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Following Instructions

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This is an exercise which demonstrates the importance of not jumping to conclusions when following instructions.

Give everybody a sheet with the following instructions printed on it:

Can You Follow Directions?

Three minute test:
  1. Read everything before you do anything.
  2. Put your name in the upper right hand corner of this page.
  3. Circle the word 'name' in sentence two.
  4. Draw five small squares in the top right-hand corner.
  5. Put an X in each square you have just drawn.
  6. Put a circle around each square.
  7. Sign your name under the title of this page.
  8. After the title write 'yes yes yes'.
  9. Underline sentences number seven and eight.
  10. Put an X in the lower left-hand corner of this page.
  11. Draw a triangle around the X you have just made.
  12. On the back of this page multiply seventy by thirty.
  13. Draw a circle around the word 'top' on sentence four.
  14. Loudly call out your first name when you reach this point in the test.
  15. If you think you have carefully followed these directions, call out 'I have carefully followed the directions'.
  16. On the reverse side of this paper add 107 and 278.
  17. Count out in your normal speaking voice from one to ten.
  18. If you are the first person to get this far, shout out loudly 'I am the first person to get this far following these instructions.'
  19. Punch three small holes in your paper with your pencil here . . .
  20. Now that you have finished reading carefully, do only sentences one and two.

Debrief by asking what happened and why it happened.

PDF handout

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