More Naughty Toys

Posted December 4, 2009

It seems that Disney’s hired themselves a teen icon with a love of profanity. Or not.

Perception is a wonderous thing. The way we interpret fine detail in our surroundings and respond to it in fractions of a second is nothing short of stunning. We are able to do that because our brains are designed to develop pathways using the information we get from interacting with the environment. These pathways ensure that we can quickly interpret the environment if we make a few assumptions. Among them is the assumption that the world as we experience it is a lot like the world as we have experienced it in the past. This process produces pareidolia, the confirmation bias, perceptual illusions, illusory correlations, and even what appears intuitively to be the opposite, gambler’s fallacy.

This perceptual system relies on expectations of what it should receive to interpret what it does receive. So, when someone suggests that you will “see” or “hear” something specific and the information from the outside world is ambiguous (but could be that something specific), we “see” or “hear” what we expect to “see” or “hear”.

I discussed this in detail and posted some fun examples back in February. At that time, Elmo was being rather naughty. Here’s a new one about a Hannah Montana doll with a potty mouth:


Happy Holidays y’all!


1 Comment:

Stephanie Z on December 4th, 2009 at 12:12:

That song was in English?!? Perhaps not as “plainly clear” as she suggests.

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