White and Gold or Blue and Black revisited

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Last February the internet was a buzz about this dress. Was it the fashion? Nope, the color. If you were teaching psychology, I'm guessing your students asked you why this happened.


Since then, this dress has stirred psychology neuroscience to reconsider how we consider this dress. Scientific American provides 5 explanations science has for why so many saw this dress differently. For an in-depth explanations and some nice visual examples, check out the article here.

1. It's how you ask the question

2. Viewing conditions matter

3. Lighting matters 1.0

4. Lighting matters 2.0

5. Color constancy

If you see the dress as white and gold, try this: Dim the light intensity of your screen. Get close to the screen and use your hands or paper to cover the sides of the dress so the background is no longer in view. Now what color is the dress?

Here is a video with explanation you can show in class.

What's your take on the dress?

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About the Author
Dr. Yamazaki has been involved in adult education since the mid-1980's. She has developed technology-based education for the Air Force, commercial industry, and for higher education. She is certified in instruction systems design. She has taught courses for the Air Force and at community college, college, and university institutions. She was awarded the teaching excellence award at the US Air Force Academy as an instructor for the behavioral sciences. In her work with Macmillan Higher Education, she works with educators and editorial to consult on the development of educational products, services, and experiences for higher education.