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The Odd-Ball Effect: How the unexpected affects our perception of timeScience project video


The Odd Ball Effect describes phenomena where the duration of an unexpected observation, appears to be longer than if the observation was expected. Imagine a row of green blinking lights. You observe the lights and estimate that the lights appear and last for intervals of two seconds. While you are observing the lights, a single red light blinks unexpectedly. You will most likely estimate that the the red light displays for a longer duration than that of the green lights, even though the red light has the same duration as the green lights. In this science fair project, you will test the Odd Ball Effect on the participants viewing the slide show.


Demonstrate the Odd Ball Effect on participants viewing a slide show.

Scientific Terms

Odd Ball Effect, Contrast, Perception


The oddball effect provides studies in cognition as it relates to how we respond to novel stimuli, be it visual or auditory in nature and this information has been used in research for the treatment of schizophrenia. When we encounter a novel situation, our attention toward that situation becomes distorted in various ways, including duration of time. It is interesting to know that whilst the Odd Ball Effect is experienced by a person, the person will display certain physical characteristics, including the dilation of his or her pupils.

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