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6 Famous Psychology Experiments

By , black-rose-bielefeld.de GuideJuly 20, 2010

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The history of psychology is rich with fascinating studies and experiments that have helped changed the way we think about the human mind and behavior. Some of the most famous psychology experiments include Pavlov's research with dogs, Milgram's studies of obedience and Harlow's work with rhesus monkeys. Explore some of these famous psychology experiments to learn more about some of the best-known research in psychology history.

famous psychology experiments
Learn more about some of psychology's most famous experiments.
Photo courtesy Rich Legg/iStockPhoto
  • Pavlov's Dogs: How Ivan Pavlov Discovered Classical Conditioning: Classical conditioning is one of the major topics studied by students in every introductory psychology class. You may be surprised to learn that it was actually a physiologist who made this important psychological discovery.

  • The Little Albert Experiment: The Little Albert experiment was a famous psychology experiment conducted by behaviorist John B. Watson and graduate student Rosalie Raynor. Learn more about the Little Albert experiment and discover what happened to the boy in the study.

  • The Asch Conformity Experiments: Researchers have long been interested in the degree to which people follow or rebel against social norms. During the 1950s, psychologist Solomon Asch conducted a series of experiments designed to demonstrate the powers of conformity in groups.

  • Harry Harlow's Rhesus Monkey Experiments: In a series of controversial experiments conducted in 1960s, psychologist Harry Harlow demonstrated the powerful effects of love on normal development. By showing the devastating effects of deprivation on young rhesus monkeys, Harlow revealed the importance of love for healthy childhood development. His experiments were often unethical and shockingly cruel, yet they uncovered fundamental truths that have heavily influenced our understanding of child development.

  • The Milgram Obedience Experiment: In Milgram's experiment, participants were asked to deliver electrical shocks to a "learner" whenever an incorrect answer was given. In reality, the learner was actually a confederate in the experiment who pretended to be shocked. The purpose of the experiment was to determine how far people were willing to go in order to obey the commands of an authority figure. Milgram found that 65% of participants were willing to deliver the maximum level of shocks despite the fact that the learner seemed to be in serious distress or even unconscious.

  • The Stanford Prison Experiment: Philip Zimbardo's famous experiment cast regular students in the roles of prisoners and prison guards. While the study was originally slated to last two weeks, it had to be halted after just six days because the guards became abusive and the prisoners began to show signs of extreme stress and anxiety.


October 11, 2012 at 1:51 pm

The Milgram and Stanford prison experiments were not really psychology experiments, they were sociological experiments.

November 1, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Well technically they were social psychological experiments. Zimbardo was a psychologist and Milgram and social psychologist. Along with Asch?s experiment and Sherif?s experiment with studying the autokinetic effect they form the main experiments studying conformity in social psychology.

January 2, 2021 at 3:22 pm

ThÚ study done to the rhesus monkeys is horrific and disgraceful. It makes me sick.

January 3, 2021 at 9:23 pm

dude your being rediculous. some times we have to do thing we dont entirely enjoy to learn and understand things to make the world a better place. for example, i believe it was da Vinci (may be wrong) that cut open live people to study their bodies and much of what we know today about anatomy comes from his experiments. besides, the monkeys grew up normally reguardless of their feeding methods.
PS: please forgive my spelling and grammar. im still young

January 4, 2021 at 1:49 pm

Cooper: Think about this; because some monkeys were taken away from their mothers for a while, think about all the human children that got their mothers attention. Before that experiment, mothers were told not to love their children. You read the article.

January 5, 2021 at 5:39 pm

It?s all about how much you value our species. Almost everyone in the world has taken a specisist?s viewpoint and said, ?The welfare of any human is more important than any amount of animals. Not to be taking any side here, but think of it this way. More humans are saved than animals tested because the human species is overrunning Earth, it?s population multiplying faster than any other. The more accurate point would be to say that for each human saved, hundreds of animals non-consensually also died. By the way, Sean, it was Da Vinci who snuck into morgues and stole bodies to cut them up. It was the Nazis who most contributed to science by vivisection, (NOT an enthusiast) and it is hardly ?right? to vouch for THEM. BT dubs, your grammar sucks, get an education.

February 4, 2021 at 1:58 pm

Actually the Obedience experiment is not a experiment, due to a lack of variables, its really more of a demonstration of obedience.

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