Most Bizarre Experiments Of All Time
20]Â Heartbeat At Death
On October 31, 1938, John Deering took a last drag on his cigarette, sat down in a chair, and allowed a prison guard to place a black hood over his head and pin a target to his chest. Next the guard attached electronic sensors to Deeringâ€™s wrists.
Deering had volunteered to participate in an experiment, the first of its kind, to have his heartbeat recorded as he was shot through the chest by a firing squad. The prison physician, Dr. Stephen Besley, figured that since Deering was being executed anyway, science might as well benefit from the event. Perhaps some valuable information about the effect of fear on the heart could be learned.
The electrocardiogram immediately disclosed that, despite Deeringâ€™s calm exterior, his heart was beating like a jackhammer at 120 beats per minute. The sheriff gave the order to fire, and Deeringâ€™s heartbeat raced up to 180 beats per minute. Then four bullets ripped into his chest, knocking him back in his chair. One bullet bore directly into the right side of his heart. For four seconds his heart spasmed. A moment later it spasmed again. Then the rhythm gradually declined until, 15.4 seconds after the first shot, Deeringâ€™s heart stopped.
The next day Dr. Besley offered the press a eulogy of sorts for Deering: â€œHe put on a good front. The electrocardiograph film shows his bold demeanor hid the actual emotions pounding within him. He was scared to death.â€
19] Shock the Puppy
When Stanley Milgram published the results of his obedience experiment in 1963, it sent shockwaves through the scientific community. Other researchers found it hard to believe that people could be so easily manipulated, and they searched for any mistakes Milgram might have made. Charles Sheridan and Richard King theorized that perhaps Milgramâ€™s subjects had merely played along with the experiment because they realized the victim was faking his cries of pain. To test this possibility, Sheridan and King decided to repeat Milgramâ€™s experiment, introducing one significant difference. Instead of using an actor, they would use an actual victim who would really get shocked. Obviously they couldnâ€™t use a human for this purpose, so they used the next best thing â€” a cute, fluffy puppy.
Sheridan and King told their subjects â€” volunteers from an undergraduate psychology course â€” that the puppy was being trained to distinguish between a flickering and a steady light. It had to stand either to the right or the left depending on the cue from the light. If the animal failed to stand in the correct place, the subjects had to press a switch to shock it. As in the Milgram experiment, the shock level increased 15 volts for every wrong answer. But unlike the Milgram experiment, the puppy really was getting zapped.
As the voltage increased, the puppy first barked, then jumped up and down, and finally started howling with pain. The volunteers were horrified. They paced back and forth, hyperventilated, and gestured with their hands to show the puppy where to stand. Many openly wept. Yet the majority of them, twenty out of twenty-six, kept pushing the shock button right up to the maximum voltage.
Intriguingly, the six students who refused to go on were all men. All thirteen women who participated in the experiment obeyed right up until the end.
18] Would You Go To Bed With Me Tonight?
If you were a man walking across the campus of Florida State University in 1978, an attractive young woman might have approached you and said these exact words: â€œI have been noticing you around campus. I find you to be attractive. Would you go to bed with me tonight?â€
If you were that man, you probably would have thought that you had just gotten incredibly lucky. But not really. You were actually an unwitting subject in an experiment designed by the psychologist Russell Clark.
Clark had persuaded the students of his social psychology class to help him find out which gender, in a real-life situation, would be more receptive to a sexual offer from a stranger. The only way to find out, he figured, was to actually get out there and see what would happen. So young men and women from his class fanned out across campus and began propositioning strangers.
The results werenâ€™t very surprising. Seventy-five percent of guys were happy to oblige an attractive female stranger (and those who said no typically offered an excuse such as, â€œIâ€™m marriedâ€). But not a single woman accepted the identical offer of an attractive male. In fact, most of them demanded the guy leave her alone.
At first the psychological community dismissed Clarkâ€™s experiment as a trivial stunt, but gradually his experiment gained first acceptance, and then praise for how dramatically it revealed the differing sexual attitudes of men and women. Today itâ€™s considered a classic. But why men and women display such different attitudes remains as hotly debated as ever.
17] Stimuli Eliciting Sexual Behavior in Turkeys
Male turkeys arenâ€™t fussy. Give them a lifelike model of a female turkey and theyâ€™ll happily try to mate with it as eagerly as they would with the real thing.
This observation intrigued Martin Schein and Edgar Hale of the University of Pennsylvania, and made them curious about what might be the minimal stimulus required to excite a turkey. They embarked on a series of experiments to find out. This involved removing parts from the turkey model one by one, until the male turkey eventually lost interest.
Tail, feet, and wings were all removed, but still the clueless bird waddled up to the model, let out an amorous gobble, and tried to do his thing. Finally, the researchers were left with a head on a stick. And surprisingly, the male turkey still showed great interest. In fact, it preferred a head on a stick over a headless body.
Schein and Hale subsequently investigated how minimal they could make the head itself before it failed to elicit a response. They discovered that freshly severed female heads impaled on sticks worked best, but if the male turkey had nothing else it would settle for a plain balsa wood head. Turkeys evidently adhere to the philosophy that if you canâ€™t be with the one you love, then love the one youâ€™re with.
Curious about the mating habits of other poultry, Schein and Hale performed similar tests on White Leghorn Cocks. For those curious, they published their results in an article that boasts one of the most evocative titles in all of science: â€œEffects of morphological variations of chicken models on sexual responses of cocks.â€
16] Seeing Through Catâ€™s Eyes
In 1999 researchers led by Dr. Yang Dan, an assistant professor of neurobiology at the University of California, Berkeley, anesthetized a cat with sodium pentothal, chemically paralyzed it with Norcuron, and secured it tightly in a surgical frame. They then glued metal posts to the whites of its eyes, and forced it to look a screen that showed scene after scene of swaying trees and turtleneck-wearing men.
This was not a form of Clockword-Orange-style aversion therapy for cats. Instead, it was a remarkable attempt to tap into another creatureâ€™s brain and see directly through its eyes. The researchers had inserted fiber electrodes into the vision-processing center of the catâ€™s brain. The electrodes measured the electrical activity of the brain cells and transmitted this information to a nearby computer which decoded the information and transformed it into a visual image. As the cat watched the images of the trees and the turtleneck-wearing guy, the same images emerged (slightly blurrier) on the computer screen across the room.
