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[Xmca-l] Re: BBC: Mind Changers


I would love to see the experiment replicated in Korea, except the two
groups would be:
1. One group is assigned a plant and told that this was the plant that
their family had chosen specifically for them.
2. The other group is told that they can choose a plant.

My guess is that the 1's would live longer.

The North Korean variation looks like this:
1. One group is assigned a plant and told that this was the plant that the
Great Leader chose specifically for them.
2. The other group is told that they can choose a plant.

This one is a little more interesting in terms of the implications that it
has, but I'm guessing that the 1's would again live longer.

The second experiment may be taking things a little too far, but my point
is simply that this is also entirely ideological in the sense of cultural
ideology. Whereas the lament late in the life course in the U.S. is a lack
of autonomy, I suspect that the lament late in the life course in Korea is
the lack of connectedness (my Korean in-laws think that sending old folks
to old folks homes is tantamount to elderly abuse). The result is, I
suspect, that the findings would be turned on their head.

Anyone out there wanna give my little experiment a go?

On Sun, Jul 12, 2015 at 9:45 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:

> I've listened to the first two (that is the last two) of them (Arden House
> and Harlow's Monkeys) and I'm always impressed by how very IDEOLOGICAL they
> are. I mean ideological with a capital I, in the sense of reinforcing
> whatever idea happens to dominate the dominant minds of the dominant class,
> and I also mean that both the experiments themselves and their
> re-presentations by the BBC are ideological.
> So for example the in the Arden House experiments two graduate schools
> devise an experiment that is designed to show how life-affirming and
> life-enhancing consumer choice is and how life-denying and life-deadening
> it is to be taken care of by people. Amusingly, the BBC then has to
> re-present this experiment by gushing that the two graduate students had
> absolutely no idea of what they would find (because of course even the BBC
> understands that if an experiment simply reinforces our prejudices, it's
> not very significant in the history of psychology).
> The programme on Harry Harlow's experiments follows more or less the same
> model. Harlow designs an experiment to prove that "love" and "attachment"
> (which are apparently sufficiently represented by a wrapping a terry-cloth
> towel around a wire cylinder) are crucial to parenting. The BBC re-presents
> this as an astonishing experiment by claiming that in the 1950s the big
> debate in psychology was over whether behavior was entirely innate or
> entirely learned, something that has not been true of psychology since
> Pavlov. Then the Beeb includes some criticism of Harlow--but much of it
> has to do with animal rights! The best critique came from Harlow himself,
> who assessing his own work, remarked that he had succeeded, through sheer
> sadism and at no inconsiderable government expense, in convincing
> psychologists of something everybody else has known for thousands of years.
> David Kellogg
> On Fri, Jul 10, 2015 at 11:20 AM, Martin John Packer <
> mpacker@uniandes.edu.co> wrote:
> > This week the BBC has a series of interesting radio documentaries on
> > classical psychological studies:
> >
> > <http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b008cy1j/episodes/player>
> >
> > Martin
> >

Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602