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What Color is the Dress? The Power of Perception

Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

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If you’ve been on any sort of social media in the last 18 hours, it’s simply exploded going viral with everyone being split over the colors and their perception on this picture of a dress. A friend of mine sent it to me last night in a text and I showed my wife thinking it was a hoax because it was obviously blue and black. She saw it and all I did was ask her the color on it and she said, “Oh, that’s white and gold.”  That led to me Googling everything I could find on this, polls, posts, experts etc.  All that to say, my wife and I talked about it, ok, we argued slightly and we read a technical write up by Wired about the perceptions of colors different people have or see based on how they verify an image in their mind with whites/blacks. Apparently this image and the lighting hit right on a perceptional threshold that has caused stark differences and dissension in it’s wake.

This got me to thinking, perception is such a powerful thing in our day and age. When you meet your significant others parents for the first time, or your new boss, you are supposed to “give a good first impression.” Why is that? They will size you up immediately and there seems to be a lot of validity to people’s first impression/perception cements a lot of what they perceive as reality. Well doesn’t proving to them your worth or who you are really show who you are? Well yes, but people tend to put a lot of emphasis on first impressions and perceptions even if they are completely wrong. This is highly evidenced by how vocal people are about this dress assigning sides of #blueandblack or #whiteandgold. Taking to heated debates and polls that show stark loyalties to both sides. In a matter of hours the social media infrastructure was split on this issue, celebs, media giants, etc. were taking to Photoshop, analyzing the photo, and building their case. It’s great to have a cause to fight for however trivial it may seem, but the main thing I took away from this to always be willing to explore past your first impressions and maybe entertain the idea that you might be wrong on a perception of a new person at work, new stranger on the bus, or even the color of a dress, so dig a little deeper.  I was right technically on this issue, but I’m still in the minority according to polls online. #blueandblack #FTW

http://swiked.tumblr.com/image/112073818575 – Original Post

http://www.wired.com/2015/02/science-one-agrees-color-dress  -Technical Explanation

http://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2015/02/27/intv-bastock-dress-color-controversy.cnn - Confirmation