The commercial potential of the technology is mind-boggling. Forget helmet-cam at the superbowl; get ready for eye-cam. Or how about this â€” never carry a camera again. Take pictures by blinking your eyes. It would work great unless you had a few too many drinks on vacation.
15] The Electrification of Human Corpses
In 1780 the Italian anatomy professor Luigi Galvani discovered that a spark of electricity could cause the limbs of a dead frog to twitch. Soon men of science throughout Europe were repeating his experiment, but it didnâ€™t take them long to bore of frogs and turn their attention to more interesting animals. What would happen, they wondered, if you electrified a human corpse?
Galvaniâ€™s nephew, Giovanni Aldini, embarked on a tour of Europe in which he offered audiences the chance to see this stomach-turning spectacle. His most celebrated demonstration occurred on January 17, 1803 when he applied the poles of a 120-volt battery to the body of the executed murderer George Forster.
When Aldini placed wires on the mouth and ear, the jaw muscles quivered and the murdererâ€™s features twisted in a rictus of pain. The left eye opened as if to gaze upon his torturer. For the grand finale Aldini hooked one wire to the ear and plunged the other up the rectum. Forsterâ€™s corpse broke into a hideous dance. The London Times wrote, â€œIt appeared to the uninformed part of the bystanders as if the wretched man was on the eve of being restored to life.â€
Other researchers tried electrifying bodies, with the specific hope of restoring them to life, but with no success. Early nineteenth-century experiments of this kind are considered to have been one of Mary Shelleyâ€™s main sources of inspiration when she wrote her novel Frankenstein in 1816.
14] My Fingernails Taste Terribly Bitter
In the summer of 1942 Professor Lawrence Leshan stood in the darkness of a cabin in an upstate New York camp where a row of young boys lay sleeping. He spoke aloud, repeating a single phrase over and over, â€œMy fingernails taste terribly bitter. My fingernails taste terribly bitter.â€
Nowadays that kind of behavior could get one locked away, but Leshan wasnâ€™t mad. He was conducting a sleep-learning experiment. All the boys had been diagnosed as chronic nail-biters, and Leshan wanted to find out if nocturnal exposure to a negative suggestion about nail biting would cure them of their bad habit.
Leshan initially used a phonograph to play the message. It faithfully repeated the phrase 300 times a night as the boys lay sleeping. But five weeks into the experiment, the phonograph broke. Leshan improvised by standing in the darkness and speaking the message himself.
At the end of the summer, Leshan examined the boysâ€™ nails and concluded that 40% of them had kicked the habit. The sleep-learning effect seemed to be real. However, other researchers later disputed this conclusion. In a 1956 experiment at Santa Monica College, William Emmons and Charles Simon used an electroencephalograph to make sure subjects were fully asleep before playing a message. Under these conditions, the sleep-learning effect disappeared.
13] The Ape and the Child
History contains numerous accounts of children raised by animals. The children in such cases often continue to act more animal than human, even when returned to human society. The psychologist Winthrop Kellogg wondered what would happen if the situation were reversed. What if an animal were raised by humans â€” as a human. Would it eventually act like a human?
To answer this question, in 1931 Kellogg brought a seven-month-old female chimpanzee named Gua into his home. He and his wife then proceeded to raise her as if she were human, treating her exactly the same as they treated their ten-month-old son Donald.
Donald and Gua played together. They were fed together. And the Kelloggs subjected them both to regular tests to track their development. One such test was the suspended cookie test, in which the Kelloggs timed how long it took their children to reach a cookie suspended by a string in the middle of the room.
Gua regularly performed better on such tests than Donald, but in terms of language acquisition she was a disappointment. Despite the Kelloggsâ€™s repeated efforts, the ability to speak eluded her. Disturbingly, it also seemed to be eluding Donald. Nine months into the experiment, his language skills werenâ€™t much better than Guaâ€™s. When he one day indicated he was hungry by imitating Guaâ€™s â€œfood bark,â€ the Kelloggs decided the experiment had gone far enough. Donald evidently needed some playmates of his own species. So on March 28, 1932 they shipped Gua back to the primate center. She was never heard from again.
12] The Remote-Controlled Bull
Yale researcher Jose Delgado stood in the hot sun of a bullring in Cordova, Spain. With him in the ring was a large, angry bull. The animal noticed him and began to charge. It gathered speed. Delgado appeared defenseless, but when the bull was mere feet away, Delgado pressed a button on a remote control unit in his hand, sending a signal to a chip implanted in the bullâ€™s brain. Abruptly, the animal stopped in its tracks. It huffed and puffed a few times, and then walked docilely away.
Delgadoâ€™s experience in the ring was an experimental demonstration of the ability of his â€œstimoceiverâ€ to manipulate behavior. The stimoceiver was a computer chip, operated by a remote-control unit, that could be used to electrically stimulate different regions of an animalâ€™s brain. Such stimulation could produce a wide variety of effects, including the involuntary movement of limbs, the eliciting of emotions such as love or rage, or the inhibition of appetite. It could also be used, as Delgado showed, to stop a charging bull.
Delgadoâ€™s experiment sounds so much like science fiction, that many people are surprised to learn it occurred back in 1963. During the 1970s and 80s, research into electrical stimulation of the brain (ESB) languished, stigmatized by the perception that it represented an effort to control peopleâ€™s minds and thoughts. But more recently, ESB research has once again been flourishing, with reports of researchers creating remote-controlled rats, pigeons, and even sharks.
11] Monkey-Head Transplant
When Vladimir Demikhov unveiled his two-headed dogs in 1954, it inspired a strange kind of surgical arms race (or rather, head race) between the two superpowers. Eager to prove that its surgeons were actually the best in the world, the American government began funding the work of Robert White, who then embarked on a series of experimental surgeries, performed at his brain research center in Cleveland, Ohio, resulting in the worldâ€™s first successful monkey-head transplant.
