8 Famous Psychology Experiments That Showed Us so Much about Society ...

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Even if you have no interest in psychology, learning about some famous psychology experiments can teach you tons about society and how people work.

Psychologists are constantly searching for the underlying reasons people act the way they do.

Some of these experiments have taught us about basic human behaviors that we can see in our everyday life.

Some of these famous psychology experiments might not be considered “ethical” by today’s standards, but they were very important not only for the psychological community, but for all.

1. Stanford Prison Experiment

Stanford Prison Experiment

One of the most famous psychology experiments was also considered one of the most unethical.2

Stanford psychologist Phillip Zimbardo turned a basement into a fake prison and filled it with regular college students.

Half were given the role of prisoners and half were given the role of guards.2

Zimbardo wanted to test how situation impacts behavior.

He never in a million years expected that these normal college students would take their roles so seriously.2

The guards began to harass the prisoners and the prisoners started to become overwhelmingly stressed and anxious.

The study was originally intended to last 14 days but was cut short after 6 days because the situation became too intense to continue.

Zimbardo had unknowingly discovered how our situations have a profound impact on our behavior, and sometimes not in the best way.

2. Milgram Obedience Experiment

Milgram Obedience Experiment

Stanley Milgram wanted to test how obedience influenced behavior.

He placed participants in a room with a “scientist” watching over them.

The participants were told to administer small electrical shocks to another participant in a separate room if they gave the wrong answer to a question.

For every wrong question, the shock level would increase, until it reached very dangerous levels.

These participants kept on administering shocks well beyond comforting levels.

Even when they were concerned for the well being of the other participants, if Milgram told them to continue with the experiment, they would.

Milgram found out that regular people would continue to shock total strangers just because an authority figure told them to, sometimes without even question.

Only after Milgram revealed that the participant receiving the shocks was an actor, did the participants realized the influence authority had on them blindly following orders.

The Asch Conformity Experiment
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