Optical illusions have long been used as a tool in psychology to figure out the inner workings of the mind. What is the first thing you see? But who says you have to go to a psychologist to get the answers that you long for?
Optical Illusions have long been a fascination for the human population. As children many of us group up playing with the Magic Eye optical illusion books, spending hours upon hours staring at the colorful images in an attempt to discover the secret hidden within. Captivating people the world over with their hidden images, floaters and 2D/3D patterns, the books appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List for a combined total of 73 weeks.
“Visual Intelligence: Sharpen Your Perception, Change Your Life” by Amy E. Herman: Enhance your observational skills and discover how visual cues can play a role in our daily understanding and decisions.
As we grew up, this fascination also grows with us. Still intrigued by the visual trickery of optical illusions, we now focus on understanding how they work and what they may reveal about us. There is no better example of how invested adults can become in an optical illusion than The Great Dress Debate of 2015 in which thousands of people took to social media to declare their loyalties to either camp blue and black or camp white and gold.
We begin to look for deeper meaning, using similar techniques to those behind some of the biggest and most well-known personality tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). In this way, we are able to look at which images and patterns first stand out to each person that views the optical illusion and from that draw a conclusion in regard to our personalities, ambitions, strengths and weaknesses.
“The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Quest for What Makes Us Human” by V.S. Ramachandran: Explore the wonders of the human brain and how visual perception can provide insights into our unique human nature.
Interested in trying it out? Check out these 8 examples:
Optical Illusion #1
If you saw a woman: The way that the woman is posed is one of submission, with her knees bent, leaning forward, her hands over her head defending her. Identifying this image first may mean that you feel as though you are constantly defending yourself in life, leaving you emotionally and mentally exhausted.
If you saw a skull: You may be facing some significant challenges in your life at this time, and you are struggling to find a solution to effectively work through them. This leaves you feeling trapped and even hopeless, but don’t give up! While this may be a time of trial, you are walking through the fire and it will forge an even stronger version of yourself when you emerge on the other side.
“Magic Eye: A New Way of Looking at the World” by N.E. Thing Enterprises: Dive deeper into visual puzzles and 3D illusions, training your brain to see things from different perspectives.
Optical Illusion #2
If you saw an old man: You are an empathetic individual, showing compassion for all that come into your life. You rely on the right side of your brain as you are a highly creative person, always viewing the beauty and color of the world around you. Don’t lose that positivity.
If you saw a woman first: You are driven by the left, analytical side of your brain. You see the world as black or white, often overlooking the full spectrum of grey that also exists around you. Try to keep your mind and heart open to seeing more than just the facts, welcoming the individuality of others into your life will make the world a better place.
Optical Illusion #3
If you saw a snake: You are a highly skilled and respected leader among your peers, taking on responsibility, encouraging those around you, and expressing both appreciation and respect for those who come join your team.
If you saw arms: You are a more analytical and critical individual, taking the time to fully assess a situation before you jump in. This may slow you down, however, you are the person who can catch any holes in your plans or errors that have been made before they are too late.
“Optical Illusions: The Science of Visual Perception” by Al Seckel: Delve into the world of optical illusions and understand the science behind why we see things the way we do. A fascinating look into the quirks of human visual perception.
Optical Illusion #4
If you saw pillars: You prefer to live your life safely within your comfort zone, and an area where you know that you can succeed, but is it really success if you are trapped beneath a low glass ceiling? The only way to break through and to truly feel the joys of success and accomplishment in life will be to venture into the uncomfortable unknown and shoot for the starts.
If you saw men between the pillars: You live a life of adventure and excitement, moving from one challenge to the next and feeding off the adrenaline. You dread the idea of settling into a boring, routine life more than anything else, but you need to acknowledge that there are benefits to finding some element of routine and normalcy.
Optical Illusion #5
If you saw a car: You highly value your freedom – both the freedom to get up and go at a moment’s notice as well as the ability to do whatever comes naturally in life. You live for the opportunity to experience new things, consistently stepping out of your comfort zone.
If you saw a man with binoculars: You are generally focused on the bigger picture, forgetting about the finer details of any given situation. While this can help you to absorb information quickly, it can cause trouble for you in those moments when then finer points matter (which is more often than you care to admit).
If you saw the letter A: The least common of the options, you are incredibly focused, picking up on the smallest of details in everything that you do. Highly intuitive, you can read a situation better than nearly anyone and you have a way of effectively reading the people around you.
Optical Illusion #6
If you saw faces: You are upbeat, outgoing and generally the life of the party. Every moment of your life is another chance to socialize and make new friends, drawing your energy from these interactions. You would rather spend your life surrounded by 100 acquaintances than spend even a moment alone, but this mindset may be hindering you from making real, lasting connections.
If you saw a candlestick first: Quiet and introverted, you feel the most at peace within the safety of your own home, where you can selectively choose to only invite those in who you deem worth your time and effort. You understand the importance of quality over quantity when it comes to friendships, highly valuing those that you hold dear.
Optical Illusion #7
If you saw a crocodile: You are incredibly practical and focused, refusing to spend more than a moment on anything that you don’t view as being of an immediate importance. You keep your feet grounded, avoiding risks whenever possible, preferring to stick to the familiar paths that you know will deliver.
If you saw a boat: You are highly observant, finding joy in the little things in your life. You are independent and one of a kind, some may even say a little eccentric. Don’t allow anyone to talk you into changing as it is your creativity that will allow you to succeed in life.
Optical Illusion #8
If you are a woman and saw a man’s face: You are highly focused on the opposite gender, and likely have a high intimacy drive. You may be in a relationship right now where you are not fully feeling satisfied and fulfilled, and this highlights your desire to seek out that satisfaction. Don’t allow this one area of your life to become an obsession as it can quickly take over everything that you do.
If you are a man and saw a man’s face: You are struggling with your relationships with other people around you including your partner, your friends, your coworkers and even those strangers that you meet. Take some time to focus on your people skills as networking with others can be highly beneficial in achieving a happy life.
If you are a woman and saw a woman’s face: You are self-confident and self-aware. You know who you are, and you aren’t afraid to go against the norm if that is what feels natural. Upbeat and positive, you bring light into every room that you enter.
If you are a man and saw a woman’s face: You are seeking someone to spend your life with, and this quest has become a top priority in your life. Remember not to force it, the best relationships are those that are allowed to grow and develop naturally. If you are in a relationship, this is a sign that you are happy and connected, and they are always on your mind.