Probably every person during his life encounters non-trivial physical phenomena, not always realizing that these are illusions created by his imagination. Most often, their appearance is associated with non-standard thinking and, accordingly, a subconscious perception of real events or familiar objects, viewed in an unfamiliar view, or in other light. All these conditions sometimes “play” with the human mind different jokes, sometimes scary, sometimes funny.
Psychologists are well aware that the “testimony” of all human senses is far from always unambiguous, and also depends on all sorts of side effects and factors, including the conditions of observation and mood, the physical and psychological state of a person.
Illusions caused by the senses of man, today is already known very much, not each of them is considered an illusion in the psychological meaning of this phenomenon, there are illusory phenomena artificially created with the help of tricked deception (sight, hearing). These illusions are of great importance for scientific research. For example, this concerns the optical effect, which under different circumstances each person encountered, the so-called parallax.
Parallax is an apparent, imaginary displacement of objects that are actually at different distances from the observer’s eyes. This relative displacement can occur with the movements of his eyes. So, for example, when observing from a train window, it seems to the person that the trees located nearer, “run away” back at a higher speed than those located in the distance. And the farthest trees – just “do not lag” behind the train. Instead, a person perceives the landscape outside the window, like a painting turning around a dot, while the person’s view crosses the horizon line.
An even more striking example of great importance is the manifestation of parallax in observing changes in the readings of any device that change depending on the position of the eyes. Arrows on the background of the scale shift in the direction opposite to the eye movement, although in reality they show the same value. If in the store, when the goods lie on the scales, take a step to the left, then the scales will visually decrease by several divisions, and, conversely, when moving to the right, the readings will increase.
There are special ways to combat parallax, with this harmful illusion, otherwise, all the indicators of the devices during the experiments and during weighing will be invalid. In the manufacture of precision instruments, the shooter is trying to do the most delicate, under the scale additionally have a mirror strip.
Each researcher knows that at the time of readout, the head should be kept in such a position that the real arrow and its mirror image coincide, in this case the viewing direction will be strictly perpendicular to the plane of the scale, and the reading error will be reduced to zero.
Another example of the illusory psychological perception of our consciousness of a geometric pattern can be called experience with a glass turned upside down and put on paper. If you draw the edge of a pencil, draw 3 arcs (small, medium and large), then realizing that they are all drawn with the same glass, the mind “sees” the arc with a different radius of curvature.
There are many such examples – they are always in our daily life, and often interfere, especially in the conduct of research and experiments, because a distorted picture of reality does not give the right result. More serious illusory errors arise when comparing volumes or areas (in this case, the trained eye can measure approximately linear dimensions correctly). These psychological illusions are on the verge of psychology and optical (visual) deceptions.
These include the famous irradiation – black and dark objects are always perceived to be smaller in size than light or white objects.This psychological illusion is well used by fashion designers, creating models for complete people from dark-colored fabrics, decorating them with a bright color spot that distracts the eye.
Very often psychological illusions are associated with movement – a pendulum swinging on a dark background acquires in the human mind the shape of an ellipse elongated in the direction of movement if viewed simultaneously by two eyes (if one eye is closed, the pendulum will swing illusively in the opposite direction) . If you focus on the light strand of the suspension, the pendulum will swing even faster – this again is due to the fact that the person’s eyes quickly notice light objects, than dark ones.
If the eye is covered with glass (glasses), then the swinging pendulum has a movement slightly lagging behind the real one (two eyes see the real swinging speed). In this case, the consciousness will perceive the movement as a volume (in reality the pendulum is swinging along a flat trajectory). These illusions also apply to harmful ones, because they interfere with the research of objects that scatter light in various ways (in different directions).
Strangely enough, but if the structure of the human eye has been studied almost thoroughly, the very mechanism of vision was so complex that the final solution and conclusions of the scientists are not yet available. This is easily explained by the fact that in the process of perception of the surrounding world through the eyes, the brain takes a big part. This “commonwealth” is the main reason for the emergence of psychological illusions when switching a person’s attention, a sudden change of lighting or a view angle.
Specialists are well aware of the example of the “evading cube” – the person perceives the faces facing him in different ways, which is directly related to the one on which the human mind is focused. Human perception of the surrounding is capable of amazing things, and above all, “see” a completely different picture than the one that is going to see.
This ability extends to a very large part of phenomena and events, scientists who are engaged in the psychology of illusory perception, only state many examples, and in their definition strongly disagree.
There are many known psychological illusions, the emergence of which depends on the creative potential of man, his psychological momentary state, illumination and other psychological reasons (we are talking about illusions that arise in the minds of healthy people). These include the illusory perception of the shape of spots on the moon (they resemble somebody to someone, some see human faces, etc.).
There is a known illusion when a real phenomenon or object suddenly “changes” in size and shape-for example, unexpectedly opening your eyes after a dream, you can see in the familiar picture of the wallpaper of a huge beast (if you finally wake up, the beast turns out to be an ordinary fly).
Psychological illusions are also subject to human hearing, probably everyone was in a position where the distant rumble sounded like thundering, and the squeak of a mosquito over his ear – a frightening cry, or a telephone alarm bell. Moreover, anxiety and fear are much more often accompanied by psychological illusions, especially auditory ones. Psychologists associate this with the subconscious expectation of any person of bad news, and any non-standard situation causes negative feelings in him.
In addition, an incomprehensible and unexpected sound the person perceives psychologically as a danger, since he has no exact information about him, and does not realize the real distance to his source. There is one more feature of psychological perception – depending on the ear in which the signal sounds, the person perceives the place of his finding differently.
And if the sound has entered both ears simultaneously, then the consciousness can perceive the source as being directly in its head, or next to itself.Not every person with blindfolds can accurately determine the source of external sound, moreover, in a different psychological state, a person defines it differently, and identification errors are of a different nature.
Quite unexpected are the illusions of touch. If you exclude from the perception of vision, blindfolded, and hold on your own nose, then there may be the illusion that there are two. Such psychological illusions are associated with a different arrangement of fingers relative to each other, so they “feed” to the brain different information, and their consciousness perceives, as usual – in this regard, there are illusory and various pictures (in this case, one finger “reports” about one nose, and the second – about the other).
A common reason for the emergence of psychological illusion is the unusual (or unfamiliar) combination of sensations inherent in different senses. If an equal amount of water is poured into a balloon and a glass jar, the person will not be able to lift the ball from the first attempt, since he will apply insufficient force (calculated for the balloon’s lightness), the reason is an illusory perception, which deceives the mind.
Everyone knows the psychological illusions associated with the work of the vestibular apparatus. After a long ride on the swing, the earth continues to rotate for a long time (the rotation time and speed depend on the individual state of the vestibular apparatus).
A cyclist descends on a steep slope, perceives it more sloping, noting the nearest eyeglasses with an eye. Each person probably faced an illusory feeling of continuing the movement, standing on the escalator, which suddenly stopped. Despite the fact that the eye sees that the steps are already fixed, the body continues to lean forward, as when moving the ladder.
So psychologists say that the emergence of illusions can arise more often due to the prevailing stereotypes, even if the phenomenon seen in reality goes against the already familiar signal to the brain. Conclusion, psychologists and scientists do the same – the causes of the emergence of psychological illusions are most often associated not so much with psychophysiological phenomena as with the physical misperception of the brain (and, accordingly, an erroneous signal).