Walking in Circles

based on 52 ratings
Author: Shelly Smith

Grade Level: 6th to 8th; Type: Human Biology


This project explores whether human beings, deprived of any points of reference, will, in attempting to walk a straight course, walk in circles.

Research Question:

  • Do blindfolded subjects told to walk in a straight line consistently walk in circles?

It has long been a popular belief that human beings, deprived of any points of reference (such as lost in a desert) will, thinking they are going in a straight line, actually walk in circles. This belief has recently been scientifically corroborated, but the exact cause for the phenomenon is still uncertain.


  • Large, flat, quiet, open space
  • Test subjects
  • Blindfold

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Blindfold the test subject.
  2. Tell the subject to walk continuously in a straight line.
  3. Observe the path the subject takes.
  4. Repeat for all subjects.

Terms/Concepts: walking in circles, point of reference


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