• Question: What is your favourite psychological study?

    Asked by EvieH on 22 Nov 2023.
    • Photo: Ed Morrison

      Ed Morrison answered on 22 Nov 2023:


      I really like a study where people pick which of two photographs of faces they find more attractive. Once they’ve made a choice, the scientist passes over the chosen photo and asks people to explain why they chose it. The twist is, the scientist is a magician who has secretly swapped the face for the other, non-chosen one. But people don’t notice, and still give plausible explanation for why they chose that face, even though they didn’t!

      You can watch a video of it here:

    • Photo: Elizabeth Newton

      Elizabeth Newton answered on 22 Nov 2023:


      This one is good. I won’t say more as it will give it away

    • Photo: Berengere Digard

      Berengere Digard answered on 22 Nov 2023:


      A fun one is the Stanford Marshmallow Test that actually often comes back as a trend on social media, though usually people do it with their kids without having any idea that it is a real experiment that does measure something important.

      The experiments following the development of children’s understanding of the world are often really fun. For example, the experiments on the concept of “conservation” of size, quantity, or volume, as in this video. Young children have not fully developed this skill and it can be very fun to test! You can see it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxUxgPwpfgk

    • Photo: Emma Sullivan

      Emma Sullivan answered on 11 Dec 2023:


      I think Elizabeth Loftus’ work on how reliable our memory is has some of the most influential studies! (See video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PB2OegI6wvI

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