Pattern Matching Illusion

Chessboard Pattern Matching Illusion

One of the things we work with at in8 is pattern matching or rather how any pre-existing patterns we have from prior experiences will tend to override our logical, rational processes. (I highlighted how this can cause issues in last week’s blog about resolving relationship issues).

We’ve started using an optical illusion with clients that demonstrates how the brain deals with pattern matching, regardless of what is actually in front of our eyes:

Most of us have a pattern for a chessboard (alternate white and black squares). When presented with an image which shows a shadow across the board, we fail to see that two squares are actually exactly the same shade of grey.  Even when I point out that the squares are the same colour we struggle to override our natural pattern match that it is a chessboard so ‘white squares’ are perceived to be brighter shade than ‘dark squares’.

What this demonstrates is that ingrained patterns affect the way we perceive the world around us – regardless of our awareness of the patterns!

The video below shows the illusion in action – albeit on a larger scale than the one we use with our clients!