The head transplant occurred on March 14, 1970. It took White and his assistants hours to perform the carefully choreographed operation, separating a monkeyâ€™s head from its body and reattaching it to a new body. When the monkey woke and found that its body had been switched for a new one, it angrily tracked White with its eyes and snapped at him with its teeth. The monkey survived a day and a half before succumbing to complications from the surgery. As bad as it was for the monkey, it could have been worse. White noted that, from a surgical point of view, it would have been easier to put the monkeyâ€™s head on backwards.
White thought he should have been treated like a hero, but instead the public was appalled by what he had done. Nevertheless, White soldiered on, campaigning to raise support for a human head transplant. He toured with Craig Vetovitz, a near-quadriplegic, who volunteered to be the first to undergo the procedure. The public is still a long way from accepting the idea of human head transplants, but if White has his way, one day it will happen.
10] Beneficial Brainwashing
Dr. Ewen Cameron believed he had come up with a cure for schizophrenia. His theory was that the brain could be reprogrammed to think in healthy ways by forcibly imposing new thought patterns on it. His method was to make patients wear headphones and listen to audio messages looped over and over, sometimes for days or even weeks at a time. He called this method â€œpsychic driving,â€ because the messages were being driven into the psyche. The press hailed it as â€œbeneficial brainwashing.â€
During the 1950s and early 1960s, hundreds of Cameronâ€™s patients at Montrealâ€™s Allan Memorial Clinic became his unwitting test subjects â€” whether or not they actually had schizophrenia. Some patients checked in complaining of problems as minor as menopause-related anxiety, only to find themselves sedated with barbiturates, strapped into a bed, and forced to listen for days on end to messages such as â€œPeople like you and need you. You have confidence in yourself.â€
One time, to test the technique, Cameron placed patients into a drugged sleep and made them listen to the message, â€œWhen you see a piece of paper, you want to pick it up.â€ Later he drove them to a local gymnasium. There, lying in the middle of the gym floor, was a single piece of paper. He happily reported that many of them spontaneously walked over to pick it up.
When the CIA learned of what Cameron was doing, it became interested and started surreptitiously channeling him money. But eventually the agency concluded that Cameronâ€™s technique was a failure and cut his funding, prompting Cameron himself to admit that his experiments had been â€œa ten year trip down the wrong road.â€ In the late 1970s a group of Cameronâ€™s former patients filed suit against the CIA for its support of his work and reached an out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed amount of money.
9] The Vomit-Drinking Doctor
How far would you go to prove a theory? Stubbins Ffirth, a doctor-in-training living in Philadelphia during the early nineteenth century, went further than most. Way further.
Having observed that yellow fever ran riot during the summer, but disappeared during the winter, Ffirth concluded that it was not a contagious disease. Instead, he theorized it was caused by an excess of stimulants such as heat, food, and noise.
To prove his theory, Ffirth set out to demonstrate that no matter how much he exposed himself to yellow fever, he wouldnâ€™t catch it. He started by making small incisions on his arms and pouring â€œfresh black vomitâ€ obtained from a yellow-fever patient into the cuts. He didnâ€™t get sick.
Next he dribbled some vomit in his eyes. He fried some up on a skillet and inhaled the fumes. He fashioned some into a pill and swallowed it. Finally he took to drinking entire glasses of pure, undiluted black vomit. And still he didnâ€™t get sick.
Ffirth rounded out his experiment by liberally smearing himself with other yellow-fever tainted fluids: blood, saliva, perspiration, and urine. Healthy as ever, he declared his theory proven. Unfortunately, he was wrong. Yellow fever is very contagious, but it requires direct transmission into the blood stream, usually by a mosquito, to cause infection. But considering all Ffirth did to infect himself, it is a bit of a miracle he remained alive.
8] Facial expressions while decapitating a rat
In 1924 Carney Landis, a graduate student in psychology at the University of Minnesota, designed an experiment to study whether emotions evoke characteristic facial expressions. For instance, is there one expression everyone uses to convey shock, and another commonly used to display disgust?
Most of Landisâ€™s subjects were fellow graduate students. He brought them into his lab and painted lines on their faces so that he could more easily see the movement of their muscles. He then exposed them to a variety of stimuli designed to provoke a strong psychological reaction. As they reacted, he snapped pictures of their faces. He made them smell ammonia, look at pornographic pictures, and reach their hand into a bucket containing slimy frogs. But the climax of the experiment arrived when he carried out a live white rat on a tray and asked them to decapitate it.
Most people initially resisted his request, but eventually two-thirds did as he ordered. Landis noted that most of them performed the task quite clumsily: â€œThe effort and attempt to hurry usually resulted in a rather awkward and prolonged job of decapitation.â€ For the one-third that refused, Landis eventually picked up the knife and decapitated the rat for them.
Landisâ€™s experiment presented a stunning display of the willingness of people to obey the demands of experimenters, no matter how bizarre those demands might be. It anticipated the results of Milgramâ€™s obedience experiment by almost forty years. However, Landis never realized that the compliance of his subjects was far more interesting than their facial expressions. Landis remained single-mindedly focused on his initial research topic, even though he never was able to match up emotions and expressions. It turns out that people use a wide variety of expressions to convey the same emotion â€” even an emotion such as disgust at having to decapitate a rat.
7] The Stanford Prison Experiment
Philip Zimbardo was curious about why prisons are such violent places. Is it because of the character of their inhabitants, or is it due to the corrosive effect of the power structure of the prisons themselves?
To find out, Zimbardo created a mock prison in the basement of the Stanford psychology department. He recruited clean-cut young men as volunteers â€” none had criminal records and all rated â€œnormalâ€ on psychological tests â€” and he randomly assigned half of them to play the role of prisoners and the other half to play guards. His plan was that he would step back for two weeks and observe how these model citizens interacted with each other in their new roles.
What happened next has become the stuff of legend.
Social conditions in the mock prison deteriorated with stunning rapidity. On the first night the prisoners staged a revolt, and the guards, feeling threatened by the insubordination of the prisoners, cracked down hard. They began devising creative ways to discipline the prisoners, using methods such as random strip-searches, curtailed bathroom privileges, verbal abuse, sleep deprivation, and the withholding of food.
