Engaging students with hands-on activities: Connecting Mental Set and Perception

In Jean Gorski’s Psychology class, students use the laptops to experience a variety of illusions first-hand, illusions that can’t always be displayed properly on paper. In these online experiments, students personally experience the impact of factors such as experience and expectation on perception.



Each student is able to experience the influences on mental set both in a group environment and individually. By experiencing a variety of illusions first-hand, students are able to apply the concept of the lesson to their own experience, making a valuable connection between psychological theory and practice. The laptops enable students to experience psychological concepts in a real-world atmosphere, as opposed to an artificial experience of reading about them in a textbook.


After the experiments, students use online research to figure out why an individual’s expectation or experience led to an incorrect conclusion. They then participate in a class discussion to share their results and to describe the advantages and disadvantages of mental set.

The lesson is here.


Written by