Monday, February 18, 2013

Five Monkeys Experiment? Or Thought Experiment

Hi all,

Some of you may already know of the "Five Monkeys" experiment.

As it goes, there are five monkeys in a room with a ladder leading to a banana. When one of the monkeys goes to get the monkey the other four are doused with freezing water. This is continued for whenever another monkey tries to go after the banana. Eventually the monkeys fear going up to the banana and also hated when one of the other monkeys went towards the banana.

Then the experimenters turned off the hoses, and a new monkey would be introduced to replace another monkey. This new monkey would go after the banana and it would be instantly "attacked with enthusiasm" by the other four monkeys. Eventually this new monkey would learn to not go after the banana. And then a new monkey would be replaced until all five original monkeys were replaced, but the new monkeys still attacked the new monkeys even though they were never directly shown why to fear going towards the banana.

Some of you may already know of this experiment, but apparently we are all like these monkeys than the experiment may suggest ironically I discover as I read this article.

So this article states that the "Five Monkeys" experiment was derived from two other experiments that were similar. Neither as harsh or severe as the one we all know to be.

These experiments suggests that people, like monkeys, tend to follow what is already established instead of asking why or why not to traditions and social norms, but ironically the story that teaches us this concept was just another example that shows how easy it is to just accept things without question.

Eric Chung

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