5 Intriguing psychological experiments with surprising results
Human curiosity is endless. The prove for that is an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and understanding of the world that has urged the psychologists to conduct many experiments in a quest to get to the very essence of human nature. Some of them were even capable of spending their whole lives trying to unlock the mystery that is human mind, using the plethora of experiments in order to do so. That being said we can’t help ourselves but wonder is there a limit?
Why do people behave in a particular way in different life situations? Well, psychologists have been asking the same question for a long time. In order to answer, they conducted many experiments over the years.
What follows is the exciting journey through 5 intriguing psychological experiments with surprising results.
1 Famous violinist in a subway
A world-class violinist Joshua Bell decided to pose as a street performer on a subway in Washington just to see how many people will actually stop to listen to his music.
Despite the fact that he performed on a 3.500.000 dollars worth hand-made violin and that he just sold all the tickets for his concert in Boston where one ticket cost around $100, very few people stopped to listen to his magnificent performance. This experiment lasted 45 minutes, Joshua earned just $32 and almost no attention at all.
2 Piano stairs
This psychological experiment had every intention to prove that habits can be changed for a better by bringing some fun to everyday activities. The year was 2009 and when a team of experts turned the stairs into the fully functional piano on a subway station in Stockholm. Every time the passenger would step on a certain step, it would play that note.
The experiment proved to be very successful as more people chose to use piano stairs rather than an escalator.
3 The Bystander Effect
In 1964 Kitty Genovese, a girl from New York was stabbed to death on the street in front of the very eyes of her 38 neighbors.
That urged many psychologists to try to explain why didn’t anyone help her. The theory was developed and was proved by the experiment from 1968. Some people were left alone in the room while the others were kept in a group. Suddenly the room was full of smoke and the people who were alone was quicker to react than those who were in the group.
In conclusion, the more people are present the less likely is for them to do anything about what is going on in front of their eyes.
4 The False Memory Effect
Elizabeth Loftus and Jacqueline Pickrell proved how easy it is to create false memories. They decided to tell a story to people of how they were lost in the mall when they were children and mix it up with some stories that really happened. As a result, participants thought that this story actually happened. This experiment showed how the memory is relative and prone to suggestions.
5 The Monster Study
The Monster Study was conducted by the speech expert Wendel Johnson and a student Mary Tudor Jacobs. Johnson believed that the stuttering is caused by the strict parents who are criticizing their children when they are not able to speak well. So he took 22 orphans who had no problem with their speech and divided them into 2 groups. He exposed one group to a treatment with a positive attitude toward their speech, while the other group was exposed to insults everytime they would stutter.
As a result, the children who were exposed to the negative therapy developed a low self-respect and they had troubles speaking for the rest of their lives. This experiment was so cruel that it comes as no surprise that it is called The Monster Study.