Finger pointing in air playing Paradigm Shift

Paradigm Shift

Quick, engaging exercise to explore different perspectives.

  • Simple
  • Intriguing
  • Inspires powerful metaphors
  • No props

Step-by-Step Instructions

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Add your Comments...

Have you played this activity? What worked, what didn't work? What type of group? Do you have useful advice for other users? Do you know a fun variation?

Comments (10)

  1. Mark

    For those struggling to visualise how this exercise works, check out the Video Tutorial tab for some visual pointers.

  2. Tgulliver

    I’m just not getting this one. It would be great to see a video as I am sure I am not holding my hand correctly. It is always going clockwise – palm towards me, palm away, up or down. I am keen to try this one for the learning outcomes of perspective but can’t figure it out. is there another activity that will give the same perspective learning outcome as quickly? thanks

    • Mark

      I understand Tania. May I suggest we schedule a Zoom call so I can demo the exercise live in front of you? It will take 3 mins and I’m confident you’ll get it. Reach out via the contact form, detailing a few days/times you would be available to connect (don’t forget to add where you’ll be beaming in from, so we can adjust for time zones.)

  3. Chris Ortiz

    Small tip that can help… When you ask them to move their hands in that clockwise direction… do so with your palm facing you. When your hand is above you that is not the “natural” way but as you try to lower your hand it is very natural. I think some people who extend their pointer finger above them with the palm away feels natural… then as they lower the hand… it is difficult to maintain the motion so they “switch” accidentally. Just a thought that has helped me in this one.

    • Mark

      Great tip, Chris – much appreciated. I’ll update the instructions accordingly 🙂

  4. Susan McKenzie

    I am having the same question as Irene. It appears to be going clockwise no matter the perspective: looking up or down.

    • Mark

      Susan, thanks for commenting – it is not possible for your finger (hand) to continue in the same (clockwise) direction if you view it from below and then above this movement. Feel free to reach out for a brief Zoom call and I’d be happy to demonstrate exactly how it looks.

    • calfaotilia

      Hello Susan,

      I had some challenges too. When you look at your finger from below it is going to move clockwise, but if lower your hand enough to see it from above, your finger will move anticlockwise. When you lower your hand you need to see your finger from above for observing the ilusion. Your finger needs to be low enough that you will look at it from above (watching how the fingertip moves – for anti clockwise ilusion). Hope this will help you.

  5. prosivendola

    Hi Mark, I have tried myself and do not seem to get it “right”, maybe I am not interpreting well the otherwise easy instructions. Do you maybe have a video of how the activity goes? thanks!

    • Mark

      Irene, I do not presently have a video of the full activity at this point, sorry. I know that would make a difference. The key is that your audience will discover that their finger will “appear” to have changed direction because their perspective of how they view their rotating finger has changed. They started by looking up and underneath their rotating finger (spinning clockwise) and then as they lowered it and finally started to view it from above, they should note that their finger is rotating anti-clockwise – again, because their perspective has shifted.

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