“Only two things are infinite: the Universe and Human Stupidity, and I’m not so sure about the former!” Albert Einstein

The below story has been circulating online for at least last 10 years. What is interesting is that its creation is not very clear. Some people believe that there was a real scientific experiment, for example by G. R. Stephenson in 1967 on Cultural acquisition of a specific learned response among rhesus monkeys, but as it was not very ethical, the scientists remain anonymous. On the other hand Steve Pennel wrote that it was Albert Einstein’s story in response to the question how the paradigm is formed.

The real background on “The Five Monkeys Experiment” is quite tough to investigate now. What is certain is that the story lives itself in the Internet as well as is used as an example of the creation of the corporate culture in the presentations. Therefore, I would suggest that it is not worth exploring the problem whether there was an experiment or not, although it would be great to know who was behind it, because the beauty of the story lies in its allegory to ourselves. We became reflectiveless, following others patterns without questioning whether it makes sense or not. Simply put, the reply to any question: “Because it always was like that and end of discussion” is easier and does not require any responsibility.

May be after reading the story it is the right time to start using the most precious asset we have – our brain??

Experiment with 5 monkeys

Source: in support of the following blogs: Kumar Abhishek’s Weblog on blogs.oracle.com, ByHisStripesMinistries.org, LaneBaldwin.com, blog.stsaint.com and Chumma Oru Neram Pokkinu Mathram on Facebook.com.

The presumable experiments is described in: Starek, D., Schneider, R., and Kuhn, H. J. (eds.), Progress in Primatology, Stuttgart: Fischer, pp. 279-288


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