The human brain provides endless fascination.

Which is why doctors and scientists continue to perform experiments to study how it works.

On both lab animals and human beings.

These experiments often provide remarkable, sometimes unsettling results.

Giving us new insight to the way we think, decisions we make, and how we function in life.

Even if the practice of many of them is highly questionable from an ethical standpoint.


Redditor nahhhgeorge was curious to learn more about experiments on the brain and psychology which provided the most fascinating results, leading them to ask:
"What are some psychology experiments with interesting results?"

Nature Vs. Nurture

"White rats and black rats were raised separately without seeing each other."

"When a black rat was placed in the white rats cage, the other rats ostracized him."

"When white and black rats are raised together and a new black rat is placed in a cage, the white rats accept him."

"So basically rats are racist, unless raised to accept differences."- Ginger_Underlord

The Dangers Of Preconceived Notions

"The self-fulfilling prophecy studies are very important to social psychology and their findings have many real world applications."

"Basically they brought together a group of kids and formed a class with a real teacher."

"They gave the kids a test for overall academic skill at the start of the course, but didn't really use the scores."

"Instead they told the teachers that a few students, picked at random, were very brilliant and scores very highly."

"They then observed the class for a long period of time and noticed that the teachers gave the kids they thought were brilliant much more attention."

"At the end of the study the kids took the test again, and they found that the kids who were randomly named brilliant at the start actually scores higher than the rest of the class."

"The kids, again, at the start didn't score any different from the rest of the class, but through the self fulfilling prophecy they became the best in their class."

"This obviously has tons of application in the world and especially education."- ehbacon23

Fascinating, But Was It Worth It?

:The monster experiment!"

"Although it is horrible how they left the children with mental health issues at the end, this experiment gave very good insight to how to parent a child."

"On this experiment, they took groups of orphaned children and separated them into 3 groups."

"One was the control, the second was told they has a lisp and were doing bad, and the third was told that their speech was perfect."

"As the experiment went on, group 2 began developing lisps after being berated constantly."

"They became shy and reserved."

"They were scared to speak because they didn't want to get in trouble because of their poor speaking skills."

"Group 3, however, had the opposite happen."

"They talked better, they were more willing to improve."

"They were encouraged to keep speaking and told that their speech was amazing and perfect."

"By the end of the experiment, they had one group with no change, one group with now mentally ill children with a speech impediment, and one group with great speaking skills."

"It truly shows that encouraging children is the way to go and that verbal abuse can be just as, if not more, harmful as physical abuse."- Buniny

Can You Ever Tell If They're Faking It?

"The Rosenhan Experiment."

"13 people feigned mental illnesses to get into mental hospitals and all were admitted with different diagnoses."

"They then assumed their normal personalities but to be released they all had to admit that they were mentally ill."

"There was a second part where a hospital challenged Rosenhan to send multiple fake patients to the hospital and they would rate their patients on a scale of whether they think they were faking."

"They identified many possible fakers, but Rosenhan in fact hadn’t sent anyone."- mhssotr13

Some People Don't Know How Lucky They Are

"The Monopoly Study by Paul Piff."

"He basically brought two strangers into the lab together and had them play a game of Monopoly together."

"He randomly assigned one participant to start the game with twice as much money than the other and that participant also got to roll both dice to get around the board."

"I.e., the other participant started with half the money and could only roll one dice."

"At the end of the game when he asked the participants who started with more money why he won the game, they would chock it up to their excellent strategy and gamesmanship rather than the fact that they had started the game with way more resources."

"It says a lot about how we deal with being born into a privileged state."- respectfullydissent

Dangers Of Playing God

"The Three Christs of Ypsilanti."

"Psychologist forces three people who believe that they are Jesus Christ to live together."

"It does not go well."

"The psychologist, Milton Rokeach, had heard of a case where two women who believed that they were Mary, mother of Christ, were forced to live together and one of them broke free from their delusion."

"So he figured, three Christs...what would happen."


"They were angry at each other."

"Often had physical fights."

"They eventually started getting along by avoiding the topic."

"He would ask them about the others and each would say that the others were crazy."

"That they, of course, were the real Jesus."

"No cures."

"Some unethical stuff."

"Interesting though."- hateboresme

Experimenting like this on animals and human beings is always bound to have serious repercussions, and is always ethically questionable.

Even so, it's still hard not to notice how several of these experiments do, indeed, shed light on ongoing problems with our society today.

Leading us to wonder if it might ever lead to the necessary change?