What do you see? That’s the question taking social media by storm as debate rages about what the image really is.
The image is an illusion which can tell a lot about how a person’s brain works. Depending on whether an observer sees a duck or a rabbit first and how fast it sees the other is an indicator of how creative you are, and how fast your brain works.
Although it first appeared in a German magazine about 1892, it was later made famous by U.S. psychologist Joseph Jastrow in 1899. Jastrow used the illusion to make the point that we ‘see’ with our brains as well as our eyes.
The research suggested that more creative people were able to switch between images of the two animals more quickly than other people. Participants who found it very easy to flip between rabbit and duck came up with an average of almost five novel uses for an everyday item. Those who couldn’t flip between rabbit and duck at all came up with less than two novel uses.
The moment when you flip between duck and rabbit is like a small flash of creative insight. It’s when you notice the world can be seen in a different way.
Highly creative people often display this talent for finding new uses for an existing object or by making connections between two previously unconnected ideas or things.
So what do you see?