Summer SAVY 2019: Session 2, Day 2 – Psychology in Action (Rising 5th/6th)
Dear Media Mania parents,
Day two showcased some great ideas! Our day was full of insightful and intriguing questions that really pushed the students, Ms. Emily and Mr. Israel to think hard about symbols.
We riled up our researchers this morning with a spirited debate about what qualifies as a symbol. We split up into two teams (led by Mr. Israel and Ms. Emily) and pushed back on some of the key questions we discussed in day 1. Can anything be a symbol? Does someone have to intend for an object to be a symbol? How does one begin to interpret a symbol?
Our class was very excited to take a trip 40,000 years back in time to better understand the process of making symbols. Each researcher put themselves in the place of an early human attempting to convey some story to his or her people using nothing but their fingers and paint. The big question: how do we understand symbols without direct instruction? Our researchers very astutely realized that comprehension is highly influenced by the experiences of the interpreter and by the similarities they pick up on between reality and the symbol.
Our day capped off with a visit to Ms. Emily’s lab in the Department of Psychology and Human Development at Peabody College. Our researchers learned about how Ms. Emily studies the way in which young children learn about non-familiar groups and how symbols like drawings can be used to infer our perceptions of other people. Out students also got their first exposure to the scientific method as it is used by developmental psychologists.
Tomorrow our researchers take on the task of devising experiments to better understand how people comprehend and use symbols. We are very excited to see what they come up with!
Ms. Emily and Mr. Israel