Jelly Bean Experiment

Jelly Bean Experiment: Students eat jelly beans with their (a) eyes and noses closes, (b) just eyes closed, and (c) with all their senses available

Materials

  • Jelly beans. It's best to use basic flavored jelly beans (e.g., cherry, grape, lemon, orange)
  • Sheet of paper to write guesses
  • Pen or pencil

Directions

  • Each participant will be given 3 jelly beans of the same flavor (very important!). One person (a parent) should organize 3 jelly beans per person and keep the flavors hidden from the participants. 
  • Jelly Bean #1
    • Participants need to plug their nose and close their eyes. It is important that they keep their nose plugged until after they have swallowed the jelly bean completely.
    • Give each participant a jelly bean
    • Have each participant guess what flavor they had and write it down
  • Jelly Bean #2 
    • Don't forget - same flavor as #1!
    • Participants need to only close their eyes 
    • Give each participant a jelly bean
    • Have each participant guess what flavor they had and write it down
  • Jelly Bean #3
    • Don't forget - same flavor as #1 and #2!
    • Participants get all their senses! Eyes and noses open
    • Give each participant a jelly bean
    • Have each participant guess what flavor they had and write it down

Discussion Questions

  • Were all your guesses the same? If not, how and why did they differ?
  • Which jelly bean (1, 2, or 3) was hardest to guess? Easiest? What do you think causes these differences?

Discussion Points

  • A lot of perception is from multiple sensory inputs. Vision would give clues via color and smell is a large component of taste
  • Without all the sensory input, single senses are less accurate and can mislead you.