An Illusion That Makes Me Both Happy and Sad
1) How can our brains be tricked? How do you know how prevalent the effect is? What are the limits of psychological studies? Are there more valid experiments than others? Is there more compelling evidence to prove the existence of this phenomenon?
2) Are children better than adults at recognizing objects/faces in a cloud? In what ways can your culture influence your perception of emotions? Who might perceive emotion differently? A zookeeper? Genghis Khan? Shakespeare?
3) In which academic subject might this topic be most appropriate? Which of the ways that pareidolia manifests that the article outlines are the most common? Least? How does this happen in the visual arts? In astronomy? Which forms of pareidola are most dangerous?
4) What if advertisers were banned from using their knowledge of pareidola? What if the original researcher used a picture of someone else for the experiment?
5) What is significance of understanding this optical illusion? What are the larger implications in school? Environmentalism? To whom might this matter most?
1) Students can show this illusion to family members and record their reactions. Compare results and chart them with others in class.
2) Students can create advertisements using the Thatcher Effect for their favorite products.
3) Students can identify uses of this optical illusion and facial recognition in popular culture and predict how the story might have been different if they recognized their biases.
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