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10 Most Unusual Studies In Psychology - Society
10 Most Unusual Studies In Psychology - Society

Video: 10 Most Unusual Studies In Psychology - Society

Video: 10 Most Unusual Studies In Psychology - Society
Video: 2021 Top Ten Trends in Psychology 2023, May

Magicians, hypnotists, and fortune-tellers are not the only people trying to read our minds. Scientists are also not averse to playing mind games, and over the years they find more and more strange ways to do this. We have collected the most ridiculous, frightening and fascinating experiments of psychologists

1. Social laziness

In 1883, French agronomist Max Ringelmann conducted an experiment on agricultural college students that proved that group work actually makes us lazy.

During this experience, a group of people were asked to lift a load, doing it with the team and independently. A tool applied to the end of the rope measured the forces applied. The results show that those who work in the group do the least hard work. The larger the team, the more lazy its members. In a group of eight people, each participant tried half as much as possible from their real capabilities. Is this not proof that the team turns a good employee into a lazy person?

2. Thinking outside the box

We have prepared a small task for you, which you can do at your leisure. There are three boxes in front of you. In one of them there is a candle, in the other there are buttons, and in the third there are matches. Your task is to attach a small candle to the door. Don't ask why, it's just a game.

How do you do it? Of course, use the boxes as a candlestick, and use the buttons as a holder. However, when the German psychologist Karl Dunker proposed this task to his subjects, only three people out of seven coped with it. In the next experiment, he removed all three objects from the boxes. And then the subjects found the solution quite easily.

Dunker wanted to determine how original we think and how we perceive the functions of objects. When things were stored in boxes, it prevented the subjects from imagining them in a new role (for example, as a candlestick).

3. Consequences of insomnia

Experiments with sleep were carried out as early as 1894, when a cold-blooded female doctor Maria Manaseina tortured four puppies with insomnia. The first of them died after 96 hours without sleep, the turn of the last came after 143 hours. Not content with killing four puppies, Manaseina did another experiment, this time with six puppies. He showed the same results.

The following year, people were involved in an experiment: three men agreed to spend 90 hours without sleep under the supervision of scientists at the University of Iowa. All of them began to see hallucinations already on the second night of waking. After 90 hours of unbearable agony, the volunteers fell into such deep sleep that even strong electric shocks could not wake them up.

4. Images affecting the subconscious

The first experiments with the subconscious were carried out in the USA in 1957. Then the ambitious market researcher James Vykeri invited the press to watch a short film about fish. During the short, reporters lashed out at popcorn and soft drinks because footage from the movie allegedly told them to do so. The messages "have a cola" and "eat some popcorn" appeared on the screen for at least 1/24 of a second. As a result, it turned out that sales of popcorn and Coca-Cola for 6 weeks increased by 57.5% and 18.1%. Despite the fact that now the existence of the 25th frame seems to be rather controversial.

5. Stanley Milgram's experiment

This is one of the most shocking experiments in the literal sense of the word. Each stage of testing required the participation of two people, and they had to be completely unaware of what they were going to do. After meeting each other and quickly drawing lots, the two people dispersed to different rooms. One was tied to an electric chair and warned of possible electrical shocks, painful, but harmless to the body. Meanwhile, the second person took on the role of the "torturer." He sat in front of the microphone and read out a series of questions. An incorrect response from the victim resulted in an electric shock. With each wrong answer, the voltage increased.

The tests began, and after several incorrect answers, the tension quickly reached a "painful" level. When the executors heard desperate screams in the next room, many asked the laboratory assistant if everything was going according to plan. To this they were told that the experiment should be continued. And the majority continued!

After a few minutes, the number of incorrect answers reached such a level that the voltage of the electric current increased to 375 volts.

More than a thousand volunteers took part in Milgram's experiment in the 1960s. It turned out that most people prefer to blindly obey their superiors, even in cases where following orders can be harmful.

6. The truth about the beard

In almost all cultures, facial hair is a symbol of wisdom. From childhood, we are taught that a man with a beard is worthy of respect and praise. But is it really so? Professor Jürgen Klaproth conducted research at the University of Nuremberg-Erlangen. He suggested that teachers wear beards for one semester and shave them off early the next. According to the results of the questioning, it turned out that the students spoke out unequivocally against the beard, claiming that with it the teachers look much less friendly and authoritative, and even not at all intelligent.

7. Christ and the clones

What happens if you leave people in the same room who claim to be the Christ? This question was asked in 1959 by the American psychologist Milton Rokeach, who planned to confuse all three madmen.

So, one of these people claimed that he was God, another said that he created God, and the third - that he is the very Christ of Nazareth, although he has nothing to do with men who claimed to be his relatives.

The purpose of this experiment was simple: to figure out what happens when people are faced with an obvious paradox. Will they ask new questions about their personality, will this lead to their healing? Unfortunately, none of the three hypostases of God doubted themselves. It is curious that the "gods" did not conflict with each other at all, despite the obvious differences at the existential level.

8. Experiments on crumb Albert

Anyone who has read Brave New World by Aldous Huskley is familiar with the idea of artificially programming a child's reflexes. It turns out that this idea came to psychologist John B. Watson back in the 1920s, when a scientist decided to form a fear of rats in 9-month-old Albert. He achieved what he wanted by making a harsh and frightening noise whenever the boy approached the rat. The result of the experiment on Albert was his persistent phobia towards not only rats, but also towards fur, fluffy blankets and small animals. It is not known how the fate of Albert developed after such research.

9. Telekinesis

Several experiments have been carried out over the past century to set the boundaries of reason once and for all. The simplest example is in a group of volunteers who were asked to move their eyes around something tiny, such as a coin. These experiments revealed a striking trend towards success, but were never supported by objective evidence of the existence of telekinesis.

10. The Power of Faith and Ignorance

The experiments of Arthur Ellison, professor of electrical engineering at University College London, with the human mind could easily be called charlatanism, if they did not prove how great the importance of faith and ignorance in human life.

Allison suggested to a group of volunteers to make a vase of flowers levitate. To the surprise of the subjects, the vase hung over the table. It was a hoax, of course, and Allison was doing his trick with powerful electromagnets. The reaction of unsuspecting participants was interesting. For example, one old woman said that she saw a gray matter enveloped in a vase. However, the physics professor reacted very differently. As a great scientist, she denied the supernatural, and this conviction overshadowed a living fact before her. She insisted until the very last moment that the vase did not budge. “I don’t understand what all this noise was about,” she admitted. “The vase didn’t take off.”


Vladimir Zinchenko,

Doctor of Psychology


Of course, the age of experiments

Above us is an interesting age …

But a

cultured person is tired of tickling moments.

Igor Severyanin

The experiment teaches mind-reason sobriety, protects from paranoia, from utopias … Man is an experimental creature squared. Firstly, from birth, he experiments on himself, others, the world. Secondly, he is a test subject, often a victim of unreasonable, sometimes inhuman experiments. It is in this sense that a person is an artificial being (artifact, artifact), because nature does not make people, people make themselves. Sometimes it works out well.

Experiments in science, including psychology, are games with nature and people. Games similar to the theater of the absurd, since an experiment is the creation of conditions that do not exist in life. Its function is to confirm or disprove hypotheses that arise at the tip of a "theoretical pen", sometimes clever, sometimes stupid. The beauty of an experiment comes from intuition, from a scientific idea. "An error in an experiment gives rise to a discovery" (Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, Russian physiologist, creator of the materialistic theory of higher nervous activity). The ethics of a psychological experiment is derived from the integrity of the researcher. But it should be - from the ethical code, which is not in our psychology.

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