Do you see what I see?

I've been goofing around with a Nintendo DS Lite trying to reduce my Brain Age (I'm hovering around 23-24 for anyone interested.) One of the more interesting exercises in the game is something called the Stroop Test.

The Stroop Task is a psychological test of our mental vitality and flexibility. The task takes advantage of our ability to read words more quickly and automatically than we can name colors. (University of Michigan)
The object of the test is to say the color not the word. For example, if you saw BLUE, your answer would be, "Red!" The Brain Age test is basically to answer 50 of these items as fast as you can.

This got me thinking about how this relates to business requirements and clarity. One party sees, "Red," while the other sees, "Blue," even though they are both looking at the same thing. Furthermore, both parties think they understand completely. Hence, techniques like active-listening need to be used.

Of course, the Stroop Test probably won't work if you have a condition called synesthesia, but that's another story. A common form of synesthesia results in an affected individual seeing letters and numbers in color.

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