Individual Differences in Color Perception

Document Type

Poster Presentation

Publication Date



In 2015, an image of a dress on the internet, which some viewers perceived as blue and black and others perceived as white and gold, sparked a debate among psychologists about the factors contributing to individual differences in perception. Some early research suggested that demographics and circadian rhythm could account for some of the variability in perceptions of the dress. We hypothesized that individuals with high levels of artistic experience may have more finely-tuned color perception and thus may be more likely to accurately perceive the colors of the dress, potentially explanation additional variation in this phenomenon. We investigated correlations between demographics, circadian rhythm, artistic/photography experience, color competency, and accuracy of perceptions of the dress. We also examined whether manipulations of the color characteristics in the image would produce changes in perception of the dress colors. The result indicated no significant relationship between most of the demographic factors, circadian rhythm, artistic/photography experience, or color competency and dress perception. However, native English speakers were more likely to accurately perceive the dress (54%) in comparison to non-native English speakers (31%). Furthermore, manipulations of color and brightness of the image produced considerable changes in perception. Changes in the color balance and illumination of the original dress image produced the changes in dress perception, with 67% of participants reporting that at least one manipulation changed their perception of the dress.


Lynn University


Lynn University Student Research Symposium


Poster Presentation


Boca Raton, FL


College of Arts and Sciences


Poster presentation given at the Arts and Sciences Student Symposium at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL.

This document is currently not available here.