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Moral psychology isn't always an easy thing to study. Experiments that actually puts people in what feels like a real scenario may get realistic results, but researchers must always balance the benefits of what we could learn with the safety and well-being of the people they study. Often what we learn from moral psychology experiments doesn't make humans look good.
We are imperfect creatures. But the more we learn about why and how we make the moral choices that we do, the better we'll be able to tackle difficult questions in the future.
The Stanford Prison Experiment
It all begins as a study on the psychology of prison life led by Stanford psychology professor Dr. Philip Zimbardo. 24 volunteers - 12 guards and 12 prisoners - have agreed to spend the next two weeks recreating life in a correctional facility. Normal people can become monsters, given the right situation, that's the standard narrative of the Stanford Prison Experiment, one of the most famous psychological experiments of all time.
But what if the cause of its participants' cruel behavior wasn't what we've always been told?
Behavior and Belief
Completely proving something can be difficult, if not impossible. So instead, we have the faith of the believer, the confidence interval of the scientist. What we think we know, we really only believe we know.
On this episode of Mind Field, we are going to take a look at a kind of lie we tell ourselves. And we are going to use belief to turn a lie... into a truth.
How to Make a Hero
A hero is just someone who acts selflessly, out of concern for others, at personal risk and without the expectation of reward. In this episode, Michael Stevens asks employees to help him run a seemingly dangerous experiment, to see if they would blow the whistle to stop him.
Mind Field Season 2
Your brain is like a hungry sponge. It's constantly absorbing information. It thrives when stimulated. Between smartphones and books, and movies, and friends and family, thousands of sensations are constantly going into our heads. But what if it all got cut off?. Imagine being confined to a 10-by-10-foot room in complete isolation. No timekeeping devices, no phones, no books, nothing to write on, no windows. Psychologists say that fewer than three days in a room like this can lead to brain damage. I will be staying in this room for three days.
Michael explores the effects of isolation on the human mind by subjecting himself to a very interesting experiment.
Mind Field Season 1
How the Universe Works
Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places
George Harrison Living in the Material World
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