March Madness Studies

Asch, S. E. (1955). Opinions and social pressure. Scientific American, 193, 31-35.

This study researched how a person will react when they are put against an opposing opinion of a larger society, and whether they will forfeit their own perspective and conform to the crowds’ opposing opinion. The study found that 75% of people were willing to give up their own opinions to fit in with the crowd at least once.

Aserinksy, E., & Kleitman, N. (1953). Regularly occurring periods of eye mobility and concomitant phenomena during sleep. Science, 118, 273-274.

Aserinksy and Kleitman conducted this experiment to detect changes in eye movement during sleep. They found that eye movement first occurs about 3 hours after falling asleep and appears again 2 hours later, then occurs again a third or fourth time at closer intervals.

Bandura, A., Ross, D., & Ross, S. A. (1961). Transmission of aggression through imitation of aggressive models. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 63, 575-582.

Bandura, Ross, and Ross conducted an experiment to determine if viewing aggressive behavior from a male or female model would provoke aggressive behavior from the child. They found that viewing an aggressive model invoked aggressive behavior from the child, and males viewing an aggressive male model expressed the most aggressive behavior in response.

Bem, S. L. (1974). The measurement of psychological androgyny. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 155-162.

Bem had participant’s rank 20 items of either masculine, feminine and neutral to determine which role is most suitable for a male or female or both/neither. Bem found that masculinity and femininity are independent variables, psychological androgyny is reliable, and highly sex-typed scores reflect a tendency to describe oneself by desirable behavior for men and women.
Bem, D. J. (2011). Feeling the future: Experimental evidence for anomalous retroactive influences on cognition and affect. Journal of personality and social psychology, 100, 407.

Bem tested the theory of psi which refers to precognition and premonition. Bem found that retroactive occurrences influenced an individual’s current response. Bem also found that stimulus seeking was significantly correlated with psi performance in five of the experiments.

Bouchard, T., Lykken, D., McGue, M., Segal, N., & Tellegen, A. (1990). Sources of human psychological differences: The Minnesota study of twins reared apart. Science, 250, 223-229.

This longitudinal study measured the development of twins separated at birth. Bouchard, Lykken, McGue, Segal & Tellegen (1990) found that twins who were raised in a different environment were remarkably similar to twins who had been raised in the same environment. This suggests that genetic factors account for much of the variation in human characteristics.

Calhoun, J. B. (1962). Population density and social pathology. Scientific American, 206(3), 139-148.

Calhoun (1962) studied the effects of high-density population on social behavior. Calhoun (1962) placed rats in a confined living space and observed their behaviors. While the rats did not respond in ways that could be completely applied to human behavior, implications from the study suggested that the stress high density population could have an effect on behavior.

Darley, J. M. & Latane, B. (1968). Bystander intervention in emergencies: Diffusion of responsibility. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 8, 377-383.

College students were brought into a room to converse with other students. While conversing, one student would have a scripted nervous seizure to see whether the bystanders would help them. They found that the more bystanders present, the less likely it is for someone to intervene in an emergency situation due to thinking that someone else will intervene.

Dement, W. (1960). The effect of dream deprivation. Science, 131, 1705-1707.

Dement (1960) wanted to determine if dreaming is vital, or if human beings can function normally if dreams were suppressed. Participant’s sleep schedules were measured, where the beginning of their dream cycles were interrupted randomly. Dement (1960) found that when participants were not allowed to dream, they exhibited psychological disturbances such as anxiety, irritability, and difficulty in concentrating.

Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1971). Constants across cultures in the face and emotion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 17, 124-129.

Ekman & Friesen (1971) created an experiment to find out whether any facial expressions of emotion are universal and did so by showing photographs of faces to people from different cultures. It was found that particular facial behaviors are universally associated with particular emotions.

Fantz, R. L. (1961). The origin of form perception. Scientific American, 204, 61-72.

Fantz (1961) observed infants specifically by having babies look at objects and measuring the babies’ viewing time and looking time. Fantz (1961) found that babies prefer looking at human faces rather than other objects.

Festinger, L., & Carlsmith, J. M. (1959). Cognitive consequences of forced compliance. Journal of Abormal and Social Psychology, 58, 203-210.

