Two Social Psychology Experiments Charlie Munger Would Like You To Know About
Given all the commotion regarding unethical rating agencies, dishonest brokers, and greedy investment bankers-I find the need to explain this behavior via two psychology experiments. The conclusions, simple, when you put seemingly nice people in pressure cooker environments you get unfortunate behavior. (Links are below each experiment’s introduction)
Experiment 1 – Milgram’s Conformity Experiments (Introduction Via MindHacks)
ABC Radio National’s Radio Eye has one of the best documentaries on Milgram’s conformity experiments that I’ve ever heard. It follows up several of the people who took part in the original experiment and weaves their stories into the audio from the original and chilling tapes of the actual sessions.
“In the summer of 1961 Stanley Milgram, a 27-year-old associate professor of psychology at Yale University, conducted a series of controversial experiments designed to test the limits of obedience. Volunteers in the experiment were told to give electric shocks to a person they could hear screaming in pain in the room next door. Seemingly ordinary people turned into torturers.”
Experiment 2 – Psychology of Imprisonment – What happens when you put good people in evil places (Via PrisonExp.org)
Welcome to the Stanford Prison Experiment web site, which features an extensive slide show and information about this classic psychology experiment, including parallels with the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? These are some of the questions we posed in this dramatic simulation of prison life conducted in the summer of 1971 at Stanford University.
How we went about testing these questions and what we found may astound you. Our planned two-week investigation into the psychology of prison life had to be ended prematurely after only six days because of what the situation was doing to the college students who participated. In only a few days, our guards became sadistic and our prisoners became depressed and showed signs of extreme stress. Please join me on a slide tour describing this experiment and uncovering what it tells us about the nature of human nature.