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Others Like “It's Written All Over Your Face: The Science of Facial Expressions”

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail If someone is smiling, it means they're happy, right? Well, not always. Sometimes people smile to be polite, or because they want to "appear" happy or friendly for social reasons. How easy is it to spot which smiles are genuine and which are fake? Try this science fair project to find out! Read more
HumBeh_p043
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever watched a great sports player and imitated his or her moves over and over again? Or have you ever felt really bad when someone got hurt or things just weren't going his or her way? If so, you might be surprised to learn that you have been practicing skills closely tied to lying! In this science fair project, you'll discover how your brain gets a workout when it moves from truth-telling to lying, and how you can detect the shift. That's no lie! Read more
HumBio_p019
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability None
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever seen a baby in the park and wondered if it was a boy or a girl? Maybe once you found out the gender, you thought how sweet, mischievous, or cute the baby was. But wait…do you think that the words you used to describe the baby might be based on your own gender stereotypes? A gender stereotype is when you expect someone to act a certain way simply because he or she is a boy or a girl. In this human behavior science project, you will investigate whether young children use gender… Read more
HumBeh_p054
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites You will need access to three equally sized groups of either 4th or 5th graders (60–90 test subjects). The children should all be able to read without assistance.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Psychologists have long studied why people find certain faces more attractive than others. One interesting method used in this area of research is mixing several faces together to make a composite face. The composite face averages the input faces, so that small, non-symmetric features tend to get lost. In this human behavior science project, you will use an online tool to make composite faces, and determine how they compare to real faces in perceived attractiveness. Read more
HumBeh_p055
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites This science project involves making a set of pages containing images (faces) that have been downloaded from the Internet. Access to Microsoft® Word or similar word processing software is required. You will be making copies of and handing out your figures to your test subjects.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail You might have heard the expression, "Take two aspirin, and call me in the morning." What if instead a doctor said, "Play two video games and call me in the morning"? Would you be shocked? Or think it was time for a new doctor? In this science fair project, you'll investigate whether video games, and other forms of mental distraction, have the power to relieve pain. Read more
Games_p016
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Volunteers with a history of heart problems, diabetes, or allergic reactions to cold should not participate in this experiment. All electrical cords should be cleared away from the ice water testing area. Adult supervision is required during testing.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that cosmetics companies employ teams of specialized chemists to develop and test each new line of makeup, perfume, lotion, or soap? This science project lets you be the cosmetics chemist. It shows how to manufacture your own lip gloss in your kitchen using a short list of ingredients. Check it out, and then apply some creative cosmetics science of your own. Read more
Chem_p022
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Look for ingredients at drug stores, craft shops, health foods stores, or online retailers like Amazon.com
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Minor injury possible
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever thought to yourself, "I have got to have that new video game right now?" Or maybe there's a new shirt at the store that you just have to have. So you rush home, break into your bank, and gather all of your money, even though you have been saving to buy your mom a gift. But wait! Maybe if you do a few more chores and save for just a few more days, you can gather enough money to buy your mom a gift and buy what you want. This behavior is called delayed gratification and it's what… Read more
HumBeh_p046
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites You will need to survey several preschool-aged children. You must also have access to a video camera with a digital timer and a tripod.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever taken notes from the chalkboard during class and not noticed what was going on around you? Or have you ever been so focused on a task that you haven't seen other people around you? In both of these cases, you were paying attention, but you were seeing without seeing! This is called inattentional blindness and it's the topic that you will investigate in this human behavior science fair project. If you are interested in how the human brains perceives information, then this might… Read more
HumBeh_p050
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites You must have access to a video camera and a television, as well as access to at least 50 middle school-aged subjects. Since you will be shooting a test video for this science fair project, you must find a quiet location, like an empty basketball court, on which to shoot.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that our brains are split into two parts, right inside our head? One half is the left brain and the other half is the right brain. Some people use one half of the brain more than the other half when they are doing certain activities, like talking or reading. The half that is used is sometimes tied to which hand they prefer to use. If someone likes to use their right hand when doing an activity, like drawing or throwing a ball, do they also prefer to use their right ear, eye, or… Read more
HumBio_p007
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail What do you consider creepy? Clowns? Zombies? Video game characters with jerky movement? In 1970, a roboticist by the name of Masahiro Mori suggested that people are "creeped out" by robots that are almost, but not exactly, humanlike. He called this phenomena the uncanny valley. But researchers are still exploring and defining the uncanny valley. In this science project, you can do your own exploration—just try not to creep your friends out too badly! Read more
HumBeh_p056
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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