Participants were subjected to a boring task and placed in a control group, or paid 1 or 20 dollars to tell the person waiting to do the experiment that the task was fun. People who were paid $1 for lying were more likely to report liking the tasks because they change their opinion to justify being paid $1 to lie.

Freud, A. (1946). The ego and the mechanisms of defense. New York: International Universities Press.

Freud (1946) studied how the ego plays a role with in both a person’s gratification of and mechanism of defense against id-based impulses. Freud (1946) discovered that the ego prevents instant gratification of the id by a “second process,” where ideas and thoughts, conforming to ethics and moral laws shape decisions to respect the demands of reality.

Friedman, M., & Rosenman, R. H. (1959). Association of specific overt behavior pattern with blood and cardiovascular findings. Journal of the American Medical Association, 169, 1286-1296.

Friedman & Rosenman (1959) compared the physiological responses between groups of men that were either intensely driven for achievement, not driven for achievement, or unemployed blind men in constant stress and anxiety. They found that the group of men with intense, sustained drive for achievement were seven times more likely to be afflicted with coronary problems than the other groups.

Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic Books.

Gardner developed the theory of multiple intelligences that is based on research from the structure of the brain itself. Gardner’s theory was developed upon eight indicators that define an intelligence that are linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalist, and existentialist.

Gazzaniga, M. S. (1967). The split brain in man. Scientific American, 217, 24-29.

Gazzaniga (1967) studied the ability for the brain to function independently, and if two halves of the brain have separate and unique abilities by conducting experiments with split-brain individuals. Gazzaniga (1967) found that the two halves of the brain do have the ability to function independently with unique abilities.

Gibson, E. J., & Walk, R. D. (1960). The “visual cliff.” Scientific American, 202, 67-71.

Gibson &Walk (1960) set up the visual cliff, consisting of “a board laid across a large sheet of heavy glass which is supported a foot or more above the floor,” to observe if infants would show fear to the visual cliff. As a result, the researchers found that “most human infants can discriminate depth as soon as they can crawl.”

Harlow, H. F. (1958). The nature of love. American Psychologist, 13, 673-685.

Harlow created two “mother surrogates,” one of wire and mesh (uncomfortable) and another of sponge rubber and cloth, to determine the value of contact comfort and nursing. He found that “contact comfort is a variable of overwhelming importance in the development of affectional responses, whereas lactation is a variable of negligible importance.”

Harris, J. R. (1995). Where is the child’s environment? A group socialization theory of development. Psychological Review, 102, 458.

Harris (1995) developed a theory of development called the group socialization theory that states that socialization is context-specific. Harris (1995) found that children learn how to behave outside of the home by members of their social group and the environment children share with their peers has a greater impact on their personality than how their parents’ or caregivers raise them.

Hobson, J., A., & McCarley, R. W. (1977). The brain as a dream-state generator: An activation-synthesis hypothesis of the dream process. American Journal of Psychiatry, 134, 1335-1348.

Hobson & McCarley (1977) proposed that dreams are caused by physiological processes of the brain during REM sleep. Hobson & McCarley (1977) suggested that dreams interpret activity in the brain and create meaning from the activity in the brain. This happens because the brain becomes activated during REM sleep and generates its own information. Hence, REM sleep causes dreaming.

Holmes, T. H., & Rahe, R. H. (1967). The Social Readjustment Rating Scale. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 11, 213-218.

Holmes & Rahe (1967) established a questionnaire called the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS), in order to examine if there is a relation between stressful life events and illness. The researchers conducted a survey, using SRRS, among a large number of participants and found a correlation between high SRRS scores and illnesses.

Keltner, D., Gruenfeld, D. H., Anderson, C., (2003). Psychological Review, 110, 265-284.

Keltner, Gruenfeld, & Anderson (2003) studied how power influences behavior. They found that “elevated power is associated with increased rewards and freedom and thereby activates approach-related tendencies. Reduced power is associated with increased threat, punishment, and social constraint and thereby activates inhibition-related tendencies.”

