Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Ever since taking Child Psychology in college, I have been itching to conduct an experiment that I will call "The Color Confusion Experiment."

Here is the basic idea--from the time a child is born, he/she would be told that the color blue is called "red", green is "purple", red is "black", etc. The person conducting the experiment would have to be very careful to doctor-up all the evidence to the contrary (so books naming colors would need revision, crayons would have to be de-papered, etc.) Other than switching up the names of the colors, everything else about the child's life would be "normal" (if there is such a thing).

What I would be curious to find out is how such a scheme would effect the child's long-term development. Would he have a deep-seated mistrust of authority figures? Would he end up with some serious psychological disorder? Would he assume that his eyes were color-deficient and blame himself? Or, would it create in him a heightened sense of humor, making him a world-class prankster? Or, would it not really effect him at all?

Well, my opportunity has come, but being the kind, loving, and fairly normal mother that I am, I am not going to subject my son to my hair-brained idea. Instead, I'm posting it up here in case one of you wants to conduct the experiment on your kid. If you do decide to undertake this scientific endeavor, please get back to me in 20 years and tell me how your kid turned out. =)


Is it nap time yet? said...

You are funny! =)

It is crazy that a mixing-up-your-colors experiement has the potential to screw up a kid! said...

why are you even baiting me with this experiment...i've always wanted to do something like this with my kids (or just talk wrong around them).
i'll let you know how it goes!

Christianne said...

Ha ha! That's hilarious. I remember when you took that class -- I took it, too! :)

My old boss once told me that she sees letters and numbers as colors in her mind. Like, every time she thinks of the letter M, she sees purple, and the same goes for the rest of the alphabet and numbers. There is a known condition associated with this, but I don't remember what it's called. This post reminded me of it, though.

Caleb's Gram said...

My sister, Lori, associates numbers as male and female. She can consistently run through the alphabet and name the gender, in any combination as a whole; i.e. 8, 26, 497, etc.. She's been doing this since she was a child!

I have a weird thing, which I think partly explains why I'm a decent speller. When I think, talk or write, I "see" the words in my mind. Sometimes it's annoying!

Now, if only it would translate into typing skills!

P.S. Christianne... might be be OCD? LOL

Anonymous said...

8 is a girl, how could anyone not know that???


Is it nap time yet? said...

My mom sees colors as male or female. I have never heard of numbers as male or female though!

Gina Marie said...

I DID do this with my kids. I messed up their letters too, so A is M, B is N and so on. They read kind of funny now. And since you don't know me that well yet you may not now that I am totally kidding (and I tend to joke like that a LOT). I've always wondered if what I see as red isn't what someone else sees as red. You know what I mean? So that would account for why different people like different colors.

My friend's family does this to a lesser extent with their dogs. They train their dogs well, but call squirrels "buffalo" and going to the bathroom "going to the bank" and other strange things. So it's a little odd to hear them talk to their dogs, "Get the buffalo Tigger!"