American Research Group, Inc.

The Scintillating Grid

Scan across the grid on the right and watch the dots at the intersections fill in and then change back to white as your eyes move across the grid.

If you focus exclusively on one white dot, or if you hold the grid too close or too far away, the illusion stops.
Read below to learn how understanding the power behind this illusion can improve your marketing and advertising.


Constructing Reality

The scintillating grid allows you to become consciously aware of one aspect of your out-of-consciousness processing system at work.

Your vision system automatically sharpens contrasts on surface edges to make it easier for you to separate objects from their backgrounds. The grid's design forces your vision system to attempt to construct surface edges that do not exist. Scanning the grid reveals this on-going process that you normally do not notice.

Seeing the dots appear and disappear on the grid demonstrates that we do not passively perceive reality, but instead actively construct reality using more than basic sensory inputs. To our conscious processing systems, however, it still feels like we just perceive reality. That's why the grid is called an illusion.

Most marketing programs and advertising ignore and dismiss the impact that the out-of-conscious processing system has on consumer behavior, but this hidden system not only begins, but also greatly influences, the process of constructing reality for consumers.

We are all awash in continuous streams of signals from our internal and external environments. Our out-of-conscious processing systems encounter these signals first and begin to direct our behavior before our conscious processing systems become involved.

It is incorrect to assume, unfortunately, that consumers will somehow be able to differentiate and then process marketing and advertising signals in ways that are contrary to the on-going operations and significant biases of their out-of-conscious processing systems, even when those signals are the result of reasoned, convincing, and creative thought. No conscious thoughts will stop the dots from appearing and disappearing as your eyes scan the grid.

The American Research Group offers a different approach to understanding consumer behavior that can increase the effectiveness of marketing and advertising efforts.

We measure how consumers' out-of-conscious processing systems react and respond to the signals they receive. Not surprisingly, we don't start by asking consumers for the answers. Instead, we measure very reliable, valid, and sensitive signals generated by their out-of-conscious processing systems before learning consumers' conscious responses.

We then make specific recommendations to improve the signals so consumers will not only attend to, but also respond to, those signals.

Put the power behind this illusion to work for your marketing and advertising. E-mail ARG to learn more.

Check out 10 Rules for More Effective Advertising to learn how to produce advertising that takes advantage of out-of-conscious processing. 

TOP  | ARG Home

Copyright © American Research Group, Inc. 2001-2015 All rights reserved.
American Research Group, Inc.  814 Elm Street  Manchester, NH 03101  603/624-4081