5 Psychology Experiments With Interesting Results

The human brain has always been a very interesting subject for me. It's interesting to see how people react when put in certain situations that only scientists would think to question. Upon research, trial, and error, we are greeted with knowledge about how the human brain works in common situations and not-so common situations. It's also interesting to see patterns or common behavior in humans- like conformity.

Hedonic Adaption

The point of this experiment is to test happiness throughout life. One person who was recently paralyzed and one person who recently won the lottery were given a survey to measure their contentment. At the time of the first survey, one person's contentment was respectively higher than the other. However, the same people took the same survey one year later and scored similarly. After repeating this experiment, it was determined that people spend most of their life feeling neutral.

Solomon Asch's Experiment on Conformity

This experiment was set with three lines of people with varying amounts of people in each line. The test subject is the very last person in line while everyone else were actors who had been given instructions to answer each question with the incorrect response. At first, the participants answered correctly but eventually began to choose the incorrect answer as they began doubting themselves and conforming with the other participants. Most of which, did conform.

Another variation of this experiment was done where the last person in line was still the participant. However, only one of the actors gave the correct answer while the rest of them gave the incorrect answer. In this experiment, the number of participants who chose the correct answer increased. This experiment shows how powerful conformity is in the face of doubt and how one can maintain their self confidence when they are not alone.

Research on Cognitive Dissonance

When we have two contradictory beliefs, we unconsciously adjust one to make it compatible with the other. One experiment had participants that were paid less to do a boring task and people who were paid more to do the same boring task. The participants who were paid less to do the task seemed to be more happy in completing the task than the ones who were paid more. This is because the participants who were paid less were compensating for the lower pay by thinking something like "if I didn't do it for the money, I must have done it because I enjoy it." This experiment shows how we make compromises between beliefs to ease the mental discomfort.

Misattribution of Arousal

This experiment tested emotional spillover from one event to another. Test subjects were men and were approached by a female psychology student after they crossed a bridge. There was one steady bridge and one unsteady bridge. As the psychology student approached the men, she gave them a questionnaire and wrote a dramatic story about a picture she provided and gave her number to them in case they had any questions. The men who walked across the shaky bridge were more likely to call her because they misattributed the arousal from the bridge to the woman.

The Rosenthal Effect

The Rosenthal Effect, also known as the Pygmalion Effect is the prejudice and expectations someone has towards a student, co worker, contestant, etc. that dictates their performance in the long run. If you decide how they will perform they are likely to perform that way.

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