Melinda Foshat

Poetry, Prose, Photography


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The Flower Experiment

Since today is the first day of May, this warm spring weather has brought back memories of a flower experiment I thought up last year. One day I would like to travel to the city and perform this experiment, just for my own curiosity. The experiment would be rather simple but I think it would be insightful in regards to how modern culture views quality and quantity.

The Basis of the project would be this:

Go into the city and first ask strangers (without showing them any flowers) if they would prefer to be given a rose or a wildflower. Then proceed to ask them to choose between 3 wildflowers and one rose.  If someone prefers the rose both times, reveal to them the flowers. Ideally, the roses should be somewhat more brittle or wilted than the wildflowers. Ask the stranger again which type of flower they would prefer. It would be interesting to see how many people still prefer the wilted rose over three lively wild flowers.

The second part of the experiment would consist of a flower display in which the rose is placed in a crystal vase and the wildflowers in a basket. Again, see how many people prefer each type of flower upon seeing the display. Then switch the two arrangements (placing the rose in the basket and the wildflowers in the crystal vase) and see if this alteration changes their preference.

This is a very simplified example of such a flower experiment. You could probably do a lot more with it by incorporating more flowers or displays. Still, I am curious to find out the results. Who knows, you might see me in the streets one day asking: “what type of flower would you prefer?”

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