Why Humanity Isn’t Doomed Even Though We Should Be
An interesting article over at Cracked (yes, I know this is a comedy type site but they have good interesting articles, for real!) recently talked about Psychological Experiments done on people that have gone horribly wrong. You never would have guessed, would you? Either way, I thought it was a pretty interesting article and that I would share it with anyone who cared. I assume you care if you are still reading.
Either way, the article talks about five main experiments that Cracked thinks proves humanity is doomed. I find this interesting because if these are traits humans have had for years, why aren’t we extinct yet? There has to be some benefit (or at least it’s a habit/trait that doesn’t kill us) or else we would all be goners and something else would be here in our place.
For example, they talk about the Stanford Prison Experiment which if you haven’t heard of it you can watch this nice little clip that informs you of it. It was a college experiment that went horribly wrong, as you can assume would happen.
So, why is this a trait that hasn’t killed us yet? Simply because we need other people to tell us what to do. We also enjoy telling people what to do. We are a social creature that needs constant direction and enforcement to feel good. And we also like to boss others around. It’s human nature to want to be in control but most people need some type of guidance. That’s just how it is.
Another interesting experiment they mention is the Asch Conformity Experiment. Basically a bunch of people were put in a room and only one person wasn’t in on the experiment. The rest of the people were told to answer all the questions wrong. The test subject thusly answered the questions based on popular opinion even though they probably knew the right answers.
The only thing this really explains is why we elected George W. Bush for a second term and why bands like Panic at the Disco! and Nickelback are popular. It makes sense in a survival situation to conform. You stand a better chance to survive a horrible situation if everyone in the group cooperates and works together instead of constantly fighting over details. Even if the idea is wrong. Also, people just want to be accepted so it’s easier for people to feel that they “fit in” with the group if they don’t go against popular opinion. It’s easier believe someone else’s opinion than to have your own.
The Good Samaritan Experiment just proves that sometimes you get too tied up in your life to notice little details. How many times have you forgotten something that you put right in front of you so you wouldn’t forget it? The idea here is that these people (seminary students) were asked to deliver a sermon talking about the Good Samaritan. Then the researchers put a person in need in their paths and watched to see if they would practice what they preached. Some of the students were given a strict time line to finish the sermon so there would be extra stress involved. The researchers found that the more stressed ones did not stop to help. And that even less stressed ones did not stop to help. But don’t worry, some people did. The idea here is that some people are oblivious when they have other things on their minds. It’s not that they didn’t want to help (at least in most cases) but that they were too busy to see there was help needed.
This doesn’t mean humanity is doomed. These and the other cases mentioned in the article are very interesting insights to human nature and I think really it just hurts us as people to think that we can be so inconsiderate and so lemming-like. We like to think we are better than that and that if we were in the situation where we saw someone getting stabbed or hit by a car that we would be the ones to stop. Or that we would be that Good Samaritan. But the basic fact is that we are human and that is how we are.Written by Alouette
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