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Half of college students believe in emission theory? FAIL

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  • Half of college students believe in emission theory? FAIL

    50% of college students believe in the emission theory of vision? Even worse, the survey was done with college students that had just taken a psychology class and were explicitly taught how vision works.

    College student fail.

    http://www.spring.org.uk/2008/03/50-...ink-we-see.php

  • #2
    Re: Half of college students believe in emission theory? FAIL

    WTF is Vision theory? Not only do College students fail.. but college grads as well..
    |TG|ARMA Pathfinder
    ..now where did I put my keys?

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    • #3
      Re: Half of college students believe in emission theory? FAIL

      doesn't surprise me.



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      • #4
        Re: Half of college students believe in emission theory? FAIL

        Originally posted by peardog View Post
        WTF is Vision theory? Not only do College students fail.. but college grads as well..
        Vision theory? I take it, theories about how the faculty of visual perception works. What's so fail about theories of vision?

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        • #5
          Re: Half of college students believe in emission theory? FAIL

          What surprises me is not the lack of knowledge, but rather the lack of logic. I wouldn't be surprised if when asked to explain vision theory people couldn't, but when presented with those four answers it isn't hard to figure out which is right with even the most simple rational calculations. For instance, if our eyes really did emit radiation then why if we turn off ambient light sources can we no longer see?

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          • #6
            Re: Half of college students believe in emission theory? FAIL

            I find that the American public in general is quite ignorant of basic scientific facts and concepts.



            TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran

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            • #7
              Re: Half of college students believe in emission theory? FAIL

              We see because angles carry the pictures to our souls. Unless you are bad then demons carry the pictures.

              Also thunder is god bowling and rain is the tears of angles. Not only that an intelligent being designed life.
              Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
              - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
              - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
              - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
              - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
              - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
              - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

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              • #8
                Re: Half of college students believe in emission theory? FAIL

                I'm stunned.


                POE2 Developer

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                • #9
                  Re: Half of college students believe in emission theory? FAIL

                  Maybe a lot of college kids have cameras with IR lights for pictures in the dark and figure your eye bounces some invisible beam off objects to see, like the camera. I did know of a person in high school who believed this about cats. She would say "That's why their eyes glow weird in the dark and when you takes pictures of them with a flash."

                  The problem is her concept isn't too far off: we see by picking up light bouncing off objects. But it's difficult to convince someone that light is from a source outside their eyes. For the cat eye example, it is emitting light, but not in of itself anymore than the glass in a mirror when reflecting the light from a burning candle.

                  Then again, when I do play 1 vs 100 and a basic biology question comes up, I know I'm about to score a lot of points. Basic physics? "Most abundant element in the universe?" It's carbon, right? RIGHT!?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Half of college students believe in emission theory? FAIL

                    Even the camera with an IR light doesn't take pictures in the dark by emitting some beam of energy from its photoreceptors. The IR light isn't what the image is "imprinted" on. The IR light merely provides extra illumination that gets reflected off the object, which the camera's "eye" can see.

                    In one sense energy is emitted from our eyes - some amount of heat is emitted as infrared radiation. But no visible light is emitted from our eyes. Visible light reflected off our eyes doesn't count as emission of light. Reflection is something different than emission.

                    I don't see how it can be difficult to convince someone in this day and age, living in the civilized world, that their eyes are not light sources. After all, why is it that they can't see in the dark? If your eyes were light sources, then there shouldn't ever be darkness, so long as your eyes are open and emitting light on to things. We would have no need to light bulbs and such if our eyes were light sources.

                    Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Half of college students believe in emission theory? FAIL

                      While I wasn't quite familiar with the terminology, the answer to the question was blatantly obvious. You really would have had to ignore your entire life's worth of science classes to not get that one. I bet I could have answered that correctly when I was in elementary school. Then again, we grew up with Mr. Wizard, 3-2-1 Contact, and such.
                      "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

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                      • #12
                        Re: Half of college students believe in emission theory? FAIL

                        The roots of the idea that we see by firing rays out of our eyes goes back way past Superman and X-Men. Famous Swiss child psychologist Jean Piaget was perhaps the first to notice that children have strange misconceptions about vision, including the idea that we see by sending out rays; and that, as a result, people's looks can literally meet in mid-air (Piaget, 1974).
                        And that explains why comic books and the movies based on them are so silly. They go completely contrary to science because comic book writers are scientific idiots. Even the most everyday modern technical phenomena are a complete mystery to them.

                        But here's the really scary part:

                        For one thing it shows the difficulty in overturning people's ingrained beliefs about science. Virginia Gregg and colleagues tested the effect of education even more explicitly by asking students to read passages from textbooks directly before taking the test about how we see (Gregg et al., 2001).

                        Still no dice: it made virtually no difference. Students were reading the information and then, apparently, completely ignoring it.

                        Actually we shouldn't be surprised by this. A fair amount of research has already been carried out into tackling misconceptions in science. It turns out that people are remarkably resistant to changing their beliefs. Immediately after being told the correct concept clearly enough they may get it right, but only for a short time. Soon after it will often spring right back to their original, incorrect belief.
                        This isn't even religious "knowledge". This is just basic science with no religious investment on the part of the subjects to cling to their beliefs. Now imagine what happens when you hit them with the really challenging stuff, like evolution or neurology or sexuality, where current science slams religion square between the eyes.
                        Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                        snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                        Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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                        • #13
                          Re: Half of college students believe in emission theory? FAIL

                          About 50% of them also believes that the earth is less than 10,000-years-old and that evolution isn't true because it's "just a theory".

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                          • #14
                            Re: Half of college students believe in emission theory? FAIL

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                            • #15
                              Re: Half of college students believe in emission theory? FAIL

                              Originally posted by sordavie View Post
                              Even the camera with an IR light doesn't take pictures in the dark by emitting some beam of energy from its photoreceptors. The IR light isn't what the image is "imprinted" on. The IR light merely provides extra illumination that gets reflected off the object, which the camera's "eye" can see.
                              People are so ingrained with half-truths, they are likely prone to take the phrase "Your eye is like a camera lens" and apply it wholesale. It's crap like this that leads to people believing the moon landing was faked because you can't see stars in the background. Even when presented with facts the the contrary, they still retain these beliefs.

                              In one sense energy is emitted from our eyes - some amount of heat is emitted as infrared radiation. But no visible light is emitted from our eyes. Visible light reflected off our eyes doesn't count as emission of light. Reflection is something different than emission.
                              Hence my comment about mirrors not generating visible light.

                              I don't see how it can be difficult to convince someone in this day and age, living in the civilized world, that their eyes are not light sources. After all, why is it that they can't see in the dark? If your eyes were light sources, then there shouldn't ever be darkness, so long as your eyes are open and emitting light on to things. We would have no need to light bulbs and such if our eyes were light sources.
                              There's still a huge debate raging today about whether the completely observable process of evolution actually exists. Good lord, a college educated woman I met looked at me crazy when I said "Ghosts don't exist and Ghosthunters isn't worth the cheap cameras they use to film it."

                              It really boils down to a failure of people not being taught to think critically, or even if they do, they should accept "Certain aspects of life" at face value. And you have waaaay to much faith in the average person to actually analyze a situation before commenting on it.

                              Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe.
                              Which is why I scored about 900 extra points when 90% of 10,000 people missed that one (Carbon was what all three of the guys/girls in my "group" picked). Oak trees also have "Woody Stems," not "Coniferous" which 90% of people missing it is likely explained by "Woody Stem" not sounding all that scientific.

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