February 25

“Aaron, we have to talk.” [redacted] has a serious look in her eye and her tone makes plain that it’s something important. Oh no, I think, she’s found me out. Someone’s told her I don’t really love her and she’s angry. (I always used to do this. My mom would yell up “Aaron, can you come down here?” and I’d immediately assume the worst — they’d caught me stealing nuclear missiles or something. Turned out it was just time for dinner.)

She resists talking. She feels really bad about saying it. The pressure mounts. Finally she tells me: she thinks I gave her a rash, she thinks I should wash my hands more. I can’t help but laugh. Of course I’ll wash my hands more. “OK,” she says, still feeling bad about bring it up. “What are you feeling bad about?” I say, “I’m the one who should be embarrassed.” It’s such a blog story, we agree.

I got to participate in my first deceptive psychology experiment! (You know, where they tell you the experiment is testing X and it’s really testing Y.) It was surprisingly elaborate, with a whole series of staged things to make me think there was more going on than there was. Bizarrely, I correctly guessed the actual intent of the study but I got the method of measurement completely wrong. I can’t really provide more details because some people reading this might eventually take the study.

They have this clever thing where taking experiments is a requirement for taking Psych 1. I guess they have to get their victims (experimentees?) somehow.

posted March 26, 2005 04:47 PM (Education) (0 comments) #


Stanford: Out at the Movies
Stanford: Form Without Content
Stanford: A Wired Rave
David M. Clark on Cognitive Therapy
Stanford: Meeting the President
Stanford: Caught Red-Handed
Lessons in Capitalism #2: Management
Stanford Interactive: What classes should I take?


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Aaron Swartz (me@aaronsw.com)