Experiments With People: Revelations From Social Psychology, 2nd Edition


Social psychology is a fascinating field that explores how individuals’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the presence of others. Through a series of experiments, researchers have uncovered numerous revelations about human behavior and the underlying psychological processes. In the second edition of “Experiments With People: Revelations From Social Psychology,” we delve into some of the most groundbreaking studies that have shaped our understanding of human nature.

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SEO Meta Description: Discover the fascinating world of social psychology through the second edition of “Experiments With People: Revelations From Social Psychology.” Explore groundbreaking studies that reveal the secrets of human behavior.

Chapter 1: The Power of Conformity

The Asch Conformity Experiment

In this iconic experiment, Solomon Asch demonstrated the power of conformity by showing that individuals are willing to go against their own judgment to fit in with a group. Participants were asked to compare the lengths of lines and were influenced by the incorrect answers provided by confederates. This study highlights the extent to which social pressure can shape our perceptions and behaviors.

The Milgram Experiment

Stanley Milgram’s controversial experiment examined obedience to authority figures. Participants were instructed to administer electric shocks to a learner, who was actually an actor. Despite the learner’s apparent distress, many participants continued to administer shocks, illustrating the alarming power of obedience to authority.

Chapter 2: The Influence of Persuasion

The Door-in-the-Face Technique

This experiment by Cialdini et al. explored the effectiveness of the door-in-the-face technique, a persuasion strategy that involves making a large request followed by a smaller one. The study found that individuals were more likely to comply with the smaller request after initially rejecting the larger one. This technique demonstrates the power of reciprocity and the influence of perceived concessions.

The Foot-in-the-Door Technique

In a similar vein, the foot-in-the-door technique involves making a small request followed by a larger one. Freedman and Fraser’s study showed that individuals who initially agreed to a small request were more likely to comply with a subsequent larger request. This experiment highlights the role of consistency and commitment in persuasion.

Chapter 3: The Impact of Social Roles

The Stanford Prison Experiment

Philip Zimbardo’s infamous study simulated a prison environment to examine the effects of social roles on behavior. Participants were randomly assigned to be either prisoners or guards. The study had to be terminated early due to the extreme psychological distress experienced by the participants in their assigned roles. This experiment sheds light on the powerful influence of social roles on individuals’ thoughts, feelings, and actions.

The Robbers Cave Experiment

Sherif et al.’s study investigated intergroup conflict and cooperation. Participants were divided into two groups and engaged in competitive activities. The study found that intergroup hostility could be reduced through the introduction of superordinate goals that required cooperation. This experiment demonstrates the potential for conflict resolution and the importance of shared goals in fostering positive intergroup relations.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How were these experiments conducted?

These experiments were conducted in controlled laboratory settings, ensuring ethical guidelines were followed to protect the participants’ well-being. Researchers carefully designed the procedures to manipulate specific variables and observe their effects on human behavior.

2. What ethical considerations were taken into account?

Ethical considerations were paramount in these experiments. Participants were fully informed about the nature of the study and provided their voluntary consent. Additionally, steps were taken to minimize any potential harm or distress experienced by the participants.

3. How have these experiments influenced real-world applications?

The findings from these experiments have had significant implications in various fields, including marketing, education, and organizational behavior. Understanding the factors that influence human behavior allows for the development of more effective strategies for persuasion, conflict resolution, and social influence.


“Experiments With People: Revelations From Social Psychology, 2nd Edition” offers a captivating journey into the world of social psychology. Through a collection of groundbreaking experiments, readers gain insights into the complexities of human behavior and the powerful influence of social factors. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the intricacies of human nature.