Under this pressure, prisoners began to crack. The first one left after only thirty-six hours, screaming that he felt like he was â€œburning up inside.â€ Within six days, four more prisoners had followed his lead, one of whom had broken out in a full-body stress-related rash. It was clear that for everyone involved the new roles had quickly become more than just a game.
Even Zimbardo himself felt seduced by the corrosive psychology of the situation. He began entertaining paranoid fears that his prisoners were planning a break-out, and he tried to contact the real police for help. Luckily, at this point Zimbardo realized things had gone too far. Only six days had passed, but already the happy college kids who had begun the experiment had transformed into sullen prisoners and sadistic guards.
Zimbardo called a meeting the next morning and told everyone they could go home. The remaining prisoners were relieved, but tellingly, the guards were upset. They had been quite enjoying their new-found power and had no desire to give it up.
6] Human-Ape Hybrid
For decades dark rumors circulated alleging that the Soviets had conducted experiments to try to create a human-ape hybrid by breeding chimpanzees and humans, but it wasnâ€™t until the collapse of the Soviet Union and the opening of Russian archives that the rumors were confirmed.
Dr. Ilâ€™ya Ivanov was a world-renowned expert on veterinary reproductive biology, but he wanted to do more in life than breed fatter cows. So in 1927 he traveled to Africa to pursue his vision of interbreeding man and ape.
Thankfully his efforts werenâ€™t successful. To a great degree this was due to the native staff of the West Guinea research facility where he worked, from whom he constantly had to conceal the true purpose of his experiments. If they had found out what he was really doing, he wrote in his diary, â€œthis could have led to very unpleasant consequences.â€ The necessity of carrying out his work in secrecy made it almost impossible to do anything, although he did record two unsuccessful attempts to artificially inseminate female chimpanzees with human sperm.
Frustrated, Ivanov eventually returned to the Soviet Union. He brought an orangutan named Tarzan back with him, hoping to continue his research in a more accepting environment. Back home he advertised for female volunteers willing to carry Tarzanâ€™s child, and remarkably he got a few takers. But then Tarzan died and Ivanov himself was sent off to a prison camp for a couple of years. This ended his research. There are vague rumors suggesting that other Soviet scientists continued Ivanovâ€™s work, but nothing definite has been proven.
5] The Isolated Head of a Dog
What could be more horrific than creating a two-headed dog? What about keeping the severed head of a dog alive apart from its body!
Ever since the carnage of the French Revolution, when the guillotine sent thousands of severed heads tumbling into baskets, scientists had wondered whether it would be possible to keep a head alive apart from its body, but it wasnâ€™t until the late 1920s that someone managed to pull off this feat.
Soviet physician Sergei Brukhonenko developed a primitive heart-lung machine he called an â€œautojector,â€ and with this device he succeeded in keeping the severed head of a dog alive. He displayed one of his living dog heads in 1928 before an international audience of scientists at the Third Congress of Physiologists of the USSR. To prove that the head lying on the table really was alive, he showed that it reacted to stimuli. Brukhonenko banged a hammer on the table, and the head flinched. He shone light in its eyes, and the eyes blinked. He even fed the head a piece of cheese, which promptly popped out the esophageal tube on the other end.
Brukhonenkoâ€™s severed dog head became the talk of Europe and inspired the playwright George Bernard Shaw to muse, â€œI am even tempted to have my own head cut off so that I can continue to dictate plays and books without being bothered by illness, without having to dress and undress, without having to eat, without having anything else to do other than to produce masterpieces of dramatic art and literature.â€
4] The Initiation of Heterosexual Behavior in a Homosexual Male
In 1954 James Olds and Peter Milner of McGill University discovered that the septal region is the feel-good center of the brain. Electrical stimulation of it produces sensations of intense pleasure and sexual arousal. They demonstrated their discovery by inserting wires into a ratâ€™s brain and then showing that when the rat figured out it could self-stimulate itself by pressing a lever, it would maniacally bang on that lever up to two-thousand times an hour. (The image at the very top of this page, third from the right, shows one of Olds and Milnerâ€™s rats banging on its lever.)
In 1970, Robert Heath of Tulane University dreamed up a far more novel application of Olds and Milnerâ€™s discovery. Heath decided to test whether repeated stimulation of the septal region could transform a homosexual man into a heterosexual.
Heath referred to his homosexual subject as patient B-19. He inserted Teflon-insulated electrodes into the septal region of B-19â€™s brain and then gave B-19 carefully controlled amounts of stimulation in experimental sessions. Soon the young man was reporting increased stirrings of sexual motivation. Heath then rigged up a device to allow B-19 to self-stimulate himself. It was like letting a chocoholic loose in a candy shop. B-19 quickly became obsessed with the pleasure button. In one three-hour session he pressed it 1500 times until, as Heath noted, â€œhe was experiencing an almost overwhelming euphoria and elation and had to be disconnected.â€
By this stage of the experiment B-19â€™s libido was so jacked up that Heath decided to proceed with the final stage in which B-19 would be introduced to a sexually-willing female partner. With permission from the state attorney general, Heath arranged for a twenty-one-year-old female prostitute to visit the lab, and he placed her in a room with B-19. For an hour B-19 did nothing, but then the prostitute took the initiative and a successful sexual encounter between the two occurred. Heath considered this a positive result.
Little is known of B-19â€™s later fate. Heath reported that the young man drifted back into a life of homosexual prostitution, but that he also had an affair with a married woman. Heath optimistically decided that this showed the treatment was at least partially successful. However, Heath never did try to convert any more homosexuals.
3] Demikhovâ€™s Two-Headed Dogs
In 1954 Vladimir Demikhov shocked the world by unveiling a surgically created monstrosity: A two-headed dog. He created the creature in a lab on the outskirts of Moscow by grafting the head, shoulders, and front legs of a puppy onto the neck of a mature German shepherd.
