Science has discovered that we don’t perceive reality passively, but rather our brain employs certain assumptions that it uses to filter the information it obtains from our senses in order to construct a representation of the world around us. This fact can be exploited to create some amazing illusions as shown in the videos below.
The first is by psychologist, author, and magician Richard Wiseman who has a YouTube channel named, Quirkology. This illusion exploits the assumptions we make regarding the positioning of objects based on their size and location with respect to other objects.
The second video from the YouTube channel brusspup is based on the so called anamorphic illusions. These illusions are based on our sense of perspective and depend on the way you are looking at an object.
The above is, of course, just fun and games, but the important thing to realize is that we also filter the information relayed to our senses and employ assumptions to construct a representation of the world around us when engaging in complex behaviors such as befriending or loving people, defining our morality, following a religion, judging others, purchasing a product, or voting for a political candidate. And there is a wealth of information about this process that allows many people to create the equivalent of the illusions depicted in the videos above to influence and/or exploit these behaviors. The difference is that these people never reveal that they have created an illusion.
Scary isn’t it?