Psychological experiments on the behavior, which opened the unpleasant truth about people

Man has always been fascinated by the unknown of how the mind works and what are the causes of our behavior. And at the beginning of the XX century was developed experimental psychology.

Studies have investigated a number of areas: from behavioral to social dynamics and complex biological processes occurring in the brain. The results of carefully controlled studies conducted in the name of Experimental Psychology, told a lot about the human condition, thanks to them we have a better understanding why we behave one way or another.

We have compiled a list of the most famous and intriguing experiments of the last century. From the simplest to learn complex social behaviors that reveal how the human subconscious works, and shift the accepted ethical framework. Are you sure you think about it, if all you know about yourself, and what a person really is.

Psychological experiments on the behavior, which opened the unpleasant truth about people

"Blue-eyed / brown-eyed"

In 1968, after the murder of a fighter for civil rights Martin Luther King teacher Jane Elliott tried to discuss the issue of discrimination, racism and prejudice from the third grade students in the school in Risevill, Iowa. Feeling that children not only understand what it means discrimination based on skin color, but never met her symptoms in a small town, Elliot start a two-day exercise, "blue-eyed / brown-eyed," to show the injustice of racism.

The pupils were divided into two groups according to eye color. Holders of blue eyes were privileges in the educational process: the second portion for lunch, access to a new game room, the extra five minutes at recess. Elliott placed blue-eyed pupils on the front row of class, while brown-eyed were sent to the back rows. She motivated charges to communicate only with classmates from their group, advising them to avoid contact with the brown-eyed students. Also, representatives of the two groups were not allowed to drink water from the same fountain. Brown-eyed constantly punished by the teacher, when you do not follow the rules or allow any mistakes. Elliott emphasized the differences between the groups, highlighting the advantages of the blue-eyed brown-eyed students and disadvantages. The next day, privileged students were brown-eyed.

As a result, the group that was considered superior, began to learn better. Those who are subjected to discrimination, were admitted more mistakes - even those students who were before the experiment honors.

Psychological experiments on the behavior, which opened the unpleasant truth about people

Steps in the form of piano

Initiative Volkswagen group called The Fun Theory ( "Theory of fun") wanted to prove that human behavior can change for the better, if you add in the routine and boring activities fun. They were placed in the Stockholm subway as a stage piano to see how many people choose the stairs instead of the escalator.

The results showed that on the day of the ladder with musical stages have chosen 66 percent.

Psychological experiments on the behavior, which opened the unpleasant truth about people

Fiddler on the subway

January 12, 2007 about a thousand passengers, in the morning passing through a subway station in Washington, DC, to hear a little free concert that performed the virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell. He played about 45 minutes, performing six classic works on the Stradivarius 1713 violin year, which, according to some reports, it is worth 3, 5 million dollars.

Only six people stopped to listen to music. About 20 gave money, continuing to walk their normal pace. Fiddler collected $ 32. When he finished playing and silence, no one noticed. No one applauded. No one realized that one of the best musicians in the world played one of the most challenging tracks on a violin worth 3, 5 million dollars. Writer and journalist, Washington Post Gene Weingarten (Gene Weingarten), the author of this experiment, described him "as an experiment on the context, perception and priorities, as well as the assessment of public taste: In a banal and boring atmosphere in an awkward time for everyone, whether visible beauty "?.

Psychological experiments on the behavior, which opened the unpleasant truth about people


Smoke in the room

For the experiment, people were gathered in one room, which completed the survey, when from under the door suddenly the smoke. What would you do? Likely to be stood up and left the room, or reported it to the responsible person. Now imagine the same situation, except that you are not alone, you are more people, which does not seem worried about the smoke.

Two hired actor had to behave as if nothing is happening. As a result, only 10% of the subjects had left the room, or reported smoke. 9 out of 10 actually continued to work on the questionnaire, rubbing his eyes and chasing away the smoke from his face.

The experiment showed that people react more slowly or not at all respond to emergency situations in the presence of passive personality. We rely heavily on the reaction and behavior of others than their own instincts. If a group of people acting as if everything is in order, then, must be the way it is, right? Not really. Do not allow yourself to be inactive due to the passivity of others. Do not think that will always help someone else.

Psychological experiments on the behavior, which opened the unpleasant truth about people

"Summer Camp"

This experiment tested the theory of realistic conflict and became an example of how there is a negative relation between the groups due to competition for scarce resources.

The experimenters took two groups of boys 11 and 12 years and put them in a place that they found a summer camp. The first week the group was divided and did not know about each other. During this time, the relations within the groups became stronger. Next, the boys were introduced to each other, and then began to show signs of conflict. The experimenters created a competition between groups, and, as expected, the level of hostility and aggressive behavior increased.

In the third week experimenters have created the conditions that both groups worked together, solving a common problem. For example, the problem of drinking water. In children the impression that their drinking water has been cut off, possibly because of the vandals. Both groups worked together to solve this problem.

