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  • jordizwart

Start improving they said, it will be fun they said.

Bijgewerkt op: 15 dec. 2022

Have you ever heard of “The Monkey experiment”?

They started with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, they placed a banana on top of a tall ladder. When a monkey went to the ladder and started to climb towards the banana, people sprayed all of the monkeys with ice-cold water. After a while, another monkey made an attempt to obtain the banana. As soon as it touched the ladder, all of the monkeys were sprayed with ice-