Kirsch, I., Deacon, B. J., Huedo-Medina, T. B., Scoboria, A., Moore, T. J., & Johnson, B. T. (2008). Initial severity and antidepressant benefits: A meta-analysis of data submitted to the Food and Drug Administration. PLoS medicine, 260-268.

Kirsch et al. (2008) looked at the relationship between the severity of depression and how effective antidepressants were as a treatment option. They found that the use of an anti depressant was almost equally effective for patients with low to moderate depression as using a placebo. Notable differences began to occur in patients suffering from severe depression that used antidepressants.

Langer, E. J., & Rodin, J. (1976). The effects of choice and enhanced personal responsibility for the aged: A field experiment in an institutional setting. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 34, 191-198.

A field experiment was conducted to see the effects of personal responsibility and choice on a group of nursing home residents. One group was randomly assigned to have increased responsibility, and the other group was randomly assigned to have no change in responsibility. Participants who had increased responsibility significantly improved alertness, active participation, and a general sense of well-being.

Loftus, E. F. (1975). Leading questions and the eyewitness report. Cognitive Psychology, 7, 560-572.

Loftus (1975) hypothesized that if eyewitnesses are asked questions that contain a false presupposition about the witnessed event, the new false information may be incorporated into the witness’s memory of the event. Through four experiments, Loftus (1975) found that new information can be integrated to the original memory by falsely presupposing information that alters the recalled memory.

Loftus, E. F. (1993). The reality of repressed memories. American psychologist, 48, 518.

Loftus (1993) examined “memory work” which is the process of retrieving a repressed memory through therapy. Loftus found that suggestions from a therapist influenced the development of false sexual abuse memories. This led the person to disclose history of sexual abuse and accuse another, when no evidence was found demonstrating how false events can become psychologically true through influence.

Libet, B., Gleason, C. A., Wright, E. W., & Pearl, D. K. (1983). Time of conscious intention to act in relation to onset of cerebral activity (readiness-potential) the unconscious initiation of a freely voluntary act. Brain, 106, 623-642.

Libet, Gleason, Wright, & Pearl (1983) examined preparatory cerebral processes that appear before a freely voluntary act. Libet, Gleason, Wright, & Pearl (1983) found that “neuronal processes that precede a self-initiated voluntary action, as reflected in the readiness-potential, generally begin substantially before the reported appearance of conscious intention to perform that specific act.”

Masters, W. H., & Johnson, V. E. (1966). Human sexual response. Boston: Little, Brown.

Masters and Johnson (1966) observed participants engaging in sexual acts in a lab setting in order to learn more about human sexuality. They learned about the male and female sexual response in great detail and they found that sexual response is similar in men and women, with the experience of orgasm being the largest difference.
Milgram, S. (1963). Behavioral study of obedience. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67, 371-378.

Milgram (1963) tested the hypothesis that humans obey other people who are in a position of authority. He designed a shock generator that the “teacher” would use to shock the “learner” in the study if the “learner” stated the wrong answer. Participants were not told the nature of the study. He found that 65% of participants administered the strongest shock.

Mischel, W., et al. (1989). Delay of gratification in children. Science, 244, 933-938.

Mischel et al. (1989) researched delay gratification in children by measuring self-control from the participants’ choice to execution (attention on the rewards) and also from distraction to abstraction (attention to symbolic representations of the rewards). They found that “sustaining self-control depends on how the rewards are represented cognitively.”

Murray, H. A. (1938). Explorations in personality (pp.531-545). New York: Oxford University Press.

Murray (1938) developed the Thematic Apperception Test which focuses on the participant’s interpretation of a scene. In order to delve into the participant’s subconscious and internal interpretation of the scenario, participants are asked to make up a story about the picture. Murray (1938) found that participants projected their own experiences and personalities into their stories.

Sherif, M., Harvey, O. J., White, B. J., Hood, W. R., & Sherif, C. W. (1961). Intergroup conflict and cooperation: The Robbers Cave experiment (Vol. 10). Norman, OK: University Book Exchange.

Boys in a summer camp were randomly assigned to be in one of two groups. When the two groups were in competitive situations, aggressive behaviors were exhibited. The participants were asked to characterize the groups. They characterized their own group in positive terms and the other group in negative terms demonstrating that conflict between groups can influence prejudice and discrimination.

