Century-old optical illusion tests creative thinking
In 1899, psychologist Joseph Jastrow introduced the duck-rabbit illustration as a way of demonstrating how perception has more to do with the mental state of a viewer than the image itself. The image will look either like a duck, or like a rabbit. Notably, children are more likely to see a rabbit when shown the drawing close to Easter, while seeing a duck when shown in the month of October, according to a study noted in Wolfram MathWorld.
Do you see a duck or a rabbit?
It has become one of a few famous reversible images, including "My Wife and Mother-in-Law" as published in Puck humor magazine in 1915.
While images like this can be fun, a study published in the British Journal of Psychology revealed that what a viewer sees in these pictures is also an indicator of creativity.
According to PsyBlog, researchers found that the more quickly a person could see both images and switch back and forth between the two, the more creatively they were able to think about the world. Participants were asked to come up with novel uses for everyday objects, such as using a chair to build a fort as opposed to using it to sit in. The more novel uses a participant could come up with within a time frame, the more creative their thought processes. Those who quickly and easily flipped between two interpretations of an image came up with more novel uses than those who could not.
So, how creative are you?