Author Topic: Playing psychological games for fun and profit  (Read 312 times)

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Offline karajorma

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Playing psychological games for fun and profit
Next week I have to teach a class of English as a second language college students a lesson on the brain. The text book I have to use is a little dry and the college allows me to come up with my own lessons as long as I stick the the general subject. I figured I'd spice things up with a few games to show off cognitive biases and the that sort of thing. So far I've decided to hold a dollar auction, teach a little about confirmation bias and perhaps play a few games based around Prisoners Dilemma but I was wondering if any of you have heard of anything that might work well.

My students have a reasonable amount of English and I can use PowerPoint to explain anything tricky so I just want to see if anyone had some better ideas. Anything that will allow the class to split off into groups or pairs and have to talk to each other is especially good but anything which I can then use as a jumping off point to ask for real life examples will be useful.
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Playing psychological games for fun and profit
Two important questions before any suggestion:

How much time to do you have in class?

How well organized are you students normally (i.e. how much time would pass until they are in mixed groups)?

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Offline karajorma

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Re: Playing psychological games for fun and profit
I get two 50 minute periods (Which as you can guess is quite a lot of time to fill). The students are already assigned groups of 4 or 5 people so they can switch easily to pairwork or groups pretty quickly.
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Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: Playing psychological games for fun and profit
There's a fun little perception/communication exercise you can try.

Seat two people back-to-back.  Give the first one a picture - usually a half-dozen geometric shapes all stuck together at odd angles - and the second one a pen and paper.  Person with the picture is allowed to speak.  Person with pen and paper is not.  They get 5-10 minutes to try to replicate the picture.

It's a useful exercise to talk about the way our brains make assumptions about the way other people think and perceive; it also helps understand the limitations of purely verbal communication.
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Offline Sushi

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Re: Playing psychological games for fun and profit
You've got to have them do this one:


 

Offline karajorma

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Re: Playing psychological games for fun and profit
I already have downloaded a version of that video somewhere. I think it would work well. Good idea.

There's a fun little perception/communication exercise you can try.

Seat two people back-to-back.  Give the first one a picture - usually a half-dozen geometric shapes all stuck together at odd angles - and the second one a pen and paper.  Person with the picture is allowed to speak.  Person with pen and paper is not.  They get 5-10 minutes to try to replicate the picture.

It's a useful exercise to talk about the way our brains make assumptions about the way other people think and perceive; it also helps understand the limitations of purely verbal communication.

That's a pretty good one as it would force the students to use their English. The only issue would be that quite a few students would suspect the problem was their English and not hard limits in verbal communication. Although if they did a second easier picture in Chinese I could demonstrate that.
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Re: Playing psychological games for fun and profit
FYI, I not only saw the gorilla but did a double-take when it showed up :P