What Did You Expect?
Sometimes in the movies you need to identify something very quickly without much information. (Is that a monster lurking in the bushes?) Your brain is good at making decisions like these. But, what happens if you give your brain some suggestions? Try this activity on your friends.
Curious for an answer? Look Behind the Scenes.
- You will need: scissors, construction paper, tape, writing paper, and a pencil.
- Cut the construction paper into squares, triangles, and circles. Combine the shapes in several different ways so that they resemble familiar objects. For example, a square and a triangle can look like a house or two circles joined by a line can look like a pair of glasses. Tape the shapes together.
- Write a story, a paragraph or two, featuring the things you made with the shapes.
- Now it's time to call in a friend. Show your friend each of your shapes for one second (count "one thousand one") and then ask your friend what they remind her or him of. Record each answer.
- Find another friend and first tell your story. Then show your friend each of the shapes for one second and ask what they are. Write down your friend's answers.
- How are your two friends' answers different? Why do you think they are different? Try both parts of your experiment on lots of friends. How are the answers from your first group different from your second group? What conclusions can you draw?
- Why do you think scientists try to use a big group of people when they are conducting an experiment?
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