11 unusual psychology experiments with unexpected conclusions about society

6/ Stars disguised as buskers in the subway: do people recognise the real value of music?

U2, Miley Cyrus, and several high profile stars disguised themselves so as to make themselves unrecognisable, and appear ‘normal’, staging high quality musical performances in the corridors of the New York subway. The verdict: very few people took any notice of them until they revealed their identity…. Food for thought!

7/ A taxi driver regularly changes the type of music he plays in his car: how does it influence the passengers?

A taxi driver and psychologist carried out the following experiment: changing the music in his car once a week to observe the effects of various styles of music on the passengers, and on their ratings of him. Apparently rock and vintage songs increased his popularity, while rap made him considerably less popular! But lightly remixed classical music was a unanimous hit.

Credits: Pexels

8/ Over 60 people of different nationalities were invited to do a genetic test to understand their DNA: did it help limit racism?

67 people underwent genetic testing, thanks to the travel fare search engine Momondo, in order to find out their distant origins. As sure of themselves and as proud of their nationalities as they were, the participants made the emotional discoveries that their ancestry was more varied than they imagined! Could it pave the way for an end to prejudice?

9/ Hidden cameras in a shopping center: how do witnesses react to sexist remarks?

A hidden camera put in place by the Belgian group Would You React? carried out the following experiment: showing how people react when a woman is subjected to abusive comments such as “When you’re dressed like that, it’s no wonder you get raped.” In a shopping centre, two men are heading up an escalator. An attractive woman (who was part of the experiment) stands in front of them, and they start to make disparaging and insulting remarks towards her. People’s reactions were almost non-existent. The witnesses ignored what was going on, or worse, just tried to get away from the scene. When they were interviewed afterwards, the majority of them claimed that they were afraid of making a difficult situation worse.

10/ A hidden camera looking into shame: are passers by willing to help a child who drops their tray in front of them?

If a small child dropped their food tray just in front of you, how would you react? Would you go and help them pick it all up, or would you continue on your way, pretending not to have seen anything? This was exactly what was tested in a social experiment, and while there were many people who stopped to help, there were also many who pretended not to notice, and left the child to fend for themselves.

11/ A young woman takes a selfie with people harrassing her, writing in the remarks they passed

Noa Jansma is a young student in her twenties who lives in Amsterdam. She carried out an unprecedented experiment: she took a selfie with guys who catcalled her in the street, after they stopped her and made inappropriate remarks or behaved inappropriately towards her. She posted the photos on Instagram, entitling them Dearcatcallers. “The idea of taking these photos is simple, it tips the balance of power and makes it my turn to get into their personal space, the way they did to mine.”

Credits: Dearcatcallers on Instagram
Source: YouTube/Instagram

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