1. The Monster Study
Aim: To see whether positive or negative reinforcement
affects the learning of speech.
Method: After placing the children in control and
experimental groups, the psychologist will give positive
speech therapy to half of the children, praising the
fluency of their speech, and negative speech therapy to
the other half, belittling the children for every speech
imperfection and telling them are stutterers. They will
look to see how this affects the learning of speech.
2. Stanford Prison Experiment
Aim: To see how people behave when placed into roles
of either prisoner or guard and the norms these
Method: Participants will be randomly assigned to one
of two groups: guards or prisoners. ‘Prisoners’ will be
arrested at their homes by a real police officer
unexpectedly and put into a situation purposely meant to
cause disorientation, degradation, and depersonalization.
Guards will not given any specific directions or training
on how to carry out their roles. The psychologist will
observe the participants to see what behaviours they
display over time.
3. Monkey Drug Trials
Aim: To observe the effect of unlimited access to drug
supplies on monkeys.
Method: A large group of monkeys and rats will be
trained to inject themselves with an assortment of drugs,
including morphine, alcohol, codeine, cocaine, and
amphetamines. Once the animals were capable of self-
injecting, they were left to their own devices with a large
supply of each drug. The effects will be observed by a
4. Facial Expressions Experiment
Aim: The aim of this experiment was to see if all people
have a common expression when feeling disgust, shock,
Method: Participants will be taken to a lab and their
faces were painted with black lines, in order to study the
movements of their facial muscles. They will then be
exposed to a variety of stimuli designed to create a strong
reaction and photographed by the psychologist. Subjects
will be made to smell ammonia, to look at pornography,
and to put their hands into a bucket of frogs.
Finally they will be shown live rat and given instructions
to behead it.
5. Fear Conditioning
Aim: To test the idea of whether fear was innate or a
Method: A baby will be exposed to a white rabbit, a
white rat, a monkey, masks with and without hair, cotton
wool, burning newspaper, and a miscellanea of other
things for two months without any sort of conditioning.
Then the experiment will begin by placing the baby on a
mattress in the middle of a room. A white laboratory rat
will be placed near the baby and he will be allowed to
play with it.
Then the psychologist will make a loud sound behind the
baby’s back by striking a suspended steel bar with a
hammer when the baby touched the rat. The psychologist
will determine whether the baby subsequently becomes
afraid of the rat or other white/fluffy animals/objects.
6. Learned Helplessness
Aim: To see whether “learned helplessness” is a
Method: Three groups of dogs will be placed in
harnesses. Dogs from group one will be released after a
certain amount of time, with no harm done. Dogs from
group two will be paired up and leashed together, and
one from each pair was given electrical shocks that can
be ended by pressing a lever. Dogs from group three will
also be paired up and leashed together, one receiving
shocks, but the shocks won’t end when the lever is
pressed. Shocks will come randomly and seem
inevitable, causing “learned helplessness.” The dogs will
assume that nothing can be done about the shocks.
Later, group three dogs will be placed in a box with by
themselves. Again they will be shocked, but they can
easily end the shocks by jumping out of the box. The
psychologist will look to see whether these dogs try to
7. The Well of Despair
Aim: To see how isolation, away from the primary
caregiver, affects baby rhesus monkeys
Method: A psychologist will take infant rhesus monkeys
who have already bonded with their mothers and place
them in a stainless steel vertical chamber device alone
with no contact in order to sever those bonds. They will
be kept in the chambers for up to one year. The
psychologist will then observe how such isolation affects
the behavior of the monkeys.
8. Gender Reassignment
Aim: To see whether gender is due to nature or nurture.
Method: The psychologist will order a sex change
operation to be performed on an individual whose
circumcision has gone wrong. They will then observe
whether it is possible for the boy to be brought up as a
girl, if treated like one throughout their lifetime.