Different Ways of Seeing The Same Thing!

What do you see?

In a March 13, 2018 post, LiveScience.com contributor Jasmin Malik Chua published an article on the value of optical illusions. Entitled “What This Optical Illusion Reveals About the Human Brain, Ms. Chua replicates a 19th century optical illusion which can be either a rabbit or a duck, but not both at the same time. She explains: “…First published in 1892 by a German humor magazine, the figure was made popular after the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein used it to illustrate two ways of seeing. “(Id.)

The author further notes that when two copies of the illusion are placed side by side, as above, the viewer is likely to see either two ducks or two rabbits, but not one of each. In fact, “… about half of the people can’t see a rabbit and a duck at first glance….” (Id.)  To do this, one must give their brain more information to work with.  “… [W]hen it comes to distinguishing between two ways of seeing identical images, context is vital. “(Id.)

The analogy to disputes is obvious. Each party will take the same set of facts and see something different…. And swear that their view is the ONLY correct view of the matter.  Like the above, they do not realize that their view can be an optical illusion in which they see the head of a rabbit while the other party sees the head of a duck and both are correct. And, as the author notes… “context is vital” (Id.) to determine whether the picture is indeed the head of a duck, the head of a rabbit or perhaps both! So… always keep in mind that there is always more than one way to view and analyze a fact, a story or a party’s position on a matter.

….. Just something to think about.


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By |2018-03-23T15:18:45+00:00April 6th, 2018|Research|0 Comments

About the Author:

Phyllis Pollack
Phyllis G. Pollack, Esq. the principal of PGP Mediation (www.pgpmediation.com), has been a mediator in Los Angeles, California since 2000. She has conducted over 1700 mediations. As an attorney with more than 35 years experience, she utilizes her diverse background to resolve business, commercial, international trade, real estate, employment and lemon law disputes at both the state and federal trial and state appellate court levels. Currently, she is the in­coming chair of State Bar of California’s ADR Committee. She has served on the board of the California Dispute Resolution Council (CDRC) (2012­2013), is a past president and past treasurer of the SCMA Education Foundation (2011­2013) and a past president (2010) of the Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA). Ms. Pollack received her BA degree in sociology in 1973 from Newcomb College of Tulane University and her JD degree from Tulane University School of Law in 1977. She is an active member of both the Louisiana and California bars. Pollack believes that it is never too late to mediate a dispute and recommends mediation over litigation as it allows the parties to decide their own solutions.