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The Stories We Think We See Are Not Always The Real Ones

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In 1944 two psychologists showed this video to 34 college students who were told to “write down what happened in the picture”:

Of the 34, only one described it as showing geometric objects. The others told a story using humans or, in two cases, birds.

There are several interpretations of this study — you can one here and another here.

A quote in the second link says the study points to the danger of ascribing:

“purpose and meaning to what we see even when there is very little to suggest it.”

It seems to me that some school “reformers” who use student scores in state standardized tests as the key assessment of student learning and teaching quality could benefit from the main lesson of this research.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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