1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

6 Famous Psychology Experiments

By

famous psychology experiments

The history of psychology is rich with fascinating studies and experiments that have helped changed the way we think about the human mind and behavior. Some of the most famous psychology experiments include Pavlov's research with dogs, Milgram's studies of obedience and Harlow's work with rhesus monkeys. Explore some of these famous psychology experiments to learn more about some of the best-known research in psychology history.


Learn more about some of psychology's most famous experiments.
Photo courtesy Rich Legg/iStockPhoto
  • Pavlov's Dogs: How Ivan Pavlov Discovered Classical Conditioning: Classical conditioning is one of the major topics studied by students in every introductory psychology class. You may be surprised to learn that it was actually a physiologist who made this important psychological discovery.

  • The Little Albert Experiment: The Little Albert experiment was a famous psychology experiment conducted by behaviorist John B. Watson and graduate student Rosalie Raynor. Learn more about the Little Albert experiment and discover what happened to the boy in the study.

  • The Asch Conformity Experiments: Researchers have long been interested in the degree to which people follow or rebel against social norms. During the 1950s, psychologist Solomon Asch conducted a series of experiments designed to demonstrate the powers of conformity in groups.

  • Harry Harlow's Rhesus Monkey Experiments: In a series of controversial experiments conducted in 1960s, psychologist Harry Harlow demonstrated the powerful effects of love on normal development. By showing the devastating effects of deprivation on young rhesus monkeys, Harlow revealed the importance of love for healthy childhood development. His experiments were often unethical and shockingly cruel, yet they uncovered fundamental truths that have heavily influenced our understanding of child development.

  • The Milgram Obedience Experiment: In Milgram's experiment, participants were asked to deliver electrical shocks to a "learner" whenever an incorrect answer was given. In reality, the learner was actually a confederate in the experiment who pretended to be shocked. The purpose of the experiment was to determine how far people were willing to go in order to obey the commands of an authority figure. Milgram found that 65% of participants were willing to deliver the maximum level of shocks despite the fact that the learner seemed to be in serious distress or even unconscious.

  • The Stanford Prison Experiment: Philip Zimbardo's famous experiment cast regular students in the roles of prisoners and prison guards. While the study was originally slated to last two weeks, it had to be halted after just six days because the guards became abusive and the prisoners began to show signs of extreme stress and anxiety.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.