I’ve recently enrolled in an online class with Dan Ariely – A Beginner’s Guide To Irrational Behavior. I am irrationally excited.
In one of the first lectures, he shared two Leaning Towers of Pisa. Take a look at the images and answer the simple question: Does one tower tilt more to the right?
The answer is no. It’s the same image. I know because I copy and pasted it. But most everybody guesses the one one the right. You’ve likely seen this – or another – visual illusion before. Entire websites are dedicated to visual illusions. People love them – despite constantly getting them wrong. And the constantly getting them wrong is a really big point.
We get them wrong because context tricks our brain (we don’t just see with our eyes). We laugh about it. We marvel at it. And then we forget that context permeates every single facet of our lives. While it may not be visual – like our leaning towers – context is responsible for an uncounted number of unnoticed illusions. These affect your perception on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour basis.
To make better decisions, be aware that context is there. Whether you can see it or not.
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