After one of my boxes breaking and the much thought, I decided to revamp my project slightly. I wanted to incorporate the main functions of the box, so an LCD screen that prints words, and some kind of button that a viewer can press.
I brainstormed with a teacher and we ended up talking about psychology. I had taken psychology before and being someone that has psychological problems, it was a topic that interested me.
We needed some kind of object/sculpture that incorporated text and buttons. I was told to perhaps think about a Skinner's Box.
A Skinner's Box is also called an Operant conditioning chamber. I have studied this experiment before in my past psychology test.
The basics of this test is put a rat in a box. There is a button/lever or multiple buttons/levers in the box along with a dispenser. Sometimes a light or speaker is included. Under the rat's feet is an electrified field. This experiment seeks to study conditioning through negative and positive reinforcements. Whenever the rat presses the right button, the dispenser will dispense food. If the rat presses the wrong button, the floor will shock the rat. There is a clear positive and negative reinforcement.
Over time, the rat will learn to ONLY press the correct button that dispenses food. It will avoid pressing the shock button. Through reward and punishment, the rat "learns" to pick the right button. Sometimes in the experiment, the scientists will actually switch the response of the buttons after the rat has been accustomed to the original position. They found that the rat will naturally hit the original button and once it finds out it shocks it, it will slowly learn to revert its thinking process.
Through this concept, I wanted to create a "human" version of the Skinner's Box. I want to give a clear reward and punishment through performance.
With wood, I want to make a small "cage" where two large red buttons will be placed. An LCD screen in the center will prompt the viewer to press any of the two buttons.
When the "correct" button is pressed, me, or some helper, sitting behind the "cage" will extend a gloved hand through the hole and offer candy or something else.
If the "wrong" button is pressed, a gloved hand will squirt water at the viewer's face with a bottle. Each time the buttons are pressed, random messages will either encourage the viewer or insult them to add to the negative or positive conditioning.