The Stanford prison study of 1971 placed a lens on how personal circumstances can impact human behaviour, which is perhaps the most famous experiment in the history of psychology. In the basement of the Stanford Psychology Centre, researchers led by psychologist Philip Zimbardo set up a mock prison and chose 24 undergraduates (who have no legal record and were considered to be psychological healthy) to serve as prisoners and guards. The researchers then watched the inmates and the guards (shared8-hour shifts) using hidden cameras (who had to remain in the cells 24 hours a day).
Psychologists have been searching for ideas into how and why we view our universe, and have taken tremendous steps to raise this veil of mystery. In addition to feeding cocktail discussions, some of the most popular psychological studies of the last decade show complete and often astonishing truths of human nature.Psychology Research The Stanford prison study 1971 lens personal circumstances impact human behaviour famous experiment history psychology basement Stanford Psychology Centre researchers led psychologist Philip Zimbardo set mock prison chose undergraduates legal record considered psychological healthy serve prisoners guards The researchers watched inmates guards shared8 hour shifts hidden cameras remain cells hours day Psychologists searching ideas view universe tremendous steps raise veil mystery addition feeding cocktail discussions popular psychological studies decade complete astonishing truths human nature Why Despite attempts thyself truth astonishingly minds Charles Dickens wonderful fact reflect human creature constituted profound secret mystery Psychologists long sought insights perceive motivates behavior enormous strides lifting veil mystery Aside providing fodder stimulating cocktail party conversations famous psychological experiments century reveal universal surprising truths human nature Here classic psychological studies change understand capacity evil Arguably famous experiment history psychology 1971 Stanford prison study microscope social situations affect human behavior The researchers led psychologist Philip Zimbardo set mock prison basement Stanford psych building selected undergraduates criminal record deemed psychologically healthy prisoners guards Researchers observed prisoners stay cells hours day guards shared hour shifts hidden cameras The experiment scheduled weeks cut short days guards abusive behavior cases inflicted psychological torture extreme emotional stress anxiety exhibited prisoners The guards escalated aggression prisoners stripping naked putting bags heads finally engage increasingly humiliating sexual activities Zimbardo told American Scientist After days control couldn sleep night worrying guards prisoners notice Think You aware 1998 researchers Harvard Kent State University targeted pedestrians college campus determine people notice environments experiment actor pedestrian asked directions While pedestrian directions men carrying large wooden door walked actor pedestrian completely blocking view seconds During time actor replaced actor height build outfit haircut voice participants didn notice substitution The experiment illustrate phenomenon change blindness selective visual scene rely memory pattern recognition Delaying gratification hard successful famous Stanford experiment late 1960s tested preschool children ability resist lure instant gratification yielded powerful insights willpower discipline experiment year olds room marshmallow plate told eat treat waited researcher returned minutes marshmallows While children wait struggled resist eating treat researcher returned TIME reports The children manage hold minutes generally avoidance tactics turning covering eyes The implications children behavior Those delay gratification obese drug addiction behavioral problems time teenagers successful life experience deeply conflicting moral impulses famous 1961 study Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram tested alarmingly people obey authority figures asked harm intense internal conflict personal morals obligation obey authority figures Milgram wanted conduct experiment provide insight Nazi war criminals perpetuated unspeakable acts Holocaust tested pair participants deemed teacher deemed learner The teacher instructed administer electric shocks learner supposedly sitting room reality shocked time questions wrong Milgram played recordings sound learner pain teacher subject expressed desire experimenter prodded During experiment percent participants administered painful final volt shock labeled XXX visibly stressed uncomfortable While study commonly warning blind obedience authority Scientific American revisited arguing suggestive deep moral conflict Human moral nature includes propensity empathetic kind good fellow kin group members inclination xenophobic cruel evil tribal journalist Michael Shermer wrote The shock experiments reveal blind obedience conflicting moral tendencies lie deep Recently commenters called Milgram methodology question critic records experiment performed Yale suggested percent participants disobeyed orders administer highest dosage shock easily corrupted power There psychological reason fact power sense entitlement disrespect 2003 studypublished journal Psychological Review students groups write short paper Two students instructed write paper told evaluate paper determine student paid middle work researcher brought plate cookies Although generally cookie eaten boss ate fourth cookie ate sloppily mouth open When researchers people power scientific experiments physically touch inappropriate ways flirt direct fashion risky choices gambles offers negotiations speak mind eat cookies Cookie Monster crumbs chins chests psychologist Dacher Keltner study leaders wrote article Berkeley Greater Good Science Center seek loyalty social groups easily drawn intergroup conflict This classic 1950s social psychology experiment shined light psychological basis social groups countries embroiled conflict learn cooperate Study leader Muzafer Sherif groups boys age Robbers Cave State Park Oklahoma summer camp The groups named Eagles Rattlers spent week fun bonding knowledge existence group When groups finally integrated boys started calling names started competing games conflict ensued eventually groups refused eat phase Sherif designed experiments reconcile boys enjoy leisure activities unsuccessful solve problem finally began ease conflict happy The year Harvard Grant study comprehensive longitudinal studies conducted male Harvard undergraduates classes 1938 1940 90s years regularly collecting data aspects lives The universal conclusion Love matters determining long term happiness life satisfaction The study longtime director psychiatrist George Vaillant told The Huffington Post pillars happiness One love The finding coping life push love For participant began study lowest rating future stability subjects attempted suicide But life happiest Why Vaillant explains spent life searching love Psychology Research ZodiacPage