WHEN SEEING ISN’T BELIEVING: Optical illusions offer insight into conflict and perception

Thoughts on assumptions, perception, and conflictAs the saying goes, “assume” makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me”. And we make assumptions all the time—it’s how we’re hard-wired as human beings. (And it’s that very human tendency which keeps mediators busy.)

Unfortunately, of course, our assumptions can sometimes be wrong. They may be based on incomplete or inaccurate data. And we often fail to ask questions, believing that we have all the information we need to draw conclusions.

We also tend to trust our senses to gain information about our world, relying upon our sight and our hearing to gather data—data which in turn forms the basis for the inferences we draw about our interactions with each other.

But our perception can fool us.

Gerry Riskin reminds us of this compellingly in his blog, Amazing Firms, Amazing Practices (which is pretty amazing itself). He offers a link to a real mind-bender of an optical illusion courtesy of MIT which makes you realize just how wrong your perception can be no matter how right you think you are.

(Gerry credits Rocketboom with the story—a video blog featuring a new three-minute news or entertainment video daily.)

For more optical illusions, click here for 55 Optical Illusions and Visual Phenomena by Michael Bach, or visit Wikipedia.

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