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Peer Review

Muller Lyer Illusion Experiment

by Gary Bradshaw


Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Oct 10, 2001 by Psychology
Overview: This site provides a simulated experiment which collects data on the effects of the Muller Lyer Illusion. A series of web pages first describe the illusion with text and illustrations, then provide an interactive demonstration of the phenomena, then go on to explain the methodology, including short tutorials on the psychophysical method of adjustment, then describe clearly what the independent and dependent variables are, and finally layout the detail of the experimental procedure. With this background students can participate in an experiment and receive printable output of their data. A Java plugin may be required for some systems. This experimental simulation is one component of the Internet Psych Lab (IPL).
Type of Material: Simulation
Technical Requirements: This site requires: a 1.1 Java compatible browser.
Identify Major Learning Goals: To provide an interactive context for learning about thinking and perceiving by interacting with the Muller Lyer illusion.

Type of Leaning Process: (Non-exhaustive list of descriptive examples of types of learning processes: The processes engaged by fully using the site (1) require students to discover knowledge on their own, (2) teach students to be active learners through interactive simulation, (3) explicitly engage students in critical thinking activities, (4) require students to generalize knowledge to other contexts; (5) explicitly teach students useful cognitive strategies and thinking skills, (6) engage receptive learning through well-written text, (7) engage receptive learning through dynamic animations, (8) engage receptive learning through multimedia presentations):
This experimental simulation is an effective strong use of a new media interactive simulation to direct learning experiences for participants in the context of excellent old media (text and pictures) as support for the new media interactivity. .
Target Student Population: The Muller Lyer Illusion Experiment is aimed at college students studying cognition, sensation, and perception.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: It would be useful, but not necessary, to have concurrent, ongoing learning in a course or through a book about perception and cognition.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The quality of this site's learning process is truly excellent in that it engages students in active learning, including data collection.
The content materials supporting the interactive learning processes are very well done, clearly presented and accurate.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The Muller Lyer Illusion is an important phenomenon in sensation and perception; an experimental simulation of this illusion is easily integrated into a research based psychology course, particularly in the area of cognition and perception.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The site is well presented and organized. Overall, it is very easy to use.
Concerns: Some students and instructors who do not know what a plugin is nor how to download one, could use an explicit tutorial for downloading the Java plugin.