Colorful Text Optical Illusion

Week ago, Hussain Mohamed sent me this interesting picture, one I have overlooked by mistake. The game is simple – all you have to do is say the original colors out loud, and ignore the written word. Like Hussain pointed, for example, orange might be given in green text, and you have to read the word “green” instead. It couldn’t be more easy, could it? Now let’s play! You’ll quickly realize this isn’t as simple as you though it would be!

BTW, I’ve received bunch of cool optical illusion videos, and can’t wait to share them with you via our custom video player! Expect more cool stuff in days to come…

107 Replies to “Colorful Text Optical Illusion”

  1. Wow, it really is not as easy as it seems, but i suggest it could be that for some people around the world it easier than for others. The simple fact that english is not the motherlanguage makes it way easier, doesn’t it?

  2. For the people whosaid that it wasn’t difficult, the point is not that it’s too difficult to do, it just takes longer to say the colour of each word than it does to say the word. This is because cognitively, we can’t not read a word if we see it. So it takes a moment to adjust that automatic response.
    And no, age make no difference, unless a child who cannot yet read is performing the task- they would be able to do it faster than an adult.

  3. Do a comparison in timing.

    Go through saying each of the words as quickly as you can and see how long it takes.

    Then try going through saying the colour of the letters instead.

    Most people will probably find that it takes significantly longer to say the colours than the words.

  4. I got through it, but by the fourth line I had to slightly hesitate before each word and think “don’t say the word, don’t say the word!” :P

  5. THey put the first 2 rows the same color as the word to confuse you even further.
    i cant read it at all! its so frustrating >:O

  6. You cant do this without thinking this over continuously.

    And for everybody who is going to say it wasn’t hard at all, say the colours out loud in English!

  7. Just squint your eyes until you can’t read the letters anymore ;)

    And for people who can’t speak English very well it’s easier of course :P

  8. No for something like this age makes no difference, it is left side of the brain vs right side of the brain, another example of this is to pat your head while stroking your stomach in a circular motion, you can actually train your brain to do these things. The right hemisphere of the brain recognises the colour of the text but the more worked left side of the brain recognises the word and will dominate as we are more used to reading the word and not saying what the colour of the text is.

  9. This variation on the STROOP effect is , in my mind, vary strong. It took me more than twice as long to read the conflicted words ( colour different than word) as to read the non conflicted words. Strong readers who are sight based have particulare difficultey while weak readers have less difficulte with this as their not so tied a sight approch and strong fluency.

  10. It’s Stroop Interference. It’s not so much “hard” as it is “harder”… you can’t go quite as fast when the colours and words don’t match up. Age matters only in that kids are slower than young adults. But not having any effect would simply mean that you can’t read the underlying language.

  11. If you cross eyed, its a whole lot easier. Haha. This one was pretty good, I’ve seen it a lot of times before though.

  12. I have a very hard time with these. I pretty much have to pause, think, and say each one individually. The problem for me is that I tend to look at the entire word as a block, I think, and so I automatically read it.

    I’m female, early 30s, and I read a LOT – words on the computer all day long, books for entertainment otherwise. So those of you that DON’T have a problem with these, I wonder if there is an age/gender/something reason.

  13. The previous posters are morons. It’s much harder. First time yourself reading the text, then try and do the colours in the same amount of time with no mistakes. You will fail.

  14. idk bout u guys out there but for me this wuz a nice simply easy piece of cake. wish life were more like dis.

  15. A local bar I used to frequent has exactly this hanging on a bulletin board inside the door. Its just printed on white paper, inside a sheet protector. It used to give us endless entertainment when we’d try to read it after a few. =)

  16. I kinda felt like I did this thing where I only concentrated on the colours and not the words and it was really easy. Maybe the ability to do that says something about you, right brained or something I dont know.

  17. try reading the words as words, then read the words as the color of the text. I was able to read the words without a hitch, but reading the color of the text, while easy, took twice as long.

  18. just a trick can make everyone read out the colors without any confusion with text, i.e just squint ur eyes so that only colors are visible and not the text… :)

  19. It wasn’t too hard for me, as I’m near sighted. All I need to do is take off my glasses and play the game. =)

  20. I found myself saying “purple” while looking at the word “red” written in green.

    I guess not being a native speaker (or: thinker) helps a lot in doing it right.

  21. this is called the stroop effect, and it is well documented in cognitive science research. the point is not that it is impossible, but rather that it is much harder. if you were to compare this with your performance reading colored, non-color words (like “dog” written in red, etc.) you would notice it takes significantly less time when the words are not color words.

    t.j., as for the age question, there is some debate, but many studies have shown that the stroop effect increases with age. so, older folks seem have an even harder time reading colored color words compared to colored non-color words.

  22. My guess is it depends also your native language.

    I’m french and it’s easy to read color names in English without mixing up…

  23. Cool. This is called the Stroop effect, after the guy who discovered it. This is one of the most researched phenomenon in cognitive psychology.

  24. That’s awesome,Stuti! I never managed to do so!! I always go to the fourth line and I always get stuck :)

  25. I’ve seen this before where you have to ignore the color of the word, so I did that, but I admit it took some hesitation before I could “read” the color of the word. My girl got it after looking at it for a little bit.

  26. There is a very easy trick to get this done in ONE GO!!! Blur out the image, defocus your eyes so that you can see the color and not read the words, that way you can immediately recognise the correct color and say it….try this SIMPLE trick.

  27. I found it real easy when I said “orange” when “orange” was typed. But I found it really hard the other way when I said “blue” when the word was typed “orange” in blue ink. Are the people above sure they did it right?

  28. The instructions are unclear. What are the “original colors” you are supposed to say?

    Did you mean say the displayed color??

  29. I think it’s because you start with the words and the colors match then suddenly the word red is in color green

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