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“Mania” Event Brings Behavior Sciences To Life

Nearly 90 students from area schools visited McPherson College on October 23 where they participated in breakout sessions with titles like “Cultural Charades,” “The Pendulum Knows” and “Obviously.” It was all part of the college’s tenth Behavior Mania.

The event is an opportunity for high school teachers to bring junior and senior students to McPherson College and experience activities that bring the behavior sciences to life. Students participate in a variety of activities led by staff and faculty in the college’s behavior science department.

“I think the value of this day can be seen in the fact that some of the schools have been participating in it for several years,” Laura Eells, professor of sociology, said. “I think the students really enjoy it and learn from it. I had lunch with one student who suggested the sessions need to be longer for more time to discuss.”

Professor Eells led one of the groups called “Which Tastes Better,” where participants were asked to taste test pastries and try to determine which was the generic brand. After the students made their determination, they were told the samples were all the same

“The purpose is to show what influences our decisions,” Dr. Eells said. “We talked about the way things like colors or placement of products in movies affect the choices we make even though we think we are making those choices independently.”

Students from Macksville, Salina Central, Southeast of Saline, Bishop Carroll, Kingman, and Herington High Schools attended the event.