Demikhov paraded the dog before reporters from around the world. Journalists gasped as both heads simultaneously lapped at bowls of milk, and then cringed as the milk from the puppyâ€™s head dribbled out the unconnected stump of its esophageal tube. The Soviet Union proudly boasted that the dog was proof of their nationâ€™s medical preeminence.
Over the course of the next fifteen years, Demikhov created a total of twenty of his two-headed dogs. None of them lived very long, as they inevitably succumbed to problems of tissue rejection. The record was a month.
Demikhov explained that the dogs were part of a continuing series of experiments in surgical techniques, with his ultimate goal being to learn how to perform a human heart and lung transplant. Another surgeon beat him to this goal â€” Dr. Christian Baarnard in 1967 â€” but Demikhov is widely credited with paving the way for it.
Imagine that youâ€™ve volunteered for an experiment, but when you show up at the lab you discover the researcher wants you to murder an innocent person. You protest, but the researcher firmly states, â€œThe experiment requires that you do it.â€ Would you acquiesce and kill the person?
When asked what they would do in such a situation, almost everyone replies that of course they would refuse to commit murder. But Stanley Milgramâ€™s famous obedience experiment, conducted at Yale University in the early 1960s, revealed that this optimistic belief is wrong. If the request is presented in the right way, almost all of us quite obediently become killers.
Milgram told subjects they were participating in an experiment to determine the effect of punishment on learning. One volunteer (who was, in reality, an actor in cahoots with Milgram) would attempt to memorize a series of word pairs. The other volunteer (the real subject) would read out the word pairs and give the learner an electric shock every time he got an answer wrong. The shocks would increase in intensity by fifteen volts with each wrong answer.
The experiment began. The learner started getting some wrong answers, and pretty soon the shocks had reached 120 volts. At this point the learner started crying out, â€œHey, this really hurts.â€ At 150 volts the learner screamed in pain and demanded to be let out. Confused, the volunteers turned around and asked the researcher what they should do. He always calmly replied, â€œThe experiment requires that you continue.â€
Milgram had no interest in the effect of punishment on learning. What he really wanted to see was how long people would keep pressing the shock button before they refused to participate any further. Would they remain obedient to the authority of the researcher up to the point of killing someone?
To Milgramâ€™s surprise, even though volunteers could plainly hear the agonized cries of the learner echoing through the walls of the lab from the neighboring room, two-thirds of them continued to press the shock button all the way up to the end of scale, 450 volts, by which time the learner had fallen into an eerie silence, apparently dead. Milgramâ€™s subjects sweated and shook, and some laughed hysterically, but they kept pressing the button. Even more disturbingly, when volunteers could neither see nor hear feedback from the learner, compliance with the order to give ever greater shocks was almost 100%.
Milgram later commented, â€œI would say, on the basis of having observed a thousand people in the experiment and having my own intuition shaped and informed by these experiments, that if a system of death camps were set up in the United States of the sort we had seen in Nazi Germany, one would be able to find sufficient personnel for those camps in any medium-sized American town.â€
1] Elephants on Acid
What happens if you give an elephant LSD? On Friday August 3, 1962, a group of Oklahoma City researchers decided to find out.
Warren Thomas, Director of the City Zoo, fired a cartridge-syringe containing 297 milligrams of LSD into Tusko the Elephantâ€™s rump. With Thomas were two scientific colleagues from the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, Louis Jolyon West and Chester M. Pierce.
297 milligrams is a lot of LSD â€” about 3000 times the level of a typical human dose. In fact, it remains the largest dose of LSD ever given to a living creature. The researchers figured that, if they were going to give an elephant LSD, they better not give him too little.
Thomas, West, and Pierce later explained that the experiment was designed to find out if LSD would induce musth in an elephant â€” musth being a kind of temporary madness male elephants sometimes experience during which they become highly aggressive and secrete a sticky fluid from their temporal glands. But one suspects a small element of ghoulish curiosity might also have been involved.
Whatever the reason for the experiment, it almost immediately went awry. Tusko reacted to the shot as if a bee had stung him. He trumpeted around his pen for a few minutes, and then keeled over on his side. Horrified, the researchers tried to revive him, but about an hour later he was dead. The three scientists sheepishly concluded that, â€œIt appears that the elephant is highly sensitive to the effects of LSD.â€
In the years that followed controversy lingered over whether it was the LSD that killed Tusko, or the drugs used to revive him. So twenty years later, Ronald Siegel of UCLA decided to settle the debate by giving two elephants a dose similar to what Tusko received. Reportedly he had to sign an agreement promising to replace the animals in the event of their deaths.
Instead of injecting the elephants with LSD, Siegel mixed the drug into their water, and when it was administered in this way, the elephants not only survived but didnâ€™t seem too upset at all. They acted sluggish, rocked back and forth, and made some strange vocalizations such as chirping and squeaking, but within a few hours they were back to normal. However, Siegel noted that the dosage Tusko received may have exceeded some threshold of toxicity, so he couldnâ€™t rule out that LSD was the cause of his death. The controversy continues.
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About Vision Direct
Vision Direct™ is a part of the SmartBuyGlasses Optical Group – the world’s leading designer glasses e-commerce company. With operations across Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Americas, their portfolios of domain properties are market leaders in over 20 countries, including smartbuyglasses.com in the US and visiondirect.com.au in Australia.
2 Reasons Your Business Needs Facebook
If you have ever scrolled through a Facebook news feed, you have likely come across advertisements for businesses. It is even likely that the company that was advertised was something that you might be interested in. You see, many people think that Facebook is a social media platform meant to connect people. The truth is entirely different from that. Facebook is a business and as such has a singular goal in mind: make money. And Facebook making money is good for your business.
Here, in a nutshell, is how it works: Facebook gained billions of followers, gained significant insights into people’s interests, and became likely the most powerful advertising platform in history. You might be hesitant given the recent controversies surrounding Facebook’s privacy issues. While it is entirely fair to consider these issues as you explore new marketing strategies for your business, what is also important to consider is that Facebook continues to be the most powerful advertising platform.
Below you will find two excellent reasons why your business needs to Facebook to truly survive and find success.
