Take This Perception Test to See How Visually Intelligent You Are | Amy Herman

Take This Perception Test to See How Visually Intelligent You Are | Amy Herman


Visual intelligence is the concept that we
see more than we can process and it’s the idea of thinking about what we see, taking
in the information and what do we really need to live our lives more purposefully and do
our jobs more effectively. What I ask the people at The Art of Perception
to do one of them is looking down at a piece of paper and the other is looking at the painting
and they have one minute to describe what it is that they see to their partner and the
partner has to sketch what are they hear. And it’s not about the artwork, it’s not about
how well you draw it’s how well can you describe a new set of unfamiliar data, how well do
you listen and how well do you take that articulation and transfer it to your own language. How many of you said there was a train coming
out of a fireplace? And everyone raises his or her hands. And how many of you referenced smoke or steam
in your discussion? Lots of hands go up. And then I ask the question who articulated
that there are no tracks under the train? And a few astute people actually raised their
hand and said I said there were no tracks under the train. And then I ask who noticed and then articulated
that there was no fire in the fireplace? And hands go up. Not too many. Then we talk about other aspects in the painting. How many people mentioned the wood grain on
the floor? Most people noticed the wood grain on the
floor. How many people mentioned wainscoting, that
kind of paneling on the walls? And I always have some decorative arts aficionados
oh yes I know about wainscoting. And then I say how many of you mentioned a
mantle on the fireplace? Lots of hands go up. Who mentioned candlesticks? Lots of hands go up. And then I ask how many of you said there
were no candles in the candlesticks? And people say oh no never got there. And then I ask what really observant nerd
said it’s 12:42 or 8:05 on the clock? Who got to mention the time? And the reason I have that line of questioning
is because this painting illustrates a very important concept that I transfer from emergency
medicine to a much broader application. And the idea is called the pertinent negative. It’s saying what isn’t there in addition to
what is there to actually give a more accurate picture of what you’re looking at. So when you say I see a train coming out of
the fireplace, and by the way there are no tracks under the train and there is no fire
in the fireplace, why would you attempt to say what’s not there? Because in my third-grade mind if you told
me to draw a fireplace I would draw two sticks and a fire and smoke in the fireplace unless
you told me not to. And if you told me to draw a pair of candlesticks
I’ll draw candles with flames unless you tell me not to. So the pertinent negative is this wonderful
concept that gives us a broader way of looking at something. Instead of looking at something like this
you look at it like this. And here’s a example of how you apply that
in the real world. The pertinent negative in a medical situation
is when someone comes into the emergency room and they have all the symptoms, it appears
to the physician they have all the symptoms of pneumonia. Pneumonia has three symptoms. Symptom one is present, symptom two is present,
but if symptom three is absent it’s the pertinent negative. You have to say septum three is not there
therefore it’s not pneumonia. So in the real world, outside of medicine,
how can we use this? If we have an expectation of someone’s behavior,
you expect them to behave a certain way and then they don’t you need to say it didn’t
happen. You’re evaluating someone on the job. Well, you did A, B, and C very well but you
didn’t do D, E and F. So it’s looking at the affirmative and looking at the negative. And the pertinent negative is a wonderful
tool. Missing person’s cases you go to their homes,
what’s not there? The cell phone is not there. The keys are not there. The wallet is not there. You’re going to have a very different search
for that person if those things were present instead of absent. So this Magritte painting gives us this great
opportunity to talk about not just what we see but what we don’t see to give the person
who can’t see what we see a much more accurate description of what they’re looking at.

100 thoughts on “Take This Perception Test to See How Visually Intelligent You Are | Amy Herman”

  • either that or humans are brilliant at doing what they arnt told.

    seems that way. most people if you tell them not to do something they instantly do it.

  • Hmm….the fireplace had no place to make fire, so why would I miss it there? It seems like a sealed fireplace -which was my observation.
    The train tracks: wouldn't they be missing ground, bridge, etc below them as well? Where do I stop?
    Candlestick holders: I have one on my table right next to my computer screen and it has no candle in it – so I am probably used to seeing them without candlestick in it? They seem very natural as they are on the picture.

