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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/327

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311
THE MIND'S EYE.

ity, prepossession, as well as other circumstances influence the result. These illustrations show conclusively that seeing is not wholly an objective matter depending upon what there is to be seen, but is very considerably a subjective matter depending upon the eye that sees. To the same observer a given arrangement of lines now appears as the representation of one object and now of another; and

Fig. 17a. Fig. 17b.
PSM V54 D327 Optical illusion image used in psychological tests.png
Fig. 17.

Figs. 17, 17a, and 17b.—How many blocks are there in this pile? Six or seven? Note the change in arrangement of the blocks as they change in number from six to seven. This change is illustrated in the text. Figs. 17a and 17b show the two phases of a group of any three of the blocks. The arrangement of a pyramid of six blocks seems the more stable and is usually first suggested; but hold the page inverted, and you will probably see the alternate arrangement (with, however, the black surfaces still forming the tops). And once knowing what to look for, you will very likely be able to see either arrangement, whether the diagram be held inverted or not. This method of viewing the figures upside down and in other positions is also suggested to bring out the changes indicated in Figs. 13, 13a, 13b, and in Figs. 15, 15a, 15b.

from the same objective experience, especially in instances that demand a somewhat complicated exercise of the senses, different observers derive very different impressions.

Not only when the sense-impressions are ambiguous or defective, but when they are vague—when the light is dim or the forms obscure