What You See In These Images Reveals A Lot About You

The brain is nothing short of fascinating, and throughout the course of any given day, we engage most of it - not just 10 percent of it. But the mind also has subtle and clever ways of revealing aspects of your personality that may not immediately be apparent. For instance, each one of these optical illusions says something distinctive about the viewer's personality, depending on what a person sees when they look at it.

So, how does this all work? It starts with the eye. How the eye processes visual information determines what the mind interprets when it looks at an image. As far as the psychology of the image, that's a little more open to interpretation - much like your Myers-Briggs type -  but optical illusions have long fascinated the world. Whether they're presented as a kid's puzzle or a source of serious scientific study, optical illusions tell us a lot about how we think, who we are, our strengths and weaknesses, and how we experience the world.

  • Who Is The Smartest Person In This Image?

    Take a quick look at this illustration of four men sitting in a tree. Now, listening to your gut's response, choose which of them you think is the smartest one. Here's what your answer supposedly says about you:

    Number 1: You're optimistic and follow the beat of your own drum - but don't let these qualities cut you off from other people.

    Number 2: You're determined and some might even call you hardheaded. Be sure these traits don't become so fixed that they cloud your judgment or prevent you from seeing how your decisions could impact others.

    Number 3: Prudence could be your middle name. You make decisions logically and deliberately, and while this is usually a positive quality, being too cautious could be problematic - it could prevent you from being your best self.

    Number 4: You're a carefree, fun-loving person. You insist on always walking against the crowd and being the rebel, which could act as a roadblock in certain scenarios. Sometimes, it's okay to just chill and go with the flow.

  • Do You See A Young Woman Or An Old Man?

    Do You See A Young Woman Or An Old Man?
    Photo: playbuzz

    The young woman/old man illusion is one of the more psychologically revealing optical puzzles. If you immediately see the back of a young woman's head, you tend to be an optimist, and your natural inclination is to look on the bright side of life. Your impulsivity and thirst for adventure may be a little too much for some people, but you are generally viewed as a positive person who makes others comfortable and happy.

    If you see a mustachioed old man looking downward, you are more of a critical thinker. You also possess a great deal of sensitivity and empathy. Those who know you turn to you for support and guidance because you are both a logical adviser and an understanding friend. You have very high ideals, and while some people may fall short of these ideals, your innate compassion allows you to quickly forgive them.

  • Do You See A Lynx Or A Bird?

    Do You See A Lynx Or A Bird?
    Photo: Daily Star

    In the accompanying image, do you immediately see a lynx? Or do you see a bird with its wings spread? Your answer could tell you a lot about how you approach work.

    Those who see the lynx tend to be big-picture thinkers: people who can come up with ideas, assemble teams, and ensure projects are followed through to the ultimate goal. Those who see the bird first are natural entrepreneurs, go-to types who can always be counted on to know how to get things done.

    This image was created by Company Funding Circle, who worked closely with psychologist Dr. Rebecca Spelman to develop the test.

  • Do You See A Young Woman Or An Old Woman?

    Viewers will either see a young woman in hat and veil looking back, or an old woman with a protruding nose looking to the left of the image. What this picture supposedly reveals is less about personality or character and more about age.

    According to researchers, young people see the young woman first, and older folks see the older woman first. So, perhaps if you're a young person who sees the old woman right off, you've got an old soul. If you're an older individual who instantly identifies the young woman, perhaps you're young at heart.

  • Do You See A Vase Or Two People Facing Each Other?

    Do You See A Vase Or Two People Facing Each Other?
    Photo: John Smithson / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    A Danish psychologist and philosopher named Edgar John Rubin first devised this classic optical illusion. What does it say to you? Is it an image of two people in profile facing one another, or an ornate vase?

    If you see the vase first, you are seeing the bigger picture with less focus on the details, so you are likely a "bigger picture" thinker. If you see the two people in profile first, your eyes are picking up on the details of each silhouette, so you are likely someone who zeroes in easily on particulars and senses the steps that must be accomplished to reach a goal. 

  • Do You See A Woman Looking In A Mirror Or A Skull?

    Do You See A Woman Looking In A Mirror Or A Skull?
    Photo: Charles Allan Gilbert / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    This is "All is Vanity," an 1892 drawing by artist Charles Allan Gilbert. Viewers tend to see one of two things: a woman looking in a mirror, or a large, ominous skull.

    Given the popularity and long history of this image, its interpretation in relation to the viewer's personality has been the subject of much debate. There is the classic interpretation centering on detail. If you first see the woman, you probably tend to life's details and make concrete steps to goals, but if you see the skull first, you might be a bigger-picture thinker who is better at aiming for long-term objectives.

    Much has also been said about this image's dual meaning. The woman looking in the mirror could be seen as vain, and the skull could be a reminder that, in the end, vanity gets us nowhere because we all end up in the same condition. Perhaps, then, what one immediately sees says something about their own vanity.