saw a cuddly toy.

Ink Blot 5

Images that can be seen :

 

  • A mouth, with tongue, tonsils and throat ? 
  • A pair of yellow fledglings pecking ? 
  • A red cat with whiskers or paws, possibly eating a butterfly, or a viper's mouth ?


Meanings of percieving these images :

 

  • Mouth: You are a real force  -  your strength of character, accomplishments and expansiveness cause rooms (and lives) to rearrange themselves around you when you walk in.
  • Fledglings pecking: You are very nurturing, lavishing such care on others that it sometimes seems you don't need any in return. You're not entirely sure you deserve to be loved at all.
  • Cat or viper's mouth: Sometimes your relationships can seem like a bicycle tyre with a slow puncture; you can give a huge amount, but still it's not clear that it's working for you. You feel inadequate, though you don't know why.

Results :

  • 22 people (46.81%) saw a mouth.
  • 8  people (17.02%) saw yellow fledglings.
  • 17 people (36.17%) saw a red cat.