For an infant psychology experiment, I need two objects, which are
visually virtually indistinguishable, one of which can be eaten, and
one of which is safe for an infant to handle but is not edible. (The
experiment will involve the parents eating an object which the infant
believes it has previously handled, although it actually handled the
Infant safe means the object is large enough not to present a choking
hazard to infants between 12 and 24 months, and is non-toxic (even if
chewed). Ideal size would be very roughly 4cm cube.
Edible means something which the majority of people would be happy to eat.
The objects should not be something which most infants are very familiar with.
Ideas I have had:
Joke sweets made out of rubber. Problems: finding an edible sweet
which looks the same; sweets are too small.
Some kind of plastinisation of an edible object. Problems: I have no
idea if this is possible, affordable, or if it produces non-toxic
I bet there are better ideas!
A correct answer will include either instructions for creating the
objects (able to be followed by someone without sophisticated tools or
expertise), the details of someone who can affordably create the
objects, or the details of suppliers who can affordably provide the
"Affordable" depends on the quality of the objects. For something
perfectly matching all my criterea I could pay around 400 dollars.
Clarification of Question by
27 Jul 2006 09:19 PDT
Thanks Bobbie, that's a long way in the right direction! I should have
been more specific about the required dimensions. The objects must fit
in my slightly oddly shaped box. I just measured it, and it's 12cm
long, with a cross-sectional shape of a D on its side, with base 10cm
and arc radius 3.5cm (made by cutting a tin can along a plane parallel
to and close to the axis). Apologies for the fact that my original
suggestion of a 4cm cube wouldn't have fitted!
That means the croissant probably wouldn't fit. The biscuits are
probably too familiar, and the sushi unfortunately not eaten by many
(and very impractical in the lab).
Many of the foods, such as the fruit, would be the right shape, but I
think just too familiar.
That is why I was mainly thinking of sweets originally (I think that's
candy in American) - because you can always find an obscure weird
A really bizarre exotic fruit might do the trick (although most of the
Trengove one's are pretty standard) but remember the parents must be
willing to eat it, and I must be able to get hold of it.