Sense Perception Badge Mia Sallis

Progress Journal

  • Mia Sallis
  • Group Members: Marina Gill, Eshan Sarna, Federico Ramirez
  • January 30th - February 7th
  • WOK Badge: Sense Perception
  • "To Notice or Not to Notice?"


I was not present in this class


Pt 1: We are doing a project on selective perception. For the experiment I think this would be a good idea:

  • a person is listening to a list of numbers, that they will have to recall later
  • while they are concentrating on these numbers, we will preform a distracting task (play music, have someone dance, etc.)
  • Hopefully, according to selective perception, they will not notice the distracting task while they are concentrating on the list of numbers

Pt 2: Today we took a quiz over Sense Perception, and i got a 8/10 on the first try. Since I wasn’t here the day we talked about all the badges and what will be included within those badges (what to do, read, etc.), I got caught up on that. Also, I read through the key points on sense perception and the vocab terms, so I learned new things about that chapter. I learned a lot about the term selective perception. I also learned this is psychology, so this allowed me to connect this from psychology to TOK. Having my pre-knowledge about this topic also helped with choosing a inspiration and experiment for my group project.


So to prepare the project we can pick the list of numbers and record that, or make it into a powerpoint slide. Then we can pick the distracting task. I think that we could do some of these options:

  • have music playing throughout the project, then change it
  • have the person saying the numbers switch from male to female

Here are questions/topics my group needs to discuss:

  • How are we going to present the list of numbers?
  • What will be the distracting task?
  • Who, when, where will we do the experiments?
  • Especially where because we don’t not want any outside distractions happening, controlled environment...

Today we finished the project, not including the experimenting part. We decided on a video tutorial of drawing a rose while people are counting numbers in the background. As the video is playing, the voice of the numbers which from a male voice, then to a female and then back to a male. All we need to do now is do experiments on multiple people. We will do at least one person today and see if it comes out the way we hope it will come out. If not, we have the weekend to make changes. Then finish the experiments, recording what happened in the experiments and then what could have influenced the outcomes on Monday.

2/7 (reflection journal entry)

What are your goals and aims for this project? Don’t forget why you picked what you picked. Discuss at least one personal goal.

I hope to make people aware of selective perception and change blindness. I feel that if people are conscious that something like this happens they can change the way they concentrate on something, or they will notice things that they will not usually notice. If they are conscious of selective perception and change blindness, one may be able to notice important things that they might miss all the time in the work around them

A personal goal that I wish to gain from this is for myself to be aware of my own selective perception and change blindness. I hope to gain knowledge of things that I am missing from the work around me and hopefully make myself more observant I can ask questions; what am I missing? How can I notice the things that I am missing?

Looking back on the whole Badge and Project:

~I really enjoyed this Sense Perception Badge. I learned a lot of new information that correlates with my perception and it made me question a lot of everyday things what I would not normally do (ex. concentrating on the little things) I really liked the idea of a Progress Journal. It helped me collect and organize my thoughts and allowed me to reflect on what I learned and completed in class that day. After learning all about sense perception, I am starting to question if what I am sensing is the truth, or the whole truth. I am thinking about what about my environment is changing the way I perceive things. It is a really interesting way to look at life. I find myself thinking deeply about nature and appreciating it more, and finding things that I think I would not regularly notice. Overall, I think this badge was 'eye-opening' and lots of fun~

Our Project

To Notice or Not to Notice

As a group, we decided we wanted to do a project on Selective Perception

Before we started putting the experiment together we did some research on Selective Perception and Change Blindness:

Selective perception

  • The process by which we select, categorize, and analyze stimuli from our environment to create meaningful experiences while blocking out stimuli that contradicts our beliefs or expectations.
  • I.e. we focus on certain aspects in our environment while excluding others
  • We are bad at noticing changes because of selective perception.

Change blindness

  • a failure to detect that an object has moved, disappeared, or changed.
  • We don’t expect a change, so our brain doesn’t pick up on it because of all the information it is receiving.

From this new information we came up with our Knowledge Question:

Is everything that we think we perceive the whole truth?

