Psychology is a young science. In fact, it is still a debate if it is even a science. It has a short but colourful history. Yet, this field of study has proved to be a source of many an amusing and insightful theories, jokes, knowledge and much more. Here are some famous psychological experiments to learn from:

1. Bobo Doll Experiments

Bandura and his colleagues did this experiment. Three sets of children saw three different stimuli. One set to an adult violently hitting a bobo doll. Second set to an adult not being violent and playing calmly. Some children had no exposure to an adult at all. After this, mild aggression was aroused by taking away the best toys in the room. Post this, those children who were exposed to violent adults were much more likely to take out their aggression violently on bobo dolls. This study has great implications for children who are exposed to violent adults and violence in the media.


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2. Stanley Milgram’s Experiments

In this experiment, Stanley Milgram and his colleagues told his participants that this was a memory test. The participant (an actor) was going through the memory test. The other participant (actual participant) was to give him a shock for each time he made a mistake. The shock was not actual.  However, the actor acted like he was receiving it. The instructors told the actual participants to keep increasing the shocks, and he kept doing so. However, he did this despite the (actor) participant being in visibly great pain. This experiment shows that humans keep “following orders” even when it has visibly bad effects.

3. Stanford Prison Experiments

Philip Zombardo had conducted this experiment. Here, half the prisoners were randomly attributed the role of prison guards and half of prisoners. Within a few days, those playing the guards treated those playing the prisoners very badly. This experiment got out of hand and the maltreatment hieghtened. The experiment had to be stopped midway. It shows the danger of abuse when people are in roles of power.


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4. Marshmallow Experiments

Perhaps one of the cutest experiments in history, the participants here are children. They were presented with a marshmallow and told that if they do not eat the marshmallow in the next 15 minutes, they would get a treat. Then the experimenter left the room. This kids who were able to delay their gratification were likely to achieve more in life. This is supported by facts as witnessed by SAT scores and other life achievements.


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5. Asch Conformity Study

In this experiment conducted by Solomon Asch, participants saw line drawings in front of them. Then, they were to tell which line is has more length. Only one participant was real, the rest were actors. However, the majority purposely chose the wrong answer. Moreover, even the actual participant agreed with the majority. However, he did so despite knowing that it was not the right answer. This helped to see that we will confirm with the majority. However, we even if we know they are wrong.  So, this explains the “herd” phenomenon.

So, these were some of the interesting psychology experiments. Did you discover something new after reading about them?

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