Three months ago, Psychology Today blogger Susan Krauss Whitbourne posted an essay entitled The Rarely Told Story of Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment. I eagerly read it in the hope that it would reveal some heretofore relatively unknown truth about this famous experiment. But, in fact, the essay is simply a summary--a well written one--of the experiment that takes at face value Phillip Zimbardo’s and his colleagues’ conclusions. In the introduction to the essay, Whitbourne states that the experiment is “Depicted in movies, television and of course all introductory psych textbooks…” It’s true that Zimbardo’s experiment is one of the two or three most famous experiments in the history of psychology. But it’s not true that it’s depicted in all introductory psychology textbooks. I’m the author of one such textbook (which is now in it’s 6th edition and is used in many colleges and universities). One of the questions I’m frequently asked about the book by professors who teach from it is, “Why don’t you include Zimbardo’s prison experiment, like all other textbook authors do?”Here’s why, the results of the famous Stanford Prison Experiment have a trivial explanation.
See also, The lie of the Stanford Prison Experiment [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Oct 29, 2013 -
"What do you do when you're tired of the prospect of dating?" Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman, both designers in New York City, found themselves single at the same time. Thus was born 40 Days of Dating
, an experimental relationship being chronicled daily from July 10 to August 18, 2013.
posted by rensar
on Jul 18, 2013 -
By making a very precise measurement of the muon g-2 value
the results to its predicted value, researchers at Fermilab hope to uncover evidence of new, undiscovered particles and forces. This continues work done at Brookhaven National Laboratory
a decade ago. To do so, Fermilab needs their 50-ft ring magnet
and its fragile, precisely assembled
superconducting coils. After six months of planning, the magnet was slowly hauled
on an eight-axle trailer
through the streets of Long Island, loaded onto a barge, and tugged down the Atlantic coast and into the Gulf of Mexico, where it will go
up the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway to the Mississippi and then through Illinois waterways before it's trucked again through suburban Chicago. Fermilab has a photo and video gallery
and is posting updates
. [more inside]
posted by hydrophonic
on Jul 12, 2013 -
Last fall, the Canadian Space Agency asked students to design a simple science experiment that could be performed in space, using items already available aboard the International Space Station. Today, Commander Chris Hadfield
conducted the winner for its designers: two tenth grade students, Kendra Lemke and Meredith Faulkner, in a live feed to their school in Fall River, Nova Scotia. And now, we finally have an answer to the age-old question, What Happens When You Wring Out A Washcloth In Space? [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Apr 18, 2013 -
Is Psychometric g a Myth?
- "As an online discussion about IQ or general intelligence grows longer, the probability of someone linking to statistician Cosma Shalizi's essay g, a Statistical Myth
approaches 1. Usually the link is accompanied by an assertion to the effect that Shalizi offers a definitive refutation of the concept of general mental ability, or psychometric g
." [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Apr 11, 2013 -
Mercury is an experimental roguelike
. How is it experimental? Let's have the creator, Jason Lantz, explain :
" all the game’s content is winner-generated. That means that the game starts out barren. One class for players to play, one monster to fight, and one item to use. But every round, the top two scoring players use a tool built into the game to make a monster, item or class and then that object is automatically inserted into everyone’s game, and players fight for new high scores in an entirely different game every round."
posted by boo_radley
on Aug 26, 2012 -
CERN has begun webcasting
a public seminar in which there may or may not be some announcement regarding the significance or otherwise of recent observations regarding the possible existence of something that might be the Higgs boson. I am not a nuclear physicist, so I will try and keep up but will mainly be trying to catch the significance of the observations they have collected so far. In case these are talked about in terms of sigmas (there's scuttlebutt going around that this is a 3.5 sigma event), here's
a table of sigma and probability. [more inside]
posted by carter
on Dec 13, 2011 -
In the late Sixties and early Seventies several experiments were begun to test whether or not a non-human primate could construct a sentence. Several species were involved in these various experiments including the chimpanzees Washoe
, a gorilla named Koko
, and later in the Eighties work began with a bonobo named Kanzi
. While great progress was made in teaching these primates a vocabulary, it would be difficult to see any of these experiments as a success. And all of these projects raised important questions about the ethics
of such experiments. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan
on Aug 20, 2011 -
is ostensibly a training system for students of stringed musical instruments. It teaches fingering positions by means of electrodes that stimulate muscles in the forearm, forcing the hand into the correct configuration.
posted by contraption
on Jun 27, 2011 -
The three longest-running scientific experiments
are all located in the foyers of physics buildings. The oldest is the Oxford Electric Bell
, which has been ringing continuously (over ten billion times!) since at least 1840
, powered by batteries of unknown composition. In Dunedin, New Zealand, the Beverley clock
has operated since 1864, without the need for winding, as it is powered by atmospheric changes
. The relative youngster in the group is the Pitch Drop Experiment
, which has been measuring the viscosity of pitch since 1927 by recording the time between drops of pitch from a funnel. The experiments has the world's most boring webcam
, though the eighth, and most recent, drop fell in 2000, so the next is due any day now! Atlas Obscura has some additional candidates
for long experiments, including the Rothemstead Plots
, which have been used in agricultural experiments for 300 years.
posted by blahblahblah
on Jun 6, 2011 -
Shared social responsibility
- When customers could pay what they wanted in the knowledge that half of that would go to charity, sales and profits went through the roof ... Gneezy describes the combination of charitable donations and paying what you like as 'shared social responsibility', where businesses and customers work together for the public good.
) [also see 1
posted by kliuless
on Jul 28, 2010 -
Ten days ago, Slate Magazine conducted an experiment
modeled on the Ministry of Truth
in George Orwell's 1984: they asked readers to look at eight photographs of notable political moments from the past decade and share their memories about each. Over 5,000 people participated in the first three days, but what they didn’t know was that four of the pictures were significantly doctored, and one was totally fabricated. [more inside]
posted by mondaygreens
on May 28, 2010 -
In the black.
Maggie Anderson, and her family spent a year trying to patronize only black-owned businesses.
Featured in the local papers
, you can read about the project and their own views on their website
posted by Carillon
on Apr 30, 2010 -
I'm on a mission - not to praise Jesus or ensure that every child in Namibia has a netbook, but to kill every single living vaguely human-like character in Fallout 3. ... everyone ... no matter how friendly, helpful, or beneficial to my completion of the game, must be put into the ground.
"Natural Born Killer", an experiment in virtual genocide, parts One
posted by slimepuppy
on Mar 26, 2010 -
A French, state-run TV channel appears to be stirring controversy by airing a documentary about a fake game show in which contestants torture eachother, called "Game of Death."
Based on the well-known Stanley Milgram experiments
of the 1960's that, in the wake of Nazi Germany, sought out to measure man's willingness to obey orders. [more inside]
posted by phaedon
on Mar 17, 2010 -
The Real Good Chair Experiment
- What happens if you leave 25 chairs around New York and watch to see where they go? The short film then continues with an interview with a few of the people who brought them home.
posted by flatluigi
on Jan 8, 2010 -