The Development of Social Learning Experiment

Over the past few weeks, I have taken part in an experiment for University College London. The experiment would help one of the University’s studies associated with teenagers and their ability to learn about social information changes.

Besides the payment offered, my friends and I decided this would be a good opportunity to do something different and learn how to commit to something. There were two sessions at school led by a lady called Jovita and 14 days of mind training at home.

The in-school session was made up of quite a few mind games, consisting of pictures in different scenarios, faces with different expressions, i.e., sad or happy, and words being displayed on the screen. These words could be either positive words, negative words, or neutral ones, like the word ‘table’ or ‘cat’. In some of the games we had to remember the location of the faces on a 4×4 grid, on some of them we had to see if the word matched the face, and others we had to see if the picture was positive or negative. After this game, we were connected to an online questionnaire regarding our feelings, emotions and actions in different social circumstances.

We were sent another questionnaire was about our feelings towards our personal development and the people around us and given a link to an App. This consisted of three games, similar to the ones we had done in school. For the first three days the App picked the game for us and after this we were allowed to pick for ourselves. The three games included us remembering the location of faces, remembering previous words, and a mix of the two. There was then a final session in school.

In conclusion, my friends and I were happy to have taken part in the UCL experiment. The training sessions took time and thought, but I am happy I participated. This has been a really great experience and I would truly recommend this to anyone thinking of doing it in the years ahead. Not only have I helped UCL out with their experiments, I have learnt the importance of commitment and the meaning of time.

By Nicole Bishop
Year 8