Summer SAVY 2019: Session 3, Day 3 – Psychology and Experimental Design (Rising 3rd/4th)
Day three was full of challenge and fun! Our theme for the day was the scientific method. We began the day reviewing yesterday’s lessons; focusing on the difference between behavioral versus verbal strategies for measuring the mind. After our review, our researchers were FINALLY introduced to their projects – creating their own experiments! They were all very excited and immediately began brainstorming ideas.
Today also included the most challenging activity in our class thus far – participating in our version of a famous psychology experiment called the marshmallow task. After learning about how researchers used this task to measure inhibitory control or patience in children, our researchers were each given a marshmallow and had the choice to eat the marshmallow before the end of the day, or to leave it sitting on their desk in order to receive two marshmallows that afternoon. During the day, while our researchers were challenged not to eat their marshmallow, we recorded how many times they touched it and other behaviors that we will use in an activity on statistics in tomorrow’s class.
We switched gears a bit in the middle of the day with a guest speaker who came to give us a fascinating presentation on Harry Potter, and how watching movies or reading books influences our empathy and perspective-taking skills. Students learned some important concepts and asked some insightful questions. I noticed that some of our researchers even used information they learned from this talk in their final projects this afternoon.
We ended the day learning the specifics of the scientific method, followed by “pondering” and developing final ideas for their final projects. Tomorrow we begin data collection with real participants who are coming from another SAVY class! After data collection I will introduce our researchers to statistical techniques that will help them analyze and interpret their data. We look forward to putting in action what we’ve been learning all week about studying the mind!