Humans are vulnerable creatures. A superhuman strength does not stand a chance in an ultra-delicate state of the human mind. Our physical strength is subservient to our mental tendencies.
A lot of research and experiments have been done and funded just to understand human psychology in all its observable tendencies.
1. Learned Helplessness Experiment
This experiment is tragic than disturbing. It revealed a psychological commonality that is exhibited in our everyday lives.
Martin Seligman performed a classic conditioning research or experiment. It involved a dog being given a shock every time the bell would ring. The dog eventually learned to exhibit a reaction of being shocked even before the bell would ring.
In another set of the experiment, crates with electrified dividers were placed in between the dogs to separate them from each other. The dogs learned to not do anything at all nor try to get out of the situation. The dogs exhibited the learned helplessness in the course of the experiment.
2. The Stanford Prison Experiment
This experiment revealed the volatility of human behavior. It is so disturbing that it was made into a film in 2015. The experiment garnered backlash for being unethical.
Philip Zembardo led the experiment in Stanford University. His team took 24 male students and they divided them into two groups, one group acted as prisoners and the second group as prison guards.
This resulted in aggressive behavior among the prison guards despite their gentle natural tendencies in their actual life.
3. Cognitive Dissonance
This experiment is far less sinister than the other experiments in this list.
Jack Brehm in 1956 tackled the concept of making choices as we tend to justify for those choices whether right or wrong.
Brehm offered students to rate four objects. He made them choose between just two alternatives in the second set. The students rated their first choice higher than their second choice.
People tend to change their attitude to justify their behavior if they can not change their choices.
This human behavior have caused destabilization in relationships and even in politics of a country.
Alas! We will be seeing more of this behavior during the US Presidential election this Tuesday November 8, 2016.
4. Bystander Effect
In the Philippines, this bystander effect has resulted to a manhunt. The manhunt operation was not only for those who committed the crime but to those bystanders who looked the other way when the victim asked for help.
A university student got mugged and stabbed by robbers in a darkly lit but moderately busy street. The CCTV camera footage revealed that the victim was still able to ask for help from vehicles that passed by where he stood helplessly. Nobody stopped to help him though. Eventually the student collapsed on that street and died. The CCTV footage captured another person who was also seen standing just 2 meters away from him. The guy looked on and left as though nothing happened.
John Darley and Bibb Latane conducted an experiment in 1964 called Bystander Apathy Experiment.
One of the conclusions made is the diffusion of responsibility. The mind rests in a possibility that another person will come by and help.
The other conclusion is pluralistic arrogance. Everyone else isn't helping so the situation might not be an emergency.
5. Robbers Cave Experiment
Muzafer Sherif performed the experiments in all twelve-year old boys coming from a white, middle-class family with Protestant, two-parent background. None of them knew each other prior to the experiment.
The group of boys were divided in to two. The first phase of the experiment made each of the groups bond with their group members, just enough to have them develop their own culture and customs. The second phase is a competition phase with the other group which resulted to aggression. The group were tasked to work together at the last phase.
This concluded that shared goals will lessen the conflict. It has also revealed that competition is inherent to species for survival, that includes human beings.
These 5 experiments revealed that humans are susceptible to their emotions.