• Question: Do you think we all see the same colours? Or do we see different colours but are taught that it is yellow etc?

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      Asked by hilly_55 to Andy, Chris, Harriet, Jess, Nikki on 14 Mar 2016.
      • Photo: Nikki D'Arcy

        Nikki D'Arcy answered on 14 Mar 2016:

        Thanks for the question, that’s really interesting. I think we see things differently for sure. Here’s a great article with a little colour test too!


      • Photo: Harriet Reid

        Harriet Reid answered on 14 Mar 2016:

        I think we see things in a similar way (but probably not exactly the same) but its hard to test.

      • Photo: andy chapman

        andy chapman answered on 14 Mar 2016:

        This is a fascinating question that I wrote about somewhere else on here (I can’t find it). We for sure see colours differently, or experience them differently rather. The best book I have ever read on this is actually about linguistics: Through the language glass by Guy Deutscher.

        Philip Ball’s the invetion of colur is on my shelf now waiting to be read…..

      • Photo: Christopher Blanford

        Christopher Blanford answered on 14 Mar 2016:

        Hi again, Hilly_55

        There’s a lot of philosophy in that question, because colour perception come from both the chemistry of what happens at the back of our eyes and what happens in the brain.

        You know how some people are colour-blind, where they can’t distinguish between colours because they’re missing one of the colour sensing molecules from the back of their eyes? There’s a related version where some people, especially women, can sense four colour instead of the usual three! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrachromacy#Human_tetrachromats

        In people, if usually appears as being able to distinguish more shade of blue than a person with three colour receptors can.


        PS @Nikki: neat link. I hadn’t seen that!

      • Photo: Jessica Groppi

        Jessica Groppi answered on 15 Mar 2016:


        Everyone has a different perception of colours. Colours can be defined in a scientific way, but what our eye sees is a completely different story.

        Our perception of colour can be affected by the lighting of the room, other colours present, have ever hear about the black/blue – white/gold dress debate?? it was all over the news a while ago!

        Moreover our eyes might have imperfections that prevent us to see only some colours or no colors at all or to perceive some colours as different colours, in example some people see green as red, this disease is called colourblindness.