Have you ever stopped to wonder if the same shade of blue you’re seeing is the same as your friends? Their version of green is different than yours. If you could trade places with them, you would probably see an entirely different world. Isn’t that crazy? You can thank “color theory” for this phenomenon.

More People Are Colorblind Than You Think

About one in 12 men and one in 200 women are colorblind. But those are only the statistics of people who know they’re colorblind. You could be walking around with no inkling that there might be something wrong with your color vision. A colorblind individual might see grays as greens, and so forth.

But we’re not talking about colorblind individuals when it comes to “color theory.” Even two people who aren’t colorblind experience different colors. New research has revealed that colors are an individual experience.

What Do We Mean By This?

Colors are differentiated by how our brains react to different wavelengths of light. You also perceive colors based on moods, feelings, and even memories associated with those colors. Two people can look at the same object, but they will see a different color because of their association with the colors.

It turns out your brain really does control everything about you—even the way you view the world.

Do You See What I See?

The best way to determine this is by testing the color theory. With a friend or family member, put your color perceptions to test.

Grab a pencil and notepad and head outside to a particular scene. It could be your backyard, a park, a garden, a forest, etc.

Have each person focus on the same object, whether it’s a tree, bush of flowers, etc. Write down as many details about the object, including the colors that “pop” out to you. When you’re finished, compare your notes. Did you see the same colors? What did they notice that you didn’t?

You might be surprised that you actually do see colors differently than your friends and family, and you didn’t even know it. The more you know, right?