By far the most powerful feature that Facebook offers is the ability to create custom audiences that are incredibly specific to your brand. In the past, if you wanted to launch an advertising campaign, you would have to invest large sums of money and show your product to large audiences hoping that some of them would buy.
In advertising, more is often not necessarily better. In fact, if you can create an audience that shares many interests that your brand would fit into, you will have a much higher likelihood of finding buyers. Whereas before you would hope that the thousands of eyes would lead to some sales, now you can exponentially increase your odds.
The key to custom audiences is that you have to have a reasonably good idea of what your ideal customer would look like. In fact, if you can create an avatar of your perfect customer before you start advertising, you will significantly help your efforts. How do you create an avatar of your ideal customer? Just sit down and write lists of qualities that the customers that have purchased your product share in common.
You can then build an audience on Facebook and look for people on Facebook that share as many of these qualities as possible. One tip is to consider that those qualities can translate to interests. For example, if your customers are dog lovers, you might begin building your audience by looking into other pages on Facebook that relate to dogs. The more specific, the better (e.g., bulldog instead of dog). If you’ve ever wondered how to get more likes on Facebook, this is a perfect way. Build your audience, and they will be much more likely to like your page.
If we were to define branding using another word, we could efficiently use the exposure. A brand is, after all, the recognition of a company or product after repeated exposure. That is why the biggest brands in the world spend millions of dollars on television and magazine ads, as well as billboards. No direct sale comes from showing these ads. Instead, these companies make their money because every time one of their potential customers is at a store and sees their product, it will look familiar, and they will want to buy it. It is that simple.
As humans, we are programmed to be attracted to what is familiar. It might very well be an effect our ancestors passed down to us. If you think about it, our ancestors had to stick together to survive. Therefore, what was familiar to them meant to trust and, by extension, survival.
The question is then how to use Facebook to create this exposure and familiarity. It is relatively easy to put your brand out there for your potential customers to see. In fact, when you are setting up your ad campaign, Facebook will give you the option for exposure by what they refer to as Awareness. Choose this option, and you will automatically start getting your name out there. We wouldn’t recommend this as a unique advertising strategy, but it is a great way to convert cold traffic into warmer traffic that will be more open to buying your product.
While Facebook is not a perfect platform, it will give you by far the most significant chance of success of any social media platform out there.
Why You Should Travel with Your Partner Before Marriage
One of the fun things you should do with your partner before you walk down the aisle is to go on a vacation together.
Traveling with the person you love will make your relationship stronger and give you tremendous opportunities to learn more about them. If you want your relationship to be a success, you should strive to know your partner as much as you can.
The more you know about them, the easier it is to relate to their thoughts and feelings and so understand their actions. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider traveling with your partner before you get married.
Relationships are either growing or dying. They never stand still. The natural order of healthy relationships is that you are always getting better and stronger with the passing of time.
One of the fastest ways to hack progress in relationships is to take a vacation together. The simple act of vacationing together communicates that your relationship has leveled up and you don’t mind the commitments that come with such progress.
Know Your Partner Better
You really never know someone until you’ve spent a lot of time with them. If you are in a relatively new relationship, your partner will obviously be on their best behavior at all times. This is normal and is to be expected.
Vacationing with your partner provides you with the opportunity to spend a lot of time together round the clock. It is tiresome to keep an act for as long as a good vacation lasts. They will let their guard down and be the normal them.
If there aren’t any serious red flags, know that you’ve found yourself a good partner.
Know How They Handle Stress
While travel is always fun, some aspects of the process can be very stressful. Things like missing a flight or flights being delayed, your luggage getting lost, or even the process of planning the trip can be sources of stress.
Trip planning is an essential part of any vacation. Even if you are staying at an all-inclusive couples resort where everything is pretty much availed to you, you must still do a considerable amount of planning including how to get to and back from the resort.
If anything goes wrong during your trip, you will know how your partner handles stressful situations. Do they crumble or do they stay composed and rise above the whole situation?
Can You Tolerate Each Other For Long Stretches of Time?
You probably haven’t been around one another round the clock for as long as you are going to be together during your vacation. When you are at home, commitments such as work, shopping, and friends serve to keep you apart from each other for some time.
During a vacation, there won’t be any other commitments and you will have to spend inordinate amount of time next to your partner. It is normal to need some space for yourself. Everyone needs some alone time to recharge their batteries. While on vacation, you are able to do your own thing. You’re able to sit by the pool while your partner shops and gets a massage. This doesn’t mean you don’t love each other – sometimes it’s just nice to unwind. Nonetheless, if you or your partner is constantly looking for a reason to spend time alone during the vacation, there’s a cause for worry.
Relationships are built around people being able to keep the other company. If you can’t tolerate one another’s company for long then there’s a problem.
The Silence Test
You know you are in a great relationship when even the silent moments you spend with your partner are golden. Since you will be spending a lot of time together during your vacation, it is normal that there will be a lot of silences.
Are you okay with just being able to enjoy your partner’s company without the need to keep a conversation going? Or are the silences awkward
You Learn to Be Comfortable Around Your Partner
The by-product of spending so much time around your partner is that you will get comfortable around them and so allow them to love the real you.
You will build a stronger relationship with your partner when you are fully yourself and can express your feelings and thoughts authentically. You don’t have to censor yourself when you are around the person you love. It is good for your relationship that you are completely open with them about how you feel and what you think.
Traveling Can Make Your Bond Stronger
There are several benefits to traveling with your significant other before you tie the knot. Traveling with your partner gives you an instant travelmate you like and whose interests you may also share. Besides all the fun you will be having, you will also find opportunities to know your partner better and to let your guard down so they can comfortable with the real you.
For your relationship to be great, you should be authentic and not be a pretender. You are lovable the way you are.
10 Things to Figure Out Before Your Wedding Day
Planning a wedding is no small task. If you’ve just started planning your wedding, then you’re probably already feeling overwhelmed. There’s so much to arrange, buy, and coordinate. Getting married is an exciting, beautiful time, but planning the wedding itself can be a hassle as well as figuring out how to provide your guests with an emailed list. If you need a breath of fresh air as you plan, add the following ten things to your checklist. Knowing what to decide, and when to decide it, can make your wedding planning an easier experience.
