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Old 05-23-2018, 06:18 AM   #38
Holy smoking keyboard!
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: WV to the OC
Posts: 9,838
Default Re: Yanny or Laurel?

I've read that linguists have found that in normal conversation we're only hearing around half of what somebody is saying, our brain reconstructing the rest based on what our brain expects to hear.

So asking "Yanni or Laurel?" poisons the well. More accurate results if you don't throw out prompts and just ask "what do you hear?" It's bad methodology to steer the test subject's responses by giving them only two possible choices.

About the "blue dress" thing, as an artist that struck me as being ridiculous.

You got different responses because people were answering different questions, that is, different people were interpreting the question "what colour is the dress?" as meaning different things.


1) What colour appears on the surface of this photograph in the area of the dress?

2) What do you estimate the original colour of the dress's fabric to be, given that this photo is overexposed?

For #1 you can hold colour-chips up to the photograph and establish the exact colour of the surface of the photograph in the region of the dress. Of course the results will vary a bit due to the way different monitors show colours.

But most people were answering #2. On a daily basis we see photographs which are overexposed/faded/washed out giving everything a light greyish dull cast, taken in very warm light giving everything an orangish cast, taken in very cool light giving everything a bluish cast, and our "eye" as a matter of course takes that into consideration and our perception of the colours appearing in the photograph are adjusted to normal.

We would never look at a photograph taken in very cool light and conclude "well at that party everybody seems to be wearing blue clothes and everyone has blue skin" and look at another photograph taken in very warm light and conclude "well at that party everyone was wearing yellow and orange clothes and everyone had orange skin".

No, we perceive all the skin colours and clothes colours and plant colours and all the colours in the photograph to be normal.

And if given those photographs and asked "what colour shirt is Mike wearing?" everybody will say "white" even though his shirt is orange-yellow in one and blue-grey in the other. We know that the original fabric was white even though it's not white in either photo.

It's not just the "blue dress" debate that is made absurd by different respondents unknowingly answering different questions, every "debate" I've seen on evolution or global warming has been like that also, the each side presenting evidence supporting their topic but not addressing the topic the other person is talking about, not a debate at all, but two distinct topics going in circles.
proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

Last edited by pancelticpiper; 05-23-2018 at 06:33 AM.
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