While reading Chapter 1, Psychology and Scientific Thinking, I came upon the topic of pseudoscience. According to the text, we our drawn to pseudo-scientific beliefs due to the brain's disposition to "make order out of disorder and find sense in nonsense" (Lilienfeld 14). I was particularly able to to relate to the phenomenon pareidolia , which is the tendency for the brain to perceive meaningful images in meaningless visual stimuli. Being a former art student here at the U, I found it interesting that pareidolia is an essential phenomenon in art, allowing one to effectively understand and interpret art work. If you are an art major, you are probably familiar with Gestalt Grouping Principles. If not, allow me to enlighten you: Gestalt Grouping Principles are rules in psychology applied to the Art World to account for the observation that humans naturally perceive objects as organized patterns and objects. The black and white photo shown below demonstrates the grouping principal of Projection, which our tendency to find meaning in patterns and shapes. When viewing this image, one's mind either sees the two white blobs as the two side profiles of a person's face or sees the black abstract figure located in the center as a chalice. Our brains translate these ambiguous black and white shapes into familiar forms, allowing us to conceptualize this art piece more quickly and make order out of chaos.
Didn't realize how prominent psychology was--even in the Art World!