Everyone with a phone got on board with this experiment, everyone including Taylor Swift. All over the world, people saw a normal dress in different colors and this sparked confusion and awe.
It got so big that lively debates were held online to decide which color the dress actually was and people even got in a quarrel with their friend or coworker who just couldn`t see the dress as they did.
Even scientists became interested in the #TheDress and actually three papers were written that aimed to explain why people saw the dress in different ways.
So where you a part of the group that saw the dress as white and gold or did you see it blue and black?
The majority of people saw the dress in blue and black (which is also the real color of the dress). So why did a part of the people see the dress as white and gold?
Scientists who studied the phenomenon say that this happened because apparently our brains are designed to discount blue tones faster than they are to ignore other shades.
What also managed to confuse people was the poor quality of the picture.
Researchers also found that old people and women were more likely to see the dress as white and gold and younger people and men saw the dress as black and blue.
The explanation for why this happens is not completely clear, but they assume that women and old people spend more of their day awake and so they are most accustomed to ignoring blue tones (like the one from the sky), but the explanation does not hold up when we consider people who spend most of their day under artificial light.
An important study conducted by Webster was the one that revealed that the human brain is fast to discard blue tones. Faster than with any other color in fact, so that is the reason why so many people got rid of the blue in the picture and saw the dress as white and gold. It`s like your brain sees the dress darker because of the shadow in the room and thinks, “Oh the blue I see on the dress is just a shadow, I`ll just subconsciously ignore it and see the dress as it really it, gold and white”.
Your eyes and your brain are continuously trying to see the difference between the color created by the object that absorbs light versus the real color of the object. Therefore, whenever an object has a blue glow, the brain classifies it as a tone coming from light and is quick to discard it. If the object has a yellow vibe, then the brain will see that color as part of the object.
So if the blue of the dress were to be replaced by the color yellow, all the differences in perception would die down, because the brain would see yellow tints better than blue ones.
Which is exactly what the Webster study did and got the results they were hoping for.
Image Source: stuff