The Very Peri Project – Is It a Frequency Illusion? by member Karen Mallin

Have you ever had the experience of noticing something for the first time, and then for some unexplained reason you see it everywhere?   For example, on your way to the guild you see someone walk by wearing a purple scarf.   Then on your way home you stop at the Mall of America and see more people wearing purple scarves.   That is known as Frequency Illusion, a cognitive bias in which after noticing something for the first time, there is a tendency to notice it more often leading someone to believe that it has a high frequency of occurrence.   Whether this is true or not, it shows how the mind attends to environmental stimuli.   Everyone at some point in time experiences this curious perceptual phenomenon, similar to déjà vu.  


Now that the phenomenon of Frequency Illusion has been brought to your attention, there is also what is known as Recency Illusion, which happens because you’re noticing something you recently learned about. At the Weavers Guild of Minnesota, the Very Peri challenge is having a positive impact on its members which is more than just an interesting perceptual phenomenon.   They are attending to the new color created by the Pantone Institute called Very Peri and incorporating it into their fiber art. Check out the fantastic ways members are exploring this exciting color in their work below! We plan to display members’ work later in the year so the challenge is ongoing and we encourage everyone to participate. This display will answer the question of whether seeing Very Peri in fiber art is just a random frequency illusion or a bigger phenomenon of how much our attention to color can shape our experience of the world in beautiful ways. For questions about the challenge, contact Karen Mallin at