Day 6- August 27, 2009

Today wasn’t at all that exciting. To begin with, I only got to sleep around 2.30 last night, so when I woke up this morning, I was in somewhat of a zombie-like stage. A zombie that needed coffee.

First off was my Psych tute. We discussed conformity for some time and watched a video of the Asch experiment in which gullible people gave the wrong answers to obvious questions simply because that’s what everybody else was doing.

Our activity was to replicate the old stare-and-point-at-the-sky-to-see-how-many-people-you-can-fool gag, so we were given worksheets and told to go and trick the general public. The idea was that we would first see what the effects were of one person gazing and pointing at nothing in particular on the behaviour of passers-by, and then trying it with larger groups.

After much deliberation over who would start the experiment, who would then join in, who would be recording the number of people who stopped to look, what the secret signal would be for more and more people to join the group and other confusing miscellea, we finally took the tram down to Melbourne Central to perform this so-called experiment. Apologies to anybody who was there today and wondered exactly a dozen or so people were standing and pointing at the top of the Shot Tower.

Today’s photo is one I took of the group standing in the middle of the shopping centre and pointing fingers, pretending to excitedly call friends and other actions designed to give the impression that something spectacular was going on. In the end, we all decided that it probably could have been pulled off slightly better, there were many extraneous variables that were not controlled for and we all looked like rather a group of idiots. So we bailed back to the uni.

After my Self and Other tute (in which we analysed Holocaust museum pamphlets for some reason), I had a grand total of four hours until my next lecture. I spent it, of course, sitting in a study room, reading articles about social networks for my extremely vague Psychology essay, in the process learning that being friends with obese people is more likely to make you obese and that depression is contagious (how depressing).

Finally, another lecture and then home as quickly as possible to feed my grumbling stomach! (Leftover schitznel and vegetable lasagne).

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