  • So the visual intelligence is associated with being a complete fucking moron? Why would I point out that there were NO train tracks or NO fire? The only useful information is what is IN the painting- not what ISNT. With that logic, who else mentioned that there isn't a naked mole rat getting it on with an elephant? Who didn't mention that in the mirror, there WASNT a moose? This is so stupid.

  • How did she not mention that one candlestick had no reflection? That was the second thing I noticed after the train coming out of the wall…

  • Sounds just as stupid as measuring intelligence by astrology. No, when I mention a train I don't have to say it doesn't have tracks under it, because I don't have to, BECAUSE THERE ARE NO TRACKS. It's honestly just as stupid as some cheap internet intelligence test that's more about being stupidly tricky.

  • I said there is a train model mounted in the fireplace with a substantial draft in the house to make the smoke go back into the flu.

  • am I the only one that said : there are no aliens in the picture? There is also no:

    – hearth on the fireplace
    – logs in the fireplace
    – fire pokers beside the fireplace
    – doors on the fireplace
    – stone on the fireplace
    – tile
    – brick
    – curtain etc…

    Saying a "train" with "smoke" is coming out of the fireplace is far less descriptive than saying something like "a train engine is sticking out of a white floor level MDF fireplace suspended 7/8 up the rough opening (3'-0" x 3'-0 1/4"). The fireplace is 5 foot wide, 18 inches deep, and 56 inches tall. ", etc… until youve described the scene exactly.

    Instead of providing a laundry list of things that aren't there, you'd be better off listing exactly what's in the picture accurately and concisely to avoid confusion. Saying what isn't there would be a waste of everyones time.

  • I got stuck at the so called fireplace, b/c it's construction made no sense. Much to shallow. Not enough space for a propper chimney. By the time I decided to call it a white shallow mamor table on two columns, the minute was up.

  • I get what she meant (after the examples with missing person and medical diagnosis), but that painting is a horrible example. Immediately when I saw it, I thought: "This picture is break all kinds of rules" and I did not give it no further attention. Nothing is pertinent in a picture like this. I would see a lot of out of place things in a realistic picture, like a doctored photograph.

  • im a med student doing rotations and i thought about the candle stick being missing. I think my training and studying has taught me to think this way, so I agree with the woman. I also thought the train wheels looked similiar to flame and the train to a log with smoke rising from it.

  • "This painting, gives us the opportunity to talk about not just what we see, but what we don't see, to give the person who can see what we see a much more accurate description of what they're looking at": say's the Lady.
    Please help me, I have a total blackout. I can't see what she see's and what they can see, but are looking at…

  • I understand what the video is trying to convey but she should have made a better example of it.

    I guess it depends on the experiences of the person looking at the picture. I have a fireplace at my home and I have been around many of them but I can count the times that I have seen a fireplace with fire on it so to me it doesn't stand out and is like describing a person with 2 legs. you just wouldn't say that a man has 2 legs if the person only had 1 leg it would certainly had to be described it.

    the same with the train. A flying train doesn't have tracks but maybe I have seen BackToTheFuture3 too many times.
    A candlestick doesn't usually have candles and if they do they are not lit.

    if the paneling on the walls was not there would you say it didn't have it? Maybe if in your world most walls had paneling you would

  • Very interesting, i clicked on this because i'm an artist and was looking forward to massaging my ego at doing well on a test.
    but it turned out to be something different. thanks for the surprise 😉 i'm going for a shit now bye.

  • Very interesting. I appreciate this. It points out how people have different ways of perceiving. Also that they express information differently. Yet it does not change the fact that the subject was the same. Miscommunication and confusion happens often because of this.

  • Wow, this comment section is a vortex of misunderstanding. And this isn't even that disputable! She shows a pretty basic, straightforward phenomenon in visual cognitive psychology. She just maybe didn't pick examples that would make you immediately see why it would be useful, but basically the principle stands. What is wrong with people?

  • I can assume that my partner has the intelligence to either anticipate or not, but having the burden of 'what's not there' I think not. It's a cute point but it seems like common sense.

  • Is this only applicable to things that we have primary knowledge or common sense of? Coz we have to know what should be there, to point out what is not there. But is this, in some way, limiting our thinking, if we always rely on our common sense? I am confused, as this kind of thinking reminds me of Sherlock Holmes, but he seemed to use it very well.

  • frankly i don't wven get what she was trying to tell…if her idea is all about that people make negative assertions based on perception in every day life, like "there is no more milk in the fridge" than I'm done…

  • I would only mention an absence when it's relevant or anomalous. a candle holder without a candle isn't relevant or anomalous; you see those all the time. I remembered the train was floating in the air, so that makes the absence of the tracks less relevant. A fireplace without fire is very common too, you see lots of fireplaces in homes that aren't used.

  • There's not a hairy rapist in the corner of the room.

    And there's no tracks.

    Apart from that, I got everything… I'm having de ja vu as I tye this for some reason.

  • This is equally a lesson in not being so presumptuous
    There is a small steam train levitating in a fireplace, also David Blaine is not there, along with any other explaination of why a train would levitate in a fireplace. It's fucking odd, if I ever encounter that situation, I would be relaying the information pertaining to the floating train rather than the texture of the floorboards. In fact, the floating train is the only reason I bother mentioning that scenario at all. It's also a lesson in sticking to the point of your stories, instead of bullshitting on about wainscoting when a miracle is taking place

  • this is by far the most stupid "big thing" I ever watched. no big think at all, just a lady trying to demostrate how smart she is by pointing other people little misses as if they were important or meant something. if I see a bike with a litle scratch and mention just the bike, it's not that i did not see the scratch, I just did not care..

  • I guess we all have different expectations of the pertinent negative. I had someone describe this to me while I sketched it and I got a very accurate result. They mentioned that there was no actual cavity in the fireplace (describing it as a "false fireplace with a solid marble back about in line with the wall") because they recognized I would assume a fireplace would have a cavity. They didn't mention that there were no candles in the candlesticks and I drew it without candles because we both seemed to agree "candlesticks" don't assume candles. They also didn't explicitly say there were no tracks under the engine car but rather stated that it was "floating from the top half of the fireplace cavity coming through the sold back" which I interpreted correctly.

    I think my point is that there is an affirmative way to state a "pertinent negative." Saying a "floating train engine car" or a "false fireplace" is an accurate affirmative description of what's actually being shown and is actually a way more efficient description than trying to relate the image to something more familiar and then backtracking to remove the absent details. I'm actually trying to relate this perspective to her other health and investigatory examples and I'm not able to do so… certainly stating the absence of things are important in both of those fields… I'm just not sure it translates to art as well as she suggests.

  • I interpreted the painting as our evolution (technological) from the days of steam engine to the present modern day technology (clock is a symbol of time). Reflection of the candle stick in the mirror as introspection of how far we've come and how far we could go if we actualize our full potential.

  • One of the first things I noticed was something she didn't even mention: the candlestick on the right doesn't have a reflection.

  • Okay, I totally failed then. I don't care about the pertinent negative. I don't think about what's not there unless asked specifically if anything is missing.

  • Sometimes people don't see what IS there. Take a city slicker fishing in a country river in Oz and they might say they have seen no snakes. If you point out that they've been fishing right next to one for the last half hour they will freak (as happened once to a mate who visited me). From then on they will learn to quickly see snakes everywhere (this is Oz after all). Same hunting rabbits. A country person can spot them easily in gorse or undergrowth; it takes practice for someone who lives in a city to be able to do that.

  • Good point but there a better way of saying it in terms of logic, also the painting thingy is absolutely irrelevant to it.

  • Dumb. Shit is so obvious. Also, totally wrong with some of this. You don't have to mention that there aren't candles in the candlestick, you'd have said "fucking candles" and not candlesticks, everyone knows there isn't candles in here. That's like saying, oh we have to say there's no fucking elephant in the room, and no wheel of cheese hung on the wall. It'd literally take fucking forever to mention all that isn't there. EVERYONE KNOWS THERE'S NO FIRE IN THE FIREPLACE. Like shut the fuck up, gosh, it was so obvious. Wow you're really clever if you make a mental note that the sky isn't red when you go outside. Pseudoscience bollocks.

  • Would literally take infinity to note everything that is not in the picture. Sorry, but I can't even live a tiny fraction of infinity, so really, who got time for that?!

  • congratulations; you've mastered this big picture, and are ready to upgrade to– "Thinkertoys" by Michael Michalko. 393x more informative, 394x less pompous. Good Day. ~Blessings ₽ s y 👁l e j s €

  • Yeah this is a really stupid test. They were only given a minute, they obviously can only say so much in so little time. If they were given more time they would've nailed almost every bit of it. This isn't a visual intelligence test this is a how-fast-can-you-talk test.

  • "There are no tracks under the train." ???? Why would anybody have to mantion that.? Just say it is sticking out in the middle than it makes sense, and if you describe how the fire place actually looks like than there is no need to say that there is no fire in it because there is not even space for it.
    Sometimes I feel like these channels, big think, TED, etc. want us to belive women are stupid.

  • it is much easier to describe the picture in detail if you are not lazy and simply use words like fireplace but if you describe the construct as a new concept. for example, i – not a native speaker – didn´t remember any word for the candelsticks. i simply thought about calling them golden things or something like that. so for me i had no other choice but to go more into detail. that way it is much easier to not forget any information.

  • "How many people didn't realize that the other candle sticks doesn't have reflection ?" yeah.. Even the painter forget about the little details..

  • The bigger lesson here was about impertinent negatives. Not so much about visual tests but much more about how acute we are at mentioning or perceiving the LACK of something as opposed to the presence of something. It's basically a tool you can use within logical reasoning.

  • Also I still don't get how this technique can be used when I read a classic book, by say Aldous Huxley A Brave New World, like from memory verbatim

  • This is ridiculous. Obviously, if you're diagnosing someone medically, you have to make sure they have all the necessary symptoms to fit the diagnosis, so you have to make sure there aren't any crucial symptoms they don't have. But, in that context, those two things are essentially the same thing. You don't ask "do they have symptoms x, y, and z?" and then ask "do they not have symptoms x, y, and z?". You only need ask "do they have symptoms x, y, and z?" because if the answer is no, then the second question is already answered. For every symptom somebody does have, there are thousands of other symptoms they don't have. Nobody walks into a doctor's office and gets asked "what doesn't seem to be the problem?" and there's a bloody good reason for that! If that happened, we'd all have died of old age before a diagnosis could be made.
    And obviously, if you're looking at evidence in a missing persons case, it is important to note what isn't present at the scene that should be present there. But how do you do that? By taking note of everything that is there and then looking at what's missing from that list that you might reasonably expect to find, not by looking at every scene and immediately focussing primarily on what you can't see in that particular area. Because something that isn't present in one area might be present in another area. So it is not in any way the same thing as looking at a painting and saying what you can't see in it.
    And frankly, when she says "if you told me to draw a pair of candlesticks, I'll draw candles with flames unless you tell me not to"…well then, you're a fucking idiot, aren't you?! Would you draw a spaghetti dinner if you told you to draw a bloody plate?! Would you draw a catwalk model if I told you to draw a pair of jeans?! Ya daft cow!
    This has made me unreasonably angry.
    I mean, when I think of a steam train coming out of a fireplace, I assume there isn't any fire there because if there was then the train would be coming out of the fire, not just the fireplace. And I assume there aren't any tracks under the train because IT'S IN A BLOODY FIREPLACE, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, HOW MANY FIREPLACES HAVE EFFING TRAIN TRACKS COMING OUT OF THEM?! If there were train tracks coming out of a fireplace, you would bloody well mention it, even if they were quite literally overshadowed by a train being on top of them.
    In summary;
    Complete. And utter. Bullshit.

  • What if you noticed unmentioned things, like completely. Ex: i thought it was outdated, the locomotion train. And candlesticks as opposed to a bullet train and lamps. I checked the time and then wondered if it shouldnt be melted Salvador dali style because of the pictures abstract theme,
    I guess im stupid then. Or weird. Or different.

  • this is more like visual remembering rather than visual memory. a picture of a train for example, it doesn't matter if there is no fire etc. its surreal, you accept it the way it is. what isn't in the image doesn't much matter, especially when i'm explaining it to a person, i would say, there is no fire…. we can all agree there is no dragon in there, and there is no marching band too. its just what is in there.

  • Very interesting! What she doesn't mention here (no surprise as a video is short, but for sure she knows all about it) is the concept of different behavioral biases. For example, humans are subject to the confirmation bias – we like to confirm our own initial guess sometimes failing to recognize that there's simply not enough information to prove our guess. That's why discussing "absent information" (information that should be there for you to be right but is actually not there) is very important. It helps us minimize the effect of confirmation bias.

  • "How To Describe Pictures to Someone Who Doesn't Think Like You"

    If someone tells me there are candlesticks, I'm drawing candleSTICKS, because that's what they described.

    There's a valid idea hinted at here, but it's not related to "visual intelligence", and it wasn't elucidated in this video; the fact that people have a hard time knowing what other people DON'T know, IE "the curse of knowledge". But this video was kind of all over the place and only hinted at information that I've learned from other sources.

  • I aced that one that's an easy one lol i'm familiar with the pertinent negative of what isn't there although i didn't know it had a name i just some how know that when you tell us to look at the objects and quickly remember what IS there as you look at what IS there you notice what ISN'T there too and i noticed no fire, no candle sticks although no i wasn't really focused on being a smart ass and looking at the time just on the objects but i remembered everything very quickly and even the taupe color of the wallpaper and the mirror and the fact there's no tracks under the train and the steam and the fact the fireplace is white, the mirror and the candles are a brass gold color, the train and the clock are both black etc…i won't show off too much lol 😀 i'm not even looking at the video right now because i''ve scrolled down to comment.

    I've developed my own thinking proceess where i just say the name of the objects in my head a few times over and i know i already vizualized what was there and the color of the objects my mind did it FOR me and i abbriviate what i just saw on some things like the wooden floors which is harder to remember i just say "flooring, pannels, sticks, mirror, clock", to me it makes sense and it's easier to just remember 1 word per object, it's there fresh in my mind i know what i'm on about no questions asked so i can easily recall what i just visualized a couple hours later probs even the next day if i wanted to and the human mind remembers smaller amounts of info at a time better, my mind already knows what i just saw so i just give it some slack and make it easy to recall it, i haven't got photographic memory i know i'm probs gonna forget that photo when making no effort to remember it but the mind has the capacity to keep remembering it for at least a day or 2 at most, photos with more detail probs a couple hours and would take more effort to keep memorized, then i jsut know what wasn't there from what IS there, i guess i needed something harder.

  • Similar to the "always optimistic" folks ignoring glaring negatives in order to "remain in the mental fairy tale" of how they wish things would be.

  • I'm only at 0:50 and I notice that the first exercise is ENTIRELY reliant on understanding of language between two people.

  • Tell what you see. Not what you don’t see.
    A list of what is not there can go on forever.

    Unless you are interested in knowing presence or absence of specific thing. But you should be told or know beforehand to look for those details. As in science.

  • The astute among you may have notice the lack of Charley Sheen in the painting. It's not easy to notice, but there is approximately 0% of sheen in the painting.

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