5 famous social psychology experiments you need to check out if you loved Unlocked: A Jail Experiment on Netflix 

Unlocked: A Jail Experiment delved into a vivid psychology experiment. (Image via Netflix)
Unlocked: A Jail Experiment delved into a vivid psychology experiment (Image via Netflix)

Netflix's recent psychological experiment documentary, Unlocked: A Jail Experiment, has received rave reviews from viewers for various reasons. The documentary examines a social psychology experiment headed by Sheriff Eric Higgins at the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The study saw that the inmates, who used to supervise detainment, were given more freedom to create a 'community-driven atmosphere' in the prison facility. It saw Higgins effectively unlock the prison cells of life-term detainees for six weeks to study the various sociological effects on their lives.

The fascinating watch gave an insight into human behavior and how even individuals deemed too dangerous for society can coexist harmoniously when their fundamental freedoms are returned. Here, we look at 5 other famous social psychology experiments that have also resulted in bizarre revelations about human behavior.


5 Social Psychology Experiments like the one seen in Unlocked: A Jail Experiment

1. The Asch Conformity Experiments

The Asch Conformity experiments gave an insight into the power of conformity on human beings. They were conducted over several years in the 1950s by famous psychologist Siloman Asch, who asked a group of people to draw a line that had been shown to them previously.

However, Asch had placed his participants in the group who had been instructed to choose the wrong answers. Most participants selected the wrong lines simply because they needed clarification on their initial choices. They conformed to those who had been instructed to give the wrong answers.


2. The Bobo Doll Experiment

In another old-school psychology experiment, researchers conducted the Bobo doll study on children by showing them adults interacting with a particular doll. While some groups showed adults who reacted violently to the doll, others showed adults engaging in passive behavior with the same object.

As it turned out, the children shown violence tended to react the same way when given the specific Bobo doll. The study aimed to deduce the effects of violent portrayal in the media on young minds and undoubtedly showed disturbing results.


3. The Stanford Prison Experiment

There is no list of social psychology experiments that can be completed without a mention of the Stanford Prison Experiment. It refers to a range of tests done to observe the effects of prison behavior on ordinary human beings.

The Stanford Prison Experiment was cut short after only six days due to the kind of violent outbreaks and effects that the participants exhibited. This led to a harrowing study of how quickly and violently people can react to significant emotional stress in a restricted environment.


4. The Milgram Experiments

During the 1960s, another famous psychologist Stanley Milgram started a series of tests to study how people react to authority. People were subjected to an authoritative figure and asked to inflict electrical shocks on a human subject.

The subject in question was a plant that only pretended to be injured. However, 65% of people, disturbingly, continued to deliver shocks when asked to, despite it leading to physical pain on another person.


5. The Robbers Cave Experiment

Finally, the Robbers Cave experiment delves into the effects of communal behavior and how a person born into one social group tends to embrace the group's ideals without maintaining critical thinking.

Conducted back in 1954 by psychologist Muzafer Sherif, it sent two young boys to a summer camp in two different groups to see how they would embrace the group mindset within a matter of days. The study delved into how ordinary people may let go of critical thinking when subjected to group dynamics with strong belief systems.

Edited by Arshjot Kaur Nagpal
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