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In , the CIA began experiments into the workings of the human mind, in an effort to ascertain how easily and effectively they would be able to influence the minds and decisions of people. The CIA utilized several different methods, including hypnosis and sensory deprivation….

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Hoping to determine whether they could cause a person to carry out an act involuntarily. In , psychologist Albert Bandura began experiments dedicated to observing whether behavior is learned or innate. Bandura showed children different videos of adults interacting with a bobo doll — one set of children was shown the adults behaving normally with the doll, and one set was shown the adults acting aggressively toward the doll.

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Bandura found that the children who had seen an adult act violently toward the Bobo doll were more likely to be violent themselves. As such, Bandura felt this demonstrated that behavior was indeed learned and imitated. Conducted in by Elizabeth Loftus and John Palmer, the Car Crash Experiment was aimed at discovering the extent to which cues affect recollection. Subjects were shown scenes of a car collision and then questioned about it.

The words used really did appear to affect the way memories formed. In , Leon Festinger and James Carlsmith wanted to investigate how strong cognitive dissonance was as an impulse. The paltry amount of money forced them to convince themselves that the tasks really were fun when trying to convince others. Martin Seligman, at the University of Pennsylvania, was running conditioning experiments on dogs, testing how they associated shocks with stimulus. However, during the course of these experiments Seligman attempted a test wherein one half of a box was electrified, and the other half — on the other side of a low divide — was not.

What surprised Seligman was that the dogs would not jump over the divide to avoid the shocks when they came — having assumed that there was no way to avoid them. The Little Albert experiment was carried out by John B. Watson and Rosalie Rayner, as a way of testing how stimulus conditioned people into holding fears. Watson and Rayner presented a child with a rat, before hitting a piece of metal with a hammer. They repeated this until the child began to display upset and fear at just the sight of the rat. Seen as an important result at the time, this experiment has since come to be widely criticized as both unethical and inaccurate.

Have you ever wondered what the limits of your memory are?

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In George A. Miller ran tests to see how much a person could remember while maintaining a perfectly accurate recall.

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This was seen as an extremely important development in understanding the process and capacity of human memory. Lee Ross of Stanford University presented people with a situation:.

Unconventional Conformity

Asking how they would respond to it, how they thought someone else would respond, and what attributes they thought a person would have based on their choice. Ross found that the majority of people assumed that someone would share their opinion on the situation — and would assume negative traits about a person who would disagree. In , Jerome Singer and Stanley Schachter carried out experiments into how emotions are formed. They gave subjects epinephrine, saying that it was a treatment for eye problems. Some subjects were told to expect side-effects while others were not — they were then sent into a room with another person who was pretending to be either angry or happy.

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Singer and Schachter found that the people who had not been told to expect side-effects were more likely to explain the effects as them experiencing the anger or happiness of the other person. The Visual Cliff Experiment was carried out by Richard Walk and Eleanor Gibson in — with the aim of ascertaining how humans obtain depth perception.

The Art of Non-Conformity

Babies were placed on a glass table with a chequered flag on one half, with the other half blank. A chequered square was on the floor underneath the blank half, creating the illusion of a drop. Walk and Gibson found that most children assumed they could not stand on the blank half — supporting the idea that depth perception is innate in humans. The trio conducted an experiment in which, after being exposed to words that implied old age, subjects were seen to walk away from the building at a slower pace. Therefore implying a link between the language used and their behavior. However, this study has since received criticism for the fact that numerous psychologists have been unable to replicate the results in any way.

The idea of free will has puzzled thinkers and scientists alike for years — and neuroscientist Benjamin Libet carried out an experiment that he believed proved free will to be an illusion. Disclaimer: Some photos may be stock images used for illustration purposes only. Purchase Content 24 hours online access to download content. Subscribe to this journal. Recommend to your library. Rent with DeepDyve. Rent Article. Your Access Options. Forgotten your password? Article available in:. Vol 43, Issue 2, Melissa A. Koenig and more Psychological Science. Peng Zhang and more Evolutionary Psychology.

Shiri Einav and more Cookies Notification This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more. Tips on citation download. Asch, S. Studies of independence and conformity: A minority of one against a unanimous majority. Psychological Monographs: General and Applied, 70 9 , 1 — Google Scholar Crossref. Bernard, S. Child Development, 86 4 , — Google Scholar Crossref Medline. Birch, S. J, Vautier, S. Cognition, 3 , — Briars, D. Developmental Psychology, 20 4 , — Chan, C. Doctoral dissertation. Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.

UMI No. Google Scholar. Knowing better: The role of prior knowledge and culture in trust in testimony. Developmental Psychology, 49 3 , — Corriveau, K. Going with the flow: Preschoolers prefer non-dissenters as informants. Psychological Science, 20 3 , — Preschoolers sometimes defer to the majority when making simple perceptual judgments.

Developmental Psychology, 46 2 , — Dahl, A.