What Do You See in the Picture: A Duck or a Rabbit?

Psychologists frequently use visuals as stimuli in studies on emotions. The test we would like to share with you today, however, examines personality more carefully. It first appeared on the pages of a German magazine back in 1892. Seven years later, it gained popularity, after Joseph Jastrow’s work, attempting to prove that people see not only with their eyes. Look at the picture below: what did you see first — a duck or a rabbit?

Most people see a duck first. Be that as it may, it is not the most important thing. In this case, it only matters whether the person can quickly switch to the other answer. If you can easily differentiate between both animals, you are a creative person.

Recently, another psychologist Richard Wiseman took an interest in the picture. He was able to prove that people who can quickly switch between a duck and a rabbit possess great creativity.

The ease with which we can transition from one image to another reveals the scope of our creativity. The psychologist claims that at the moment of switching, a region responsible for creative thinking lights up in the brain.

The next stage of the experiment was a question. For example, subjects were asked to name as many uses as possible for a common object, e.g., a table or a chair. According to statistics, those who easily switched between a duck and a rabbit, on average, came up with a larger variety of responses.

By the way, Jastrow also noticed that the animal people see first correlates with their emotional state and often even the season. In spring, most see a rabbit, whereas in fall — a duck.

Thus, this visual test proves that we see not only with our eyes but also with our brain. Consequently, we perceive our surroundings exclusively via the prism of our own experience.


I am an English major with a love of languages and fiction, and with an incurable travel bug. In my free time, I read fantasy, drink copious amounts of coffee, and like to go see movies. Culinary art means everything to me. My main hypostasis is the taster, though. The music school has taught me to appreciate the symphony of airy meringues, to create harmonious overtures of light snacks, hard rock of meat, fish, and vegetables on the grill. Choir classes have accustomed me to hear and feel the people nearby and create perfect harmonies of sounds.

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Reading your article helped me a lot and I agree with you. But I still have some doubts, can you clarify for me? I’ll keep an eye out for your answers.

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