Sense perception: Yanny or Laurel?

(Eileen Dombrowski, from OUP blog) Create a 5-minute buzz in TOK class over sense perception.  Which version of the words do your students hear? It seems that groups of people are truly split over how they interpret the sound file! The first video here (from The Guardian) simply gives the options – as you’ll want just to get your class going – while the second (from CNN) gives some variations and a bit of explanation.

Remember the dress that became such a viral sensation? It’s been three years since it split people over whether it was blue or gold, with many very fierce in their response. Have a look back to what I posted then:  What colour is that dress? Millions disagree!  

Yanny or laurel – blue or gold.  These are lively examples to tuck into TOK files along with the best of our optical illusions. The variability of interpretation in the sense perception of a simple sound or colour allows us to raise in a very lighthearted way in TOK the problematic nature of witnessing and “fact”, and the self-questioning that helps to build more reliable shared knowledge.

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