Out of sight, not conversation: Blindfolded Conversations2 min read
MANIPAL: ‘Blindfolded Conversations’, a social experiment and pre-event to Manipal International Literature and Arts Platform (M.I.L.A.P.), was conducted exclusively by The Psych Club of Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) on September 10.
The Psych Club is a platform for students that are passionate about psychology to conduct social experiments, workshops and talks about understanding body language and analysing handwriting, amongst other activities. The purpose of this experiment was to see if human communication can flourish without having the bias of vision. The test was to see if conversations were unfettered or not.
The participants were blindfolded, spread into multiple groups and brought together the different groups. They were made to sit down and inform the organisers as to whether they knew the person sitting in front of them. The rules were explained – you could not reveal personal information nor were you allowed to take off the blindfold unless both parties agreed to after the conversation ended. Participants could speak to more than one person, if they chose to.
The conversations could be about anything – from a confession to hobbies or how their day went. The conversations were kept confidential. When asked if they monitored the conversations, members of The Psych Club were stern on the ‘invasion of privacy’ policy.
“The society sort of gives a negative influence on people talking about their problems. It makes them look weak. I believe that is what we are trying to do. We are trying to showcase that it is okay to talk about your problems, to be yourself and you do not need to judge another person based on that,” said organiser Devdatta Mahesh Joshi, third-year, Computer and Communications Engineering, MIT.
A participant commented, “Since you do not get to see the other person, you mentally connect with them and learn new things. I had gone last year, but this year’s experience was great because the conversations went on longer. It all depends on the person, that way I think it models and shapes the conversation. Not having sight means you cannot immediately judge the person in three seconds. Taking away the sight means there is no chance of being judged during the conversation.”
“It was a good experience. Visions obstruct hearing because light travels faster than sound. This was just to put a pause on that law,” said Ishita Singh, third-year, Kasturba Medical College (KMC) student.
Sruthi Krishna Kumar Iyer, a second-year Mechanical Engineering student from MIT said, “Speaking to someone whom I did not know, finding out their interests and hobbies, was definitely fun.”
The event was received positively, as more than 200 people were present. Blindfolded Conversations has continually been a popular site for conversations to unfold unconventionally each semester.
Featured Image Courtesy: Siri Spandana
Edited by: Karthika Venugopal