The Mirror Paradox

Cindy Crawford Face to Face

Cindy Crawford In a Photograph

Cindy Crawford In a Mirror

Cindy Crawford In Vertical Mirror

Cindy Crawford 4 Way Mirror

Cindy Crawford Front to Back

Scarlett Mirror Unflipped

Scarlett Mirror Flipped Lipstick

Obama Right Reading

Obama Back Reading

Obama Freaky Mirror

Cindy What About Type

Cindy In the Mirror Reading

Cindy Read Your Own Shirt

In-Class Task

In a brief comment in the Reply field below, describe our common misconception about mirrors and why it’s so hard to talk ourselves out of the illusion that they flip images.

About davidbdale

Inventor of and sole practitioner of 299-word Very Short Novels.
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28 Responses to The Mirror Paradox

  1. runnerd4 says:

    Our common misconception about mirrors is that it flips the image horizontally, when it would be more true that it flips front to back. We have a hard time getting over this misconception because when we look in the mirror, the image looks flipped, especially with writing.

  2. thecommoncase says:

    It’s difficult for people to simply accept something as it is without trying to find some sort of explanation they can grasp. Because the image in a mirror appears to be flipped, everyone has accepted this observation as truth.

  3. oaktree1234 says:

    We tend to believe that mirrors flip our image horizontally. If this were true, the mirror would also flip our image top to bottom. As it turns out, mirrors actually flip our image front to back.

  4. cardinal7218 says:

    We like to think that mirrors flip images from left to right, but it’s more like back to front. What the mirror shows is what we would see if we stood behind a person and they were transparent. I think it’s hard for us to shake the idea of flipping left to right because it makes sense- some things in the reflection do seem to flip sides. It’s hard to stop thinking a certain way when it’s the way that everyone has always thought. Everyone says mirrors flip left to right.

  5. malcolmyarber says:

    One of our most common misconceptions about mirrors is the perception of the mirror and how it reflects. The way a mirror reflects is horizontally not vertically, in a way how an object would look if it was reflected across the x axis on a graph. This is why when we have text on our shirts the text is mirrored and seems off.

  6. jeffbezos123 says:

    Mirriors are not flipped, they just flip in the x axis. We can prove this because we are not flipped upside down. Just the way that we see ourselves is reverced. You can tell by looking at your clothing. The wording or image will be flipped.

  7. rowanstudent24 says:

    It’s hard to talk ourselves out of it because you would expect to see yourself flipped vertically instead of horizantally. You would expect it to be reflected over the y axis instead of the x axis.

  8. clementine102 says:

    The common misconception about mirrors is that when looking at an image that is “flipped”, people think it is flipped horizontally when in reality, it is flipped front to back. It is also so hard to talk ourselves out of the illusion because our eyes know when something is flipped or not because when looking into a mirror it is flipped.

  9. SmilingDogTheProfWants says:

    The common misconception with a mirror is that the object in front of it will display flipped horizontally or reflected (*your reflection*), and it does appear that way no matter how hard you look, but the mirror’s surface is simply displaying the backside of the image.

  10. shadowswife says:

    Our misconception about mirrors is that we believe that the image that we see reflecting off of it is flipped in a way where that image is inverted or looks like it’s flipped horizontally. However, the image reflecting off the mirror is flipped front to back. It’s hard to get over this misconception because the reflection that’s usually displayed looks like it’s flipped horizontally. Thus, we would just believe in our own observations on that reflected image.

  11. BabyGoat says:

    As people, we like to say that the mirror flips the image horizontally. When we see words on our shirts they are fully flipped. But this can’t be true as a human body would be fully flipped. This would mean a left arm would be on the right side when you look directly at the mirror. The towel in the right corner of the bathroom would somehow end up in the other corner. It would make sense to say that mirrors may flip images front to back.

  12. dayzur says:

    Our misconception on mirrors is that we believe to see mirrors flipping images in a way that they are horizontal. It will reflect an image of ourselves or something backwards giving the illusion of something that may be on your left shoulder, looks as if its on the right. But, in reality, it is really flipping the image towards us, on the Z-axis, which produces this illusion. The image truly makes it look like we are turned around and everything is flipped from side to side giving this common misconception on how the image is flipped.