One of the first things to figure out before your wedding day is your budget. Some brides might have enough to create a magazine-worthy wedding, but you’re probably working with much less. Necessity is the mother of invention, and small-budget weddings are often sweeter, friendlier, and more unique. Before you make any of the following decisions, you need to know what you’re working with. Are you on your own? Are your parents contributing? Are your soon-to-be in-laws contributing? Collect your data and stick to your budget.
Every wedding has a different tone, and before you start the rest of your plans, you should decide what the tone of your wedding will be. Are you going for country? Regal? You might want to set up bounce houses and serve food carnival-style, or you might opt to have guests seated indoors with white linen and silver. The rest of your plans will revolve around the tone you’re going for, so decide with your partner what you want your wedding to feel like. This marquee from Cap Marquees will definitely help you to underline the tone of your special day. Do you want to break every tradition in the book, or do you want to celebrate in a time-honored way?
Next up: you have to decide how big you want your wedding to be. Guest lists get complicated since if you invite this person you should technically invite that person. Remember that not every guest will make it, especially if your wedding is out of town. If you need a small wedding, see how much you can limit your guest size. If size isn’t an issue, make sure you can find a reception venue to fit everyone on your list.
The Reception Venue
The toughest part of wedding planning, for many, is finding the reception venue. If a place is not too expensive, it’s ugly or it’s already booked. You’ll probably have to think outside the box when you’re planning your wedding. If you’ve got plenty of time before the big day, pick the venue ASAP and book it. If you have a shorter engagement, look at park shelters, big backyards, or church basements, and find your supplies at a place like this event rental company in Randall, OH.
Where Guests Will Stay
You might be in the same city as most of your guests, but every wedding involves a few out-of-town attendees. If you’re planning a destination wedding, it will be even more important to plan accommodations. Offer a hotel discount for guests, send them a list of nearby motels, or encourage camping or RVing for the more adventurous folks. One extra-special touch you could consider is to provide your guests with an emailed list or hard-copy binder of local restaurants and things to do while they’re in town. Depending on where you end up tying the knot, your guests could remember your wedding not just because of the beautiful ceremony but also because they had the chance to surf Hawaii or had an enjoyable experience in North Bend, OR while they waited for the wedding to begin.
Who’s Walking You Down the Aisle
If you’re a bride, you’re probably considering having someone walk you down the aisle. If you and your father have a good relationship, you’ll probably ask him, but you may be estranged or he may be deceased. That makes your decision more complicated. Choosing your mom instead is always a worthy solution, and you might also pick a relative, mentor, or sibling to walk with you. You can even walk down the aisle alone. Or maybe you want to take this opportunity to find out more about your family–DNA testing in New York can help uncover who your parents and grandparents are if they haven’t been part of your life before now. A wedding offers a great opportunity to dig into your heritage and bring your family together!
The music at your wedding might seem like a small decision, but it’s more complicated than it sounds. If you’ve chosen a traditional tone for your wedding, your music should lean towards the classical side. On the other hand, if you’re going all-out on breaking traditions, you might have rock music at the wedding ceremony. You also have to choose between live music (a friend who’s a pianist or a full band) and playing recordings. Make sure you have someone experienced working sound if you choose recordings, and cut down the songs to where you want them so you don’t run into any bugs.
If you’re a bride, deciding on your dress might be a huge part of your wedding day. You may have some idea of what you’re looking for, or you may have no idea at all. Remember to choose your dress based on what you ultimately want: if you want a style that’s less flattering than another, but you feel right, go for it. Don’t let friends or family talk you out of the dress you’re really hoping for. On the other hand, stick to your budget! It’s not worth getting in debt over an outfit you’ll (hopefully) only wear once.
Who’s Running the Show
Before your big day, pick someone (besides you) to keep things running smoothly. This might be an aunt, the maid of honor, a friend, or a professional. You should be able to enjoy every moment of your wedding day without worrying about what comes next. Make a good plan, and then let it go. Designate someone responsible whom you trust to deal with any disasters and keep the wedding running according to plan.
Last, but not least, the final decision you have to make is where to spend your honeymoon. Some couples choose to spend more money on their wedding and take a modest honeymoon; other couples want the exact opposite. Decide with your partner what’s more important to you, and make sure you include that in your step-one budget. Once you know your budget, you can start looking for the perfect destination. Do you want a cabin in the woods? A castle in Ireland? Combine both of your interests and passions to choose the perfect honeymoon spot.
Even though weddings certainly require a good amount of planning, in the end, you will remember yours as one of the most magical and special days of your life. Once you break down the event into these categorical to-do’s, the whole thing is way less overwhelming and way more enjoyable. Remember to think ahead, stick to your own tastes and preferences, and, of course, have fun!
10 Tips for Healthy Aging
There’s a reason your senior years are called your Golden Years. People in this age group often report the highest levels of happiness. If you’re getting older, then you’re headed towards good things.The only downside to aging is, of course, the health problems. You can expect a few more limitations as you age, as well as some chronic health issues. The better care you take of your health, however, the better you’ll feel, and the easier it will be for your body to combat poor health. If you take these ten tips for healthy aging, you’ll feel good longer and have better control of your aging process. If you have questions about any of these tips, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor for better success as you age.
One of the best things you can do for healthy aging is to stay fit. If you get regular exercise, from a daily walk, tri-weekly jog, or regular bike trip, it can help guard your muscles and heart against wearing out. Exercise is so good for you, it may even help men live longer. Even if you’re not as mobile as you used to be, you should still get regular exercise. Talk to your doctor about what a healthy exercise routine looks like for you, and invest in walks, yoga, or aerobics.
See Your Doctor
As you age, it’s important that you see your doctor on a regular basis. 80% of the elderly suffer from a chronic disease. If you face a health concern as you get older, you should catch it as soon as possible. A regular visit to your doctor will help keep your health concerns in check, and the sooner you catch them, the better your symptoms could be. You may also need to see a specialty doctor as your health changes, like a podiatrist in Northeast Ohio for foot pain.
