Seeing colors differently

Have you ever had an argument with a friend because they thought their shirt was green but you thought it was teal. I find that this actually happens to me a lot, and I always find myself blaming the other person for being so silly, like how could they actually think that their shirt was a different color than it was to me. Some studies suggest that people see colors differently, for example different shades of blue. And other studies take it a step further to say that people can see different colors completely, for example when I see green, you see purple. I find this very hard to believe because there are just some objects that are made to have certain colors. For example, an orange. An orange is a fruit that is literally named after the color that it is. How could someone claim that while looking at an orange, that they see it as blue? Also, there are certain things that are known to look the way they are. One example that came to me was the fake blood that they use in movies and TV shows. If a scientist can claim that some see blood as red and others as blue, then how would the company that creates fake blood to be used as a prop know to make it red and not blue? If everyone has a preconceived judgement of something to be red, why would you see it as blue, and know that it should be red?

Some explain that the reason that we see certain things the way they are is because of the emotional and mental effect that they have on us. Have you ever thought about how at night you get really sleepy, or how when the sky is dark and blue on a rain day you may want to take a nap. Studies show that this is because of the effect that colors have on our emotions. Normally, the blue colors make some relaxed and maybe more likely to sleep. On the other hand colors of yellow and red tend to ignite someone.



Another huge case of this that I’m sure we all know about is the blue and black or white and gold dress. This controversy was one of the biggest things to happen to social media. A picture of a dress was posted and many saw it as blue and black and many saw it as white and gold. People argued about this all over Twitter and other social media platforms and it became such a big deal throughout the year. The idea of the different color dress was even part of the 2016 THON line dance! Personally I saw the dress as blue and black and was so astonished that people could see it as white and gold. I vividly remember sitting in class arguing with a friend and calling her foolish for being able to see it as something different. To bring this back up, and add to my findings, I decided to perform a study on what they saw. I showed this photograph to 50 people and asked them to tell me if they saw black and blue or white and gold.  In this study, the independent variable was the picture of the dress and the dependent variable was either the answer blue and black or white and gold. Here is what I found:

26 People answered that they saw white and gold (52%)

22 People answered that they saw black and blue (44%)

And 2 people said that they saw neither (4%)

It was interesting because one girl in the study said that last year she always used to see it as white and gold but after not looking at it for a while and seeing it again just now during the study she saw blue and black. I now know that people see things differently and it is just part of how our brains are wired and our perception.

Comment what color you think the dress is!!


4 thoughts on “Seeing colors differently

  1. dhc5097

    The first time I saw “the dress” I saw blue and black and till this day that remains the same. When this dress picture came out it really opened my mind to the power of our brains. The fact that my friends could see white and gold and I could see black and blue despite the fact that we were looking at the same picture has never had me so confused in my life. It turns out the reason behind why so many people see different colors relating to this dress is because of the context and surroundings that the dress appears in. Since the dress is zoomed in, we cannot see its background so our mind creates its own perception of its color. I found an article that better explains “the dress.”

  2. Michael Robert Szawaluk

    When “that” dress first came out I was the most confused I have ever been in my entire life. I thought to myself, “how the heck does someone see blue and black”, because i have always seen the dress as white and gold. I have wondered if the others are color blind…or even worse, if I am color blind. Even though I could not find what exactly you were trying to prove in your blog post I did find several points you made to be fairly informative. I can realize that black is more of a depressing color when associated with funerals and such, but personally never really thought that any specific color affected my mood or behavior. After doing some research I have found out that “seeing colors differently” does not only relate to specific colors itself, but NUMBERS. Yes, I know it seems crazy but there are people out there who see specific numbers when they are associated with specific colors. You might say those people are crazy, I do, but check out this article for more information:

  3. Shannon Hughes

    Your topic is very interesting and I appreciated the way you used such a popular topic from last year as the blue and black/ white and gold dress. In order to make your post stronger, I think you could have brought up things we learned in class. I also became confused exactly on what your thesis was especially because no take-away message was clearly stated.

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