Psychology workshop details - University of Derby

Psychology workshops

Visual illusions - how our brain fools our minds

This activity demonstrates how our visual system can be fooled. Illusions are popular with everyone but they are not always easy to explain. They are present in everyday life (e.g. the recent debate over the colour of that dress).

For younger age groups the session will get the pupils to explore why they think they see illusions. It will introduce ideas like perspective and depth. For older pupils, the session will explore explanations of some of the illusions and introduce ideas like expectation and adaptation.

Change blindness - how distractions stop us from concentrating

Change blindness demonstrates that we do not attend to everything around us and we miss a lot of what is going on. The session uses video clips to explore why we miss what seem to be important details.

For younger pupils, the session illustrates the need to pay attention and how distractions stop us concentrating on detail. For older pupils, the session is used to examine the principles behind attending to things. It explores what things we find important and why.

How we process pain - exploring physiological and psychological aspects of pain

This session demonstrates both physiological and psychological aspects of pain. The equipment (the cold pressor test and the Finometer blood pressure monitor) are both safe to use with all age groups. Participants put their arm in a cold (10oC) water bath for a maximum of 3 minutes to examine their pain tolerance whilst having their blood pressure measured at the same time. Different distractor tasks are used to see if this alters the ability to endure pain.

For younger pupils we discuss the value of pain and why ‘rubbing it better’ actually works. For older pupils we discuss how the nervous system processes pain and how expectation and distraction work to modify the pain experience.

If you require further information or would like to book any of the above sessions please contact us.

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