Why is the Brain Easily Tricked by Trick Questions and Optical Illusions?

Humans have highly advanced brains, especially compared with other creatures, but have you ever wondered why we always fall for trick questions and optical illusions? If we were highly intelligent, how come our brains are easily tricked?

Well, according to AsapSCIENCE, the reason for this is that the brain thinks in two distinct ways: fast thinking and slow thinking. As you might have already guessed, fast thinking helps us in so many ways, including in doing just about anything – walking, moving our muscles, ducking or running in times of danger, etc. On the other hand, slow thinking is used for activities like doing Math or processing puzzles/questions.

Of course, both are quite useful to us in their own way but there are times when coordination between the two gets a little skewed so that we get a little confused and could give the wrong answer to a simple trick question. The same goes with optical illusions which also trick the brain into processing images at face value.


When faced with a situation that requires an immediate answer/solution, the fast thinking part of the brain kicks in but the slow thinking part also participates. In most cases, this coordinated thinking works perfectly and might not even be necessary as the fast thinking part is able to get the right answer quickly – but such could not be said in trick questions and optical illusions.

Somehow, the brain picks out details that appear to give you the best solution because the question/illusion is often presented in such a way that it conditions the brain into thinking it had solved the problem only for you to realize later that the question is not what it seems.

Learn more about this in the video by AsapSCIENCE below:

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