Pavlov, I. P. (1927). Conditioned reflexes. London: Oxford University Press.

Pavlov (1927) rang a bell signifying to dogs he worked with that were to be fed. Pavlov found that over time the dogs learned to associate the bell with food causing them to increase salivation due to classical conditioning. Associations can occur between neutral stimuli and an unconditioned response. Neutral stimuli will produce the same response as an unconditioned stimulus.

Piaget, J. (1954). The development of children’s orientations toward a moral order: Sequence in the development of moral thought. Vita Humana, 6, 11-33.

Piaget examined object permanence development by using unstructured evaluation methods on infants. He identified six substages of development that happen during the sensori-motor period that influence the development of object permanence. These observations strengthened the creation of the four stages of cognitive development.

Rosenhan, D. L. (1973). On being sane in insane places. Science, 179, 250-258.

Rosenhan (1973) tested mental health professionals’ ability to categorize new patients correctly by having normal individuals enter psychiatric facilities to see if they would be deemed psychologically healthy. Eight participants presented themselves for admission and no participant was detected as psychologically healthy. Even trained professionals have a difficult time distinguishing normal individuals from abnormal individuals in a hospital setting.

Rosenthal, R., & Jacobson, L. (1966). Teachers’ expectancies: Determinates of pupils’ IQ gains. Psychological Reports, 19, 115-118.

Rosenthal & Jacobson (1966) conducted an experiment where students were given a nonverbal intelligence test and then randomly assigned to an above average, average or below average group. The students were then given an IQ test. They found that students placed in the above average classroom showed “significantly greater gains in IQ”.

Rosenwig, M. R., Bennett, E. L., & Diamond, M. C. (1972). Brain changes in response to experience. Scientific American, 226, 22-29.

Rosenwig, Bennett, & Diamond (1972) conducted an experiment to see if the brain changes with experience. They put one group of rats in a cage rich with stimuli and one group in a cage with no stimuli. Rosenwig, Bennett & Diamond (1972) found that the brains of the rats that were stimulated were heavier and also had much more neural activity.

Rorschach, H. (1942). Psychodiagnostics: A diagnostic test based on perception. New York: Grune & Stratton.

Rorschach created the Rorschach Ink Blot Test, which is a set of symmetrical ink blots that are readily interpreted as objects to ask participants to say freely what they interpret in them. He found that different responses are given among groups with different mental illnesses. Roscach claimed this test could examine schizophrenic tendencies, neuroses, depressive tendencies, introversion, extroversion, and intelligence.

Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs, 80, 1-28.

Rotter, J. B. (1966) coined the term locus of control which is an important piece of personality. The locus of control is about how an individual sees main events in her or his life. The idea is that behavior is based on rewards and punishments that shape their behaviors and attitudes.

Simons, D. J., Chabris, C. F., Schnur, T., (2002). Evidence for preserved representations in change blindness. Consciousness and Cognition, 11, 78-97.

Simons, Chabris, & Schnur (2002) conducted 3 experiments to determine if change blindness (the ability to detect change) in real-world, unexpected changes happens when observers have represented some of the details from the prechange scene. They found that people often have a representation of the prechange and discover this memory, answering specific questions regarding details of a changed scene.

Seligman, M. E. P., & Maier, S. F. (1967). Failure to escape traumatic shock. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 74, 1-9.

Seligman & Maier (1967) placed dogs into an escape group, a no-harness control group, or a no-escape group. The no-escape group had no control over an administered shock and the escape group could stop the shock. The dogs in the escape group learned to stop the shock, but the dogs in the no-escape group gave up, demonstrating learned helplessness.

Skinner, B. F. (1948). Superstition in the pigeon. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 38, 168-172.

Skinner (1948) studied behaviorism and operant conditioning by measuring how pigeons and rats would respond to a variety of situations in which they were contained in a box and a lever would administer either food or an electric current. Skinner found that behavior is reinforced by positive and negative reinforcement.

Smith, M. L., & Glass, G. V. (1977). Meta-analysis of psychotherapy outcome studies. American Psychologist, 32, 752-760.

