In our everyday lives, we intuitively understand the idea that the way you word a question matters. Men ask women “Do you want to come back to my place and watch my Ren and Stimpy DVDs?” rather than “Do you want to come to my house and make small talk until we have sex?”
Turns out, other people get it too.
Today’s subject: the visual cliff. This pioneering experiement both looks cool and is a fun exploration into the development of depth perception in creatures great and small.
In 1960, E.J. Gibson and R.D. Walk set up this awesome looking contraption that makes it look like a surface completely drops off, when actually, it’s just an illusion made with shatterproof glass.
Some psychologists in the Netherlands decided to see if talking to pretty women actually made them stupid, or if it was just a myth.
Now this is research.
As some of you know, I’m kinda fascinated with the benefits of emotional problems, from small things like choosing the wrong romantic partners over and over to big things, like schizophrenia. These benefits are real (if not overshadowed by their huge costs), because not only have some of the greatest works of art been created by people in the throes of mania or depression, but evolutionarily, mental illness has continued to survive natural selection. Why?
Why would it ever be helpful to have hallucinations, or not sleep, or feel so sad that you cannot work?
Welp, people are working on that right now.
A research team led by a woman named Simone Schnall decided to ask students about their morality judgments, and wanted to know if those judgements would be affected by the environment they were in at the time.
So they made the students smell farts.
So here are a few of my favorite experiments that I learned about in school.