It’s the sensation that’s sweeping the Internet. It’s a simple picture of a dress and the Internet has exploded with debate on whether the dress is blue and black or white and gold. It’s freaky that such a trivial thing can turn into a heated conversation. But there you go, the Internet does that.
According to a poll, three quarters of the people who voted think the dress is white and gold (including yours truly) and the other quarter thinks its black and blue. I conducted the experiment myself, the majority of people I asked (4 or 5 of my friends) concluded that the dress is white and gold but my roommate, without a shadow of doubt, said it was blue and black.
Adobe has endorsed Hope Taylor’s use of Photoshop to show that the dress is blue and black and Google Image Search also agrees with the statement. But the majority of opinion still sides with white and gold. Some have tried to strike middle ground by proposing the dress is blue and gold.
The dress does exist in a blue and black version though according to RomanOriginals.co.uk.
— Hope Taylor (@hopetaylorphoto) February 27, 2015
Two explanations have emerged about this difference of opinion. One is top down processing by which we see something as we expect to see it, not as it truly is. This picture shows two coloured squares. They’re identical but I bet you can’t tell.
The other explanation is colour constancy which means that we interpret the colour of something depending on it’s surroundings. In the case of this dress we don’t have enough of the surroundings to make a judgment and so our brain makes assumptions and comes up with it’s own explanation. Also the poor lighting makes it more difficult.