By the end of the experiment, after the boys from different groups to work together, they became friends, which indicates that the overall operation - this is one of the most effective ways to reduce prejudice and discrimination.

Psychological experiments on the behavior, which opened the unpleasant truth about people

The experiment of Carlsberg

Social experiment conducted by the Danish brewery Carlsberg. Unsuspecting pair of bikers entered the crowded theater. Available were only two seats next to the tattooed biker.

According to unofficial results of the experiment (it was held as product advertising), not all couples sat on the vacant places: he saw a neighbor, they immediately left the room. Some still remained and took place for which they were immediately rewarded with applause and free beer Carlsberg. Do not judge a book by its cover.

Psychological experiments on the behavior, which opened the unpleasant truth about people

The effect of misinformation

In 1974, Elizabeth Loftus began to study the effect of misinformation on the example road accidents. In one experiment, seven video sequences duration from 5 to 30 seconds, 45 were shown to students into groups of 9 persons. In this video recording was a car accident. After each video the students filled out a questionnaire, the first point which was worded as follows: "Give the accident report, which you have just seen." Next it was presented to a number of specific questions about the accident. The main issue was the speed of cars, represented on the video. Nine people have asked, "How fast moving cars on the video at the time when they bumped into each other?" The rest of the subjects received a similar question, but it has the word "hit" using the word "touched", "blow", "broken" "bumped". If you are using the issue of the word "broken" cars attributed to the highest rate - 40, 8 miles / h. The result of this experiment was the conclusion that the form of the question affects the answer to the witness. Loftus has been suggested that this is due to changes in presentation in the memory test.

Psychological experiments on the behavior, which opened the unpleasant truth about people

Milgram experiment

This experiment was conducted in 1961 by psychologist Stanley Milgram. His goal was to see how far people can go in submission to authority, even if the orders from these authorities harm other people.

In the experiment involved the experimenter, the subject and the actor who played the role of another test. It stated that one of the parties ( "student") has to memorize pairs of words from a long list until you remember each pair, and the other ( "teacher") - to check the memory of the first, and to punish him for every mistake all the more powerful electrical discharge.

At the beginning of the experiment the role of the teacher and student were distributed between the test and the actor "by lot" by a folded piece of paper with the words "teacher" and "student", and the subject always got the role of a teacher. After this "student" demonstrably tied to a chair with electrodes. "Teachers", "demonstration" electric shock.

"Teacher," went into the other room and sat down at the table in front of the unit generator. The experimenter explains "master" that pressing on each of the switches corresponding to the pupil is supplied the voltage at releasing the switch current is terminated. Pressing the switch remains in the down position to the "teacher" did not forget what the switch has already been pressed, and what not. The device makes a serious impression of the real, without giving reason to doubt the authenticity of the experiment. In fact, no one is zapped. "The Apprentice" specifically answered the questions incorrectly, and pretended that he had become ill, as the voltage supposedly increased with every wrong answer. Despite this, many subjects continued to beat shock people when they ordered the authority - "experimenter". In the end, 65% of subjects used a "hit electricity", which could be fatal.

Results of the experiment showed that ordinary people are likely to be following orders from an authority figure, right up to the murder of an innocent man. Submission power ingrained in all of us, because that is how we are raising a child.

Psychological experiments on the behavior, which opened the unpleasant truth about people

Test marshmallow

The experiment of the late 1960s - early 1970s, led by psychologist Walter Michel consisted of a series of studies on the topic of deferred remuneration.

Children 4 to 6 years of age were placed on a chair in the room where the table lay a meal (usually marshmallow, sometimes a cookie or a pretzel). Children said that they can eat sweets, but if you wait 15 minutes, and do not succumb to the temptation, you will receive a second portion.

Michelle noticed that some closed their eyes or hands turned so as not to see the sweets, others began kicking the table, tugging at his hair or stroke the marshmallow as if it were a stuffed toy. Others simply ate the marshmallow as soon as left the researchers.

In the experiment, was attended by over 600 children. Immediately ate treats minority. Of those who tried to resist, one-third received a second meal. And the age was the main determining factor.

Further studies have shown that children who were able to wait, as a rule, have better results in life, higher levels of education and low body mass index.

Psychological experiments on the behavior, which opened the unpleasant truth about people

false consensus effect

In this experiment, the researchers asked college students, whether they will walk around the campus for half an hour with a large sign with the message: "Eat at Joe's".

Students were then asked to estimate how many people will agree to this. As a result, those who agreed to go with the tablet, suggested that most people also agree. Naturally, those who refused to believe that most just as they refuse. That is, the study participants firmly believed that most people will make the same choice, as they are.

The results demonstrated that in psychology known as false-consensus effect. No matter what our beliefs, opinions or behavior, we tend to believe that most people agree with us and act in the same way as we do.