5 Psychological Experiments

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An extremely depressing read, but presented with surprisingly good, humorous writing. Of course none of these experiments are flawless and what they demonstrate is not cold, hard, universal fact... but still something to chew on.

The basic idea is that people will do anything in their power to avoid conflict, unless they're certain they're in control of the situation... at which point they become pricks.

You might like to think of yourself as a free-thinking marauder, but when it comes down to it, odds are you won't stick it to The Man because of the fear The Man will stick it right back up your ass. And this was just a guy in a lab coat--imagine if he'd had a uniform, or a badge.

The Milgram experiment was reproduced several times over. The number of participants delivering lethal shocks stayed pretty steady at around 60%.

The biggest things that seemed to influence the outcomes were physical proximity to either the authority figure or victim and the "legitimacy" of the organization.

The problem I have with the Milgram experiment is that I suspect some of the participants realized they weren't actually shocking someone.

What the research found was that people believed that Yale wouldn't put them in a position to harm someone. When a "less-respected" institution conducted the experiment; lethal compliance dropped to below 50%. But still the actual footage of the experiment is fascinating.

People are sheep. We do only as we're told.

Ah, the golden age of psychology, back when you could completely f*ck people up in the name of science!

Reaper81 wrote:

What the research found was that people believed that Yale wouldn't put them in a position to harm someone. When a "less-respected" institution conducted the experiment; lethal compliance dropped to below 50%. But still the actual footage of the experiment is fascinating.

People are sheep. We do only as we're told.

Worse. When was the last time you tried to tell a sheep what to do? Most shepherds I've heard of use intimidation and force.

Wow 8/10 of you would torture a puppy because some dude in a white coat asked you to, you people make me sick!( ) (Apparently in the puppy cooking experiment, the 6 that refused were all men, all 13 women tried to cook the poor little puppy dog, Ala Poor Fluffy, I knew him well...)

Welcome to my reality. These five experiments have been introduced and reintroduced to me as a psych undergrad over many classes. You'll get over it though. Understanding our weaknesses is the first step in helping ourselves rise above them, even if that prospect seems unlikely.

I want an experiment involving organized crime, reckless driving, and live "adult entertainment" workers. At the end, you could ask participants if "It's just an experiment" counts as an excuse.

...

Ok, I'm sorry I just did that. I'm not taking it back, though!