~I like this knowledge question because it can apply to more than just one sense and more than just Selective Perception~

From this we shaped our experiment:

We first had the inspiration for this project through a YouTube video where you have to count the number of times a basketball is passed, but halfway through, a gorilla walks through and, more often than not, the viewer doesn’t notice -->

Hypothesis: Subjects are not supposed to notice a change in the counting.

Changes in the counting include:

  • Voice switches from Federico to Mia to Federico
  • Numbers jump from 99 to 200


  • Our video
  • Paper, pencil, eraser, sharpie, pink and green pen

Description: The subjects will watch a step-by-step tutorial on how to draw a rose, then subjects will be asked to replicate the drawing after the video ends without referring to the video again.

  • This makes the subject focus solely on the video
This is the rose that the subjects must draw

How it all went down:

  • We took the subjects to a controlled area where they can concentrate
  • Then read them this prompt for the actual testing: We are going to show you a video and you have to remember the steps to recreate the drawing afterwards. You will not be able to refer back to the video. There will be audio of a person counting whilst you are watching the video, but you have to concentrate on the drawing.
  • Then had them draw what was in the video (the rose)
  • Once the finished we asked them: Did you notice a change during the experiment? ...There was a change in the audio. Can you describe it?
  • Then we recorded what they said

Here is our video:


Subject 1:

  • “There was a man voice at the beginning and then there was a woman voice”
  • Did or did not support hypothesis: It did not
  • However, subject 1 did not recognize the skip from 99 to 200
Subject 1 drawing

Subject 2:

  • “There was a man voice at the beginning and then there was a woman voice”
  • Did or did not support hypothesis: It did not
  • However, subject 1 did not recognize the skip from 99 to 200
Subject 2 drawing

Subject 3:

  • “It went from Federico voice to Mia voice to Federico voice.”
  • Did or did not support hypothesis: Did not support
  • However, subject 3 did not recognize the skip from 99 to 200
Subject 3 drawing

Subject 4:

  • “It went from Federico’s voice to Mia’s voice to Federico’s voice. Then the numbers jumped from 99 to 200.”
  • Did or did not support hypothesis: Did not support
Subject 4 drawing


Based on our findings we can deduce that in the case of our experiment, there was no selective perception.

Our experiment might have not supported our hypothesis because:

  • The counting was too loud
  • The video didn’t require enough focus
  • The drawing may have been too easy and not interesting
  • The voice of the tutorial was too boring to concentrate on
  • Subjects we chose knew Federico’s and Mia’s voice
  • The level of artistic talent of the subject

To improve our experiment to prove our hypothesis, we could:

  • Make a video that requires more attention
  • Make the change in voice more subtle

~I thought it was important to include all of the information that went along with my groups experiment because even though it does not show Selective Perception, it still shows how other stimuli affects the results, or how one perceives a whole situation changes the results. For example, subject one mixed up the green and pink colours. This may be because he/she was focusing on the people counting. Also, people managed to actually recognize Federico's and my voice as the counters. This most probably decreased the chance for our subjects to have Selective Perception~

Elective Journal ENTRy

I listened to the TED talk of how blindness gives you vision. Just the title of the Ted Talk drew me into picking this elective reading. How could blindness give you vision? The man in the video talked about not the visual part of vision, but the metaphorical part of vision; how losing one sense heightens others and how that changes the way you perceive the world.

At beginning of the video, I couldn't tell he was blind at all. He started to introduce himself by playing 3 truths, one lie. Everything he said was true, and everything except for becoming blind at a young age sounded fulfilling and successful. I think he did this because he wanted people to see how even a man who has no sight can be super successful.

He made you think about what it would be like being blind. changed the way I thought and saw and interpreted things by allowing myself to think with other sense. It was a really interesting and inspiring video.

EXTENSION proposal

~I chose the case study below because it shows a scientific, or psychological, approach to sense perception. Also, the discussion and conclusion at the end of the study was very interesting and informative. It also shows the correlation between two senses, touch and sight. I think it is a very relevant study to the Sense Perception Badge~

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