Experimental Psychology: A Dark History

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“Most of our daily lives are carried on without reflection. We cannot always remain in a state of unquestioned belief. Our habitual attitudes are frequently challenged by unexpected changes in our environment, if they are not [already] challenged by our own curiosity or by the inquisitiveness of others” (Cohen).
Experimental Psychology: A Dark History For centuries, scientists have conducted experiments in order to gather information about the earth’s complex systems. Scientists wanted to test theories about these systems in order to provide answers for not only themselves, but for society as well. These systems range from processes as worldwide as how global warming occurs, to processes as personal as what goes on in the human brain. There
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This technique was first tested by B.F. Skinner in 1964, and the results from various experiments all showed the same results: positive reinforcement works. In the documentary, Mosley explains that most people did not have an issue with B.F. Skinner’s experiments involving animals in the 1960’s, however, when Skinner started to perform these experiments with humans, positive reinforcement got way more controversial. Mosley visits Skinner’s daughter in the documentary, and while having a discussion with her, he states: “Teaching animals to do cute tricks is hardly controversial, but Skinner had defined a powerful way of modeling behavior, and said that it should be used on humans” (The Brain: A Secret History). He then goes on to talk about how many people did not agree with this statement, and Skinner got a lot of controversy for his human brain-training…show more content…
Michael Mosley’s research and account of the history of some of the experiments conducted shows that the discoveries made by pioneer psychologists has paved the way to new technologies and treatments for the people of today. Without these important discoveries, it is evident that society would not have as much of an understanding of the inner workings of the brain as it does now. The documentary The Brain: A Secret History paints a picture that these experiments were necessary in the past because they have brought forth a new understanding of disorders of the brain today, and without them, we may not have as clear of an understanding about our brains as we do

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