21. Rosenhan experiment

The Rosenhan experiment was an experiment in which a Stanford psychologist (David Rosenhan) and his associates faked hallucinations in order to be admitted to psychiatric hospitals. They then acted normally. All were forced to admit to having a mental illness and agree to take antipsychotic drugs in order to be released. – Source

22. In 1927, an experiment (Pitch drop) was begun to show that solid pitch was actually a liquid. 89 years later the pitch has produced 9 drips. – Source

23. An experiment was conducted on the New York subway where seated passengers were asked: “Excuse me, may I please have your seat?” 56% of them moved. – Source

24. The Body Mass Index (BMI) was created for a social statistics experiment and was never intended to be an indicator of health. – Source

25. There was an experiment where 2 groups (Rattlers and Eagles) of 11-12 year old boys who were given separate camps in a state park. When the groups became aware of each other, they began raiding each other’s camps, which led to physical combat. The investigators ended the experiment fearing someone would seriously get hurt. – Source


26. Jean-Antoine Nollet

In 1746, Jean-Antoine Nollet (French physicist) conducted an experiment in which 200 monks formed a circle (1.6 km in circumference) and were linked by iron wire. He then had electricity pass through them which shocked all the monks simultaneously. He concluded that the speed of electricity was very high. – Source

27. Middle-aged black men started visiting doctors less after news of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment scandal broke in 1972. This led to their life expectancy falling by 1.4 years, which accounted for “approximately 35% of the 1980 life expectancy gap between black and white men.” – Source

28. Charles Darwin became interested in how vegetables crossed the oceans. In one experiment, Darwin fed seeds to a bird, shot it, and then placed the carcass in a bath rub to float. After a month, Darwin retrieved the seeds from the floating carcass and planted them. The seeds germinated. – Source

29. Judit Polgar is a female chess player who defeated Kasparov, Karpov, and Spassky. She was part of an experiment by her father to prove (chess) genius is made, not born. – Source

30. The “fact” that you eat 8 spiders a year was a social experiment to show how fast false information spreads on the internet. – Source


31. Smoke-filled room experiment

The smoke-filled room experiment is an experiment which shows that even if there’s smoke filling a room, people will stay for as long as 20 minutes if no one else is reacting to it. Otherwise, they’d leave quickly. – Source

32. An experiment on worms survived the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster and their descendants were flown to the space station in 2011 by Space Shuttle Endeavor. – Source

33. Only one of the guards of the Standford Prison Experiment (Dave Eshelman) was particularly brutal, and the more brutal he became, the more prominently he faked a southern accent. – Source

34. In World War 2 conscientious objectors took part in an experiment in which they were starved for 6 months to decide how to treat victims of mass starvation in Europe. – Source

35. Through a series of experiments in the Polytechnic Institute of New York, a robotic fish ended up becoming the leader of a school of live fish. – Source


36. PTSD rates

In a housing experiment that moved families from poor neighborhoods to wealthier ones, boys experienced PTSD rates comparable to those of combat soldiers, while psychological well-being improved for girls. – Source

37. An experiment called ‘The Three Christs of Ypsilanti’ was conducted, where 3 schizophrenics claiming to be Jesus were brought together and their reactions documented. In the end, each came to the conclusion that the other two must have mental issues. – Source

38. Nikola Tesla planned to secretly experiment on children, lining the walls of schoolrooms with high-voltage lines, believing that exposing them to the energy would make them healthier and smarter, and he believed every home in the future would soon do likewise. – Source

39. Creatine, the muscle building supplement, was found in a double-blind experiment to significantly increase cognitive function among vegans and vegetarians. – Source

40. When Michael Crichton (American author) was in college, he conducted an experiment to expose an English professor who he believed was giving him abnormally low marks. Crichton submitted an essay by George Orwell under his own name. The paper was returned by his unwitting professor with a mark of “B−”. – Source

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