  13. pardonmyfrench13 says:

    A common misconception about mirrors is they flip your image. This is actually untrue because they are only being flipped on the x axis. Its hard to talk yourself out of this illusion because when we look into a mirror, our reflection is not what others would see. With that being said, it is hard to convince yourself otherwise or that a mirror doesn’t flip the image when you aren’t seeing it for what it is to everyone else. Now this has just become the accepted norm that mirrors “flip”.

  14. wafflesrgud22 says:

    We commonly believe that mirrors flip horizontally but if this were true then we would be upside down in our reflection.

  15. mhmokaysure says:

    The common misconception about mirrors is the fact that they “flip” images from left to right, when in fact it’s more of a back to front. A mirror after all “mirrors” an image, not flips it, meaning that the image we see is actually shown as if we were able to leave our bodies and see from in front of us. This seemingly impossible thing makes it so difficult to shake the idea that mirrors don’t actually flip left and right, as we see text becoming reversed, but in fact, it is an illusion.

  16. comicdub says:

    Our common misconception about mirrors is that they flip images horizontally, but this is not true.
    Mirrors just reflect things back exactly as they are on the z axis. It is so hard to talk ourselves out of this illusion because when you look at something in a mirror, especially text, it looks as though it has flipped horizontally while in reality it has been flipped front to back.

  17. sonnypetro29 says:

    Our misconception about mirrors is that we think the image is flipped and everything is the opposite. When you’re looking at yourself in the mirror and you’re trying to comb the back of your hair you get confused with what direction you should brush. Our words on our clothes are backward also it is just displaying the image right back to us.

  18. gooferious says:

    The common misconception about the mirror paradox is that we assume that it flips what we see horizontally when in reality it truly only flips the image from front to back. It’s so hard for us to talk ourselves out of it because, we are going to believe what we see and when looking at a mirror the image reflected appears to be flipped horizontally.

  19. corinnebuck1219 says:

    We believe mirrors flip horizontally due to things like flipped writing on a T shirt. But mirrors actually are flipped front to back which can be demonstrated by moving both pointer fingers front and back not at the same time.

  20. sunshine2818 says:

    The misconception of mirrors. We tend to think that mirror flip images when in fact they reflect front to back. Reasoning behind this may stem from letters or wording looking inverted when looking through a mirror. But, the mirror is simply reflecting the image back at the individual.

  21. gabythefujoshi18 says:

    Our common misconception of mirrors is that anything or anyone that stands in front of a mirror, will get an horizontal image of it. The term reflection is heavily associated with mirrors, when one says mirror, they think of seeing in their reflection. However, it’s not a vertical nor horizontal reflection, it just flips front-back. Because it seems to make more sense that it would be reflected, this is why this misconception is believed to be fact to many of us.

  22. bluntwriting88 says:

    A mirror does not flip left and right. This is a miscategorization. A mirror simply reflects directly back and forth. Mirrors flip nothing.
    The illusion is that ‘the world’ in a mirror appears to us in a left-right inverted way. What is on my left side will appear on the right side of the mirror. Many processes and phenomena – if not most – are counterintuitive. For the most part mirrors were not sparse in our evolutionary upbringing (save for water reflections). Moreover we confound this humanly counterintuitive process with poor and inexact descriptions and definitions. These poor explanations are then distributed via ideas and persist.

  23. 612119d says:

    Mirrors don’t flip at all actually it’s in the eye of the beholder to seeing the actual imagine and they can’t flip horizontal or vertical.

  24. goldin92 says:

    The main misconception about mirrors is that when we look at a mirror, we believe it’s reflecting the complete replica of what is bouncing off the screen, but what could be happening instead is that the image of use is flipped cortical from left to right, making it a paradox as it is flipped horizontally, as it’s like a perspective of another human.

  25. l8tersk8ter says:

    It is hard not to describe the illusion of mirrors as “flipping” images because the reflection is not as we are seen to others. We know that when someone looks at us they see things on the opposite side that we do when we look in a mirror, and our default is saying this means the image is flipped. A reflection is simply a reflection, but we search so hard for a thorough explanation that we mix terms up.

  26. BigBarry2 says:

    We believe that mirrors flip the imagine horizontally, which is not true. Mirrors actually flip the image from front to back. Mirrors are something people have looked into their whole lives and have trusted the image that it has shown back to them which makes it hard to believe that mirrors actually produce an illusion.

  27. rowanstudent says:

    I believe it is hard for us to wrap our head around because it has always been known to show people a trusted image of themselves looking back at them since the start. However, this is known to not be true and they do create an illusion flipping vertically instead of horizontal

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