Thursday, March 6, 2014

All purpose Sensation/Perception demonstration

In some chapters/units, the problem is not having enough great demonstrations/activities (I always struggled with finding ways to demonstrate the important concepts in the motivation emotion unit). But in other units, like Sensation/Perception, the problems is an abundance of riches! There are SO many great demonstrations in this chapter/unit, the problem is choosing which great demonstration to use!

One strategy I've seen teachers use is "beefing up" one activity to include a number of concepts ("one demonstration to rule them all"). Scott Miller (hi Scott!) sent me this article a while ago about "fruit colored cereal" and taste: when we eat different colored "fruit loops," most people perceive each color tasting like a different fruit, but in fact they are all the made of the same sugary substance, and food dye is added.

Shocking News: All Froot Loop Colors Are Really The Same Flavor

This demonstration on it's own could be an engaging activity to demonstration aspects of taste and top-down processing, but with a few tweaks, it could be used to discuss several other sensation-perception concepts:

- sensory interaction: since smell and taste are most often used at the same time (to detect "flavor"), is our sense of smell active during this illusory perception? Why or why not?
- visual dominance: what does this illusion demonstrate about which senses "dominate" others?
- schema: in what ways are our schema active during this perception? How does this relate to top-down processing?
- absolute and difference thresholds: which threshold is most applicable to this illusion? One, both, or neither?
- selective attention: does focusing on specific aspects of the fruit loop (e.g. focusing on the color) influence the illusion?
- finally, what other food substances might this illusion apply to? Jelly beans? Starburst? Skittles?

posted by Rob McEntarffer

1 comment:

Rob McEntarffer said...

Eric Castro wrote up his experiences trying this demo - - great job! Love the data presentation! Wowza!