Eating healthy is a huge part of staying healthy. You’ve heard the phrase, “put good in, get good out” applied in many situations, but it’s true of your food, for sure. If you eat foods high in nutrients, your body will perform better. A diet full of processed food fills your body with ingredients it doesn’t know what to do with, but a diet of whole foods, like vegetables, healthy proteins, and other made-from-scratch foods will fill your body with nutrients it can use to keep you thriving.
Use Your Brain
As you age, it’s important to keep your brain active. It hasn’t been proven yet, but regular brain activity has been linked to preventing Alzheimer’s. You could do a crossword puzzle or logic puzzle every week. While you might not intend to do anything practical with your new knowledge, you could take college classes online with accredited online degree programs. Going back to school, even if it’s just for a few subjects, can help keep your brain active. Plus, you’ll enjoy learning new things.
Stress isn’t good for anyone, and regular stress causes wear and tear on your heart, not to mention depleting the quality of your rest. To keep your health in good condition, destress on a regular basis. You could try meditating, or you could invest in residential hot tubs & spas for a great way to relax every week. If a situation stresses you out, try to avoid it. If you’re still working, cut back on work stresses, and find ways to limit your stressful experiences.
Keep Up Relationships
As you age, it may be easy to lose touch with certain people. Isolation is a common concern for the elderly, and you should ensure you don’t end up in the same boat. Keep up your relationships. Try to see friends and family on a regular basis. If you’ve lost touch with some friends, try to make new ones. Any relationship takes time and investment, so make sure you’re paving the way for an enjoyable new season of life.
The older we get, the more our risk of health problems and injuries increase. Trips and falls are a serious concern for the elderly around their homes, and even if you’re far from needing a cane, you should still get your home updated. Keep your floors and stairs hazard free. Install rubber mats on all the steps, staple down the corners of carpeting, and make sure slick basement tiles are covered with a rug. If you’re a bit nervous about stairs, move your bedroom to the first floor.
Try New Things
You’re never too old to try new things, and any new experience can form new neural pathways. A new experience is good for your brain and good for you as a person, so keep exploring new opportunities. Never say no, unless you’re sure you can’t. If you’re still mobile, why not learn how to surf Hawaii? Pick up a new hobby, a new skill, or anything else you’ve never tried before. Even a new passion for miniatures could keep your brain in fit shape.
Find a Community
It’s important to maintain your relationships as you age, but it’s also important to find a community. You may be retired, or nearing retirement, and there are plenty of other people in your same age with fresh free time on their hands. Join clubs, community groups, and other new outlets. Find several new groups of friends, and gathered around a shared interest or passion.
Your sleep is an important part of your health, so make sure you get adequate rest as you age. Sleep at least a full eight hours every night. If you suspect the quality of your rest is poor, talk to your doctor. You might be suffering from a nutrient imbalance, or a sleeping disorder, such as sleep apnea. All sleep issues are treatable, so do what you must to recover great quality rest. The solution might be as simple as getting a new mattress or a better pillow.
The Healthy Body
People have many reasons for wanting to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Some eat consciously and exercise to look good while others do it for health. Whatever the reason, there are a few basic tips for maintaining a healthy body. For example, exercising is vital to health. Physical activities burn calories and build muscle. However, exercise does not require extensive hours at the gym. Physical activities such as walking, jogging, bike riding, or hiking can meet the cardiovascular requirements of the body. The important aspect of exercising is to keep an active lifestyle, maintain the body in movement, and manage an active metabolism. Depending on body mass, an individual can burn between 100 to 120 calories by walking a mile. Also, simple adjustments, such as taking the stairs, can help burn additional calories.
Calories and Portions
Exercise alone does not accomplish a healthy lifestyle though. Proper eating habits are also necessary to maintain a healthy body. The human body is a machine and requires the right nutrients to function properly. However, the most common mistake that people make, apart from not maintaining a balanced diet, is overeating. Mainly, this is caused by disproportionate dish sizes and large packaging. People use portions based on the size of the plate without an understanding of the actual recommended portion size. Therefore, by improving the served portion sizes, individuals can control the amount of caloric intake and avoid overeating.
Such a control begins with understanding what the recommended serving sizes are. For example, the first meal of most people’s day will be breakfast. A person may fill a bowl of cereal to the top because that is the size of the bowl. However, the recommended serving size for dry cereal is about a cup. A cup is a standard unit of measurement. But if individuals use a random bowl, the size of the bowl can differ greatly. Therefore, the contents of the bowl can exceed the recommended serving size. To avoid serving themselves portions that are too large, people can purchase and use serving cups that provide an exact measurement.
Proper Eating Habits
Another common mistake that people managing a diet often make is skipping meals. Mostly, dieters believe that if a meal is skipped, they are reducing calories. While this is technically true, the action also slows down the body’s metabolism because the body enters an energy-saving mode to avoid starvation. Some people may have issues with burning fat given that their bodies already have slower metabolisms. Many products, such as Lipodrene, naturally speed up the body’s metabolism and can assist with burning fat. However, all supplements require proper eating habits to function properly. Therefore, skipping meals and eliminating them to reduce calories is not the solution to a healthy body. On the contrary, eating smaller sized portions more times a day is beneficial to burn calories as it maintains the body’s metabolism active for longer periods.
Also, people need to remember that breakfast is incredibly important. Most people have heard the phrase “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” The adage is true as breakfast plays a large role in the overall health of individuals. The meal has many beneficial qualities and provides a boost in energy that makes individuals feel less tired during the day. Eating breakfast every morning also helps people feel less irritable and fatigued, two feelings which often lead to overeating.
A healthy body is a combination of eating correctly and exercising regularly. Eating smaller meals throughout the day increases the body’s metabolism. Combining physical activities with everyday routines increases the number of calories burned. If proper health and fitness are not incorporated into the lifestyle choices of individuals, people will not be able to achieve physical and mental well-being. Body and mind need to be functioning in a synergetic manner to achieve the goals of maintaining the body in optimal conditions. Once the goal is achieved, show off the body! Check out places to see on Florida’s Gulf Coast: the beach is the perfect place to feel proud of the effort placed toward achieving health.