Welcome to the Mayatan Psychology Fair!
Does shutting off one of our five senses make the other senses stronger? Do girls have a better short-term memory than boys? What about teachers versus students?
10th and 11th grade students at Mayatan sought to answer these questions -- and many others -- at an on-campus Psychology Fair held earlier this month. Students in Ms. Natalie's Psychology class have been studying experiments throughout the year, and now they had the opportunity to recreate some of the most famous research of the field, with their fellow students serving as enthusiastic participants.
Ms. Natalie held her high schoolers to high standards: they had to write a detailed research proposal, conduct a literary review of prior studies, and practice the experiment beforehand to identify and limit potential biases. The goal was to help the students understand how research is conducted at the university level -- something students might not be able to learn from their textbooks.
How did it all turn out? With the help 14 classes worth of participants, our young researchers were able to confirm the results of many past experiments. 11th grader Andrea Marilin tested for inattentional blindness, a person's inability to spot an unusual occurrence when focused on a routine activity; in this case, to spot a man in a gorilla suit walking through the background of a game of basketball. 10th graders Alex and Cristian investigated whether people had a better memory for words associated with their own gender. According to their findings, girls not only remembered gender-associated words more than other words, but also had a better memory for words than boys -- with teachers showing the strongest memory of all! And Jose Roberto demonstrated that, when blindfolded, women can identify foods by scent more quickly than men (as you might have guessed, our high school students were very interested in studying the differences between genders!).
The Psych Fair gave our students a great opportunity to get a glimpse of the academic world that awaits them in higher education. One of Mayatan's academic goals is to prepare its students for entry into strong universities in Central and North America (check out our current seniors post-graduation plans here), and classes like Psychology, Art History, and Anthropology give them the chance to gain an early foothold in the study of liberal arts and social sciences. And all the better if they can enjoy some experimental fun while doing so!