Thursday, May 25, 2017

Walking in a Straight Line While Blindfolded is No Easy Task

On Wednesday, we took to the outdoors to test out the curious phenomenon of trying to navigate while blindfolded. Much like the research predicted, very few students followed a straight path once they left our predetermined starting point.

Students worked in partners so the blindfolded "subject" was monitored by a spotter (to prevent people from walking into traffic or trees). The goal was to get across the field to a gate directly on the other side. As the video below shows, this proved to be difficult. Most students quickly began to drift from the straight line they believed they were walking, and few got anywhere near the target area.

Apparently, this phenomenon has been puzzling researchers for some time, but it does explain why people so easily get lost in the woods (when all the visual cues appear the same) or in fog. For more on how this has been studied in the past see the video below.

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