I am so excited finally a request for a project related to psychology! Your project would relate under the study of perception within psychology. Optical illusions often are representative of a perceptual set, although there are many other forms of illusions as well such as a simple perceptual illusion. I would like to give you an example,in a popular image that contains a man playing a saxophone and a woman's face, is seen in one form initially. If I was to look at an several images prior to of saxophones, that would create a mental predisposition so I would initially view the man with a saxophone.
Here is the link to the image. http://www.qualitytrading.com/illusions/saxwoman.html
Psychologists know a lot about how people respond to illusions already, but you would still be welcome to complete a project similar to the one I described testing perceptual sets. I could help you take it a step further to find some meaningful applications. If you are interested I can assist you on setting up a research plan and it would be fairly simple and great if your deadline is near.
I would actually encourage you to take this a much bigger step further. You can take fundamental concepts from optical illusions and make an experiment that studies perception in a real-life application. For example, creating a unique experiment that analyzes the effect of common schemas (past experiences) on one's perception.
I am trying to let you know that there are many areas of perception that you can create an experiment in. You might also want to search the American Psychological Associations Journal Database or find a psychology textbook and read more about perception.
Often times students do psychological experiments for science fair projects without any solid background information. If you read about perception generally and read about similar studies that have been done in your subject area; you will be much more successful. You will understand the research methods involved and the variables to control. I have judged a few science fairs and I often see students make incredibly false claims on a specific topic in which so much literature already exists.
Let me know what you are interested in studying or possibly testing. I am make sure you avoid common mistakes so you have an extremely successful and unarguable project.
- Travis Sigafoos