8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Outrageousness and Smirk-factor,
This review is from: Elephants on Acid: And Other Bizarre Experiments (Paperback)
Grouped in sections dealing with the Big Subjects (life, sensation, memory, sex, sleep, evil, children) this book contains many of the more famous psychological experiments (Zimbardo's prison, Milgram's obedience experiment, John Watson and Little Albert's rat, and Wegner's White Bear) as well as others less well-known but chosen for their outrageousness or smirk-factor (electrocuting corpses, counting pubic hairs after sex, giving LSD to the terminally ill). It debunks a few myths (babies don't instinctively choose a balanced diet, cockroaches wouldn't survive a nuclear holocaust) - and also contains some real eye-openers (the branding of Coke actually affects it's taste!). And although it's written in a jolly-humorous way, with a little joke at the end of each section (some as cringeworthy as the experiment they conclude), the book's a forceful reminder of the need for today's Ethics Committees in Science. What's frequently been done to animals is horrific, and what was sometimes done to humans is nearly as bad.
This is the sort of book that, if you're reading it in someone else's presence, is likely to make you want to read bits out loud to them. There are references too - unusual in a popular book like this - perhaps because the author thought that no-one would believe some of these stories otherwise!