This meta-analysis looked at 375 studies where clients who received psychotherapy were compared with clients who did not receive therapy. Through statistical analysis,Smith & Glass (1977) found that psychotherapy is effective and different types of therapy do not produce different effects.

Spanos, N. P. (1982). Hypnotic behavior: A cognitive, social, psychological perspective. Research Communications in Psychology, Psychiatry, and Behavior, 7, 199-213.

Spanos (1982) examined how hypnosis is interpreted by a participant. Participants were placed under hypnosis and given suggestions. Spanos (1982) found that participants interpret their behavior as involuntary, but people under hypnosis are in the same state of consciousness as someone not under hypnosis. People under hypnosis behave in a way that is influenced by the expectations of the hypnosis.

Tolman, E. C. (1948). Cognitive maps in rats and men. Psychological Review, 55, 189-208.

Tolman (1948) observed mental representations and cognitive maps by inserting rats into mazes. The rats had to weave their way through a series of corridors in an attempt to find food. Tolman (1948) found that rats, like humans, use cognitive maps that are comprehensive and conceptual mental representations to understand a particular situation.

Triandis, H., Bontempo, R., Villareal, M., Asai, M., & Lucca, N. (1988). Individualism and collectivism: Cross-cultural perspectives on self-ingroup relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 323-338.

Triandis, Bontempo, Villareal, Asai, & Lucca (1988) examined three separate studies in order to define the term individualism as it exists in the United States, and to compare individualistic cultures to collectivistic cultures. They found that individualism and collectivism are “multidimensional constructs” and cultures fall somewhere on a continuum between the two terms, with a stronger alliance to one construct.

Tudor, Mary (1939). An Experimental Study of the Effect of Evaluative Labeling of Speech Fluency. University of Iowa.

Tudor placed orphan children (both stutterers and non stutterers) into groups and gave positive speech therapy to one group, and negative speech therapy to the other. Tudor (1939) found that though none of the children became stutterers, some became self-conscious and more hesitant to speak, and some of the non-stuttering orphans “retained speech problems for the rest of their lives”.

Vaillant, GE (1977), Adaptation to Life, Boston, MA, Little, Brown, 1977 (also Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Hardcover, 396pp ISBN 0-316-89520-2) [also German, Korean and Chinese translations] (Reprinted with a new preface in 1995 by Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA)

Valliant (1977) recruited 268 men to study the human life cycle. This study became known as the Grant Study and was intended to measure human development throughout the lifespan. Valliant (1977) found “that there are two pillars of happiness: ‘One is love. The other is finding a way of coping with life that does not push love away.'”

Vul, E., Harris, C., Winkielman, P., & Pashler, H. (2009). Puzzlingly high correlations in fMRI studies of emotion, personality, and social cognition. Perspectives on psychological science, 4, 274-290.

Vul, Harris, Winkielman, and Pashler surveyed 55 articles that reported findings of high (>0.8) correlations between brain activation and personality measures to determine how the correlations were computed. They found that more than half used nonindependent analysis which increased their correlations and argued that the data could be reanalyzed using unbiased methods to get an accurate measure of correlation.
Watson, J. B., & Rayner, R. (1920). Conditioned emotional responses. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 3, 1-14.
Watson conditioned a fear response into infant Albert B. by pairing an animal with a frightening noise and then presenting the animal without the noise. He found that emotional behaviors can be conditioned through simple stimulus response techniques, although with a certain loss in the intensity of the reaction, for a longer period than one month.

Wolpe, J. (1961). The systematic desensitization treatment of neuroses. Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, 132, 180-203.

Wolpe (1961) hypothesized that in order to treat a phobia, one must experience a response that is inhibitory to fear while in the presence of the feared situation. Relaxation training, construction of an anxiety hierarchy, and desensitization were used. Wolpe (1961) found a 91 % success rate where the participant overcame their fear and did not relapse.

Zimbardo, P, G. (1972). The pathology of imprisonment. Society, 9(6), 4-8.

Zimbardo (1972) simulated a prison environment to observe people randomly assigned as prisoner or a guard. They found that the participants showed significant behavioral changes by assuming their role conforming to expectations of their role in a short amount of time. This produced psychological distress to the participants and the experiment was ended earlier than anticipated.