This story starts with a cagecontaining five gorillas anda large bunch of bananashanging above some stairsin the center of the cage.Before long, a gorilla goesto the stairs and starts toclimb toward the bananas.
As soon as he touches the stairs, ALL the gorillas are sprayedwith cold water. After a while, another gorilla makes an attemptand gets the same result—ALL the gorillas are sprayed with coldwater. Every time a gorilla attempts to retrieve the bananas, theothers are sprayed. Eventually, they quit trying and leave thebananas alone.
One of the original gorillas is removed from the cage andreplaced with a new one.The new gorilla sees the bananas and starts to climb the stairs.To his horror, all the other gorillas attack him. After anotherattempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairshe will be assaulted. Next, the second of the original five gorillasis replaced with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairsand is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in thepunishment with enthusiasm.
Next the third original gorilla is replacedwith a new one. The new one goes forthe stairs and is attacked as well. Twoof the four gorillas that beat him haveno idea why they were not permitted toclimb the stairs or why they areparticipating in the beating of thenewest gorilla.After the fourth and fifth original gorillashave been replaced, all the gorillas thatwere sprayed with cold water are gone.Nevertheless, no gorilla will ever againapproach the stairs.Why not?
“Because that’s the way it has always been done.”