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Thread: The colour perception problem

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    International Vice-Captain open365's Avatar
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    The colour perception problem

    Not sure how scientificaly relevant this theory is, but my mate and i were thinking about peoples perception of colour.

    He maintains that everyone could be seeing completely different colours, but all calling them the same thing because that's what they were taught to do.

    IE, i see what i think is the colour black on a wall, i call the wall black, my friend agrees but he acctualy sees it as my green but calls it black because he's still been taught to call it the same as me and every time he sees black i see green but we both call it black.

    My physics teacher agreed that this is the case as there is no way of proving otherwise, but i'm sure he's wrong, i mean, we know it's not true so imo there has to be a way to prove it isn't.

    Thoughts?

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    International Coach PhoenixFire's Avatar
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    Do we know it isn't true?
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    International Vice-Captain open365's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixFire View Post
    Do we know it isn't true?
    Well, i there is a concrete reason it cannot be true, but i'm not sure what it is.

    I mean, it's one of those theories imo that people accept techincaly but no one would really believe is the reality, do you believe i see completely different colours to you?

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    International Coach KiWiNiNjA's Avatar
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    Ummmmmm, yeah


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    International Vice-Captain Jungle Jumbo's Avatar
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    I've thought about this before, certainly an intriguing problem.

    The only way to prove it would be to look at the genetics of individuals very closely, though I'm not really in on that sort of thing.

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    International Vice-Captain open365's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jungle Jumbo View Post
    I've thought about this before, certainly an intriguing problem.

    The only way to prove it would be to look at the genetics of individuals very closely, though I'm not really in on that sort of thing.
    I thought of a way to disporive it using cricket.

    In ODI cricket, we use a white ball and a black background and this works for everybody, say if someone saw the background as my purple and the ball as blue they'd have problems picking it up, but they don't, so my physic teacher is wrong.

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    International Coach PhoenixFire's Avatar
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    Well it would work just as well having a yellow background and a purple ball, or an orange background and a blue ball, so no, he can be right.

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    I suppose this links into colourblindness..

    What you call red, i call red
    What you call brown, i call red, because to me it looks the same as what we both call red

    Though if we really want to delve into the workings of the psyche, then we can go further. Instead of pondering 'Does person X percieve object Y the same as i do', you could think 'Does person X percieve objects at all, or is he just a perception himself in my mind?'

    It all sounds a bit like the matrix meets being john malkovich.... But y'know, theres no real way for a singular person to know unless they can physically see inside someone elses mind. For all you know this post could be made by a part of your imagination, and only you can see it inside the mental world only you inhabit
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Matteh's Avatar
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    What about those colour blindness tests where it's green then with some red in the middle in the shape of a number. Surely those could provide an answer.
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    I struggle with some colours, most notably blue/purple and red/light brown/dark green. It really sucks sometimes to be honest.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Matteh's Avatar
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    Does that include a red cricket ball coming out of a bowler's hand when there's trees/hedges/fields around?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matteh View Post
    Does that include a red cricket ball coming out of a bowler's hand when there's trees/hedges/fields around?
    I don't actually play, so I've never had too much of a problem. When I have played the odd game I haven't had much trouble, because I can sort of distinguish between the two. Colour pencils are the ones that usually bring it out in me, I have to compare the two colours I want before getting much of an idea what one is brown and what one is red.

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    Strangely enough, I found out today that I'm colourblind. We were doing eyes in biology (got to dissect a cow's eye), and the teacher had a book with all those colourblindness pictures with the numbers in different colours. I could only get two of them easily, whereas everyone else in the class could see them all. I could still identify the colour of each individual circle, I just couldn't see the big picture so to speak. Was weird.
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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Wow, bummer for Andy.

    It's really more-or-less impossible to know how other people see colours because colours are superlatives; they can only be described in terms of themselves. For instance you couldn't say to someone who's been blind since birth that orange is a mixture of yellow & red because they'd have no conception of the other colours.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    Wow, bummer for Andy.
    Nah not really. Given that nothing has come up at all beforehand, it can't be much of a problem. I mean, I can distinguish perfectly between colours when they're on their own, or even next to each other, I just couldn't see these numbers. And since I hardly encounter those tests in every day life, and that I've noticed nothing strange before, it can't mean much (at least that's what I'm telling myself). Guess it just means I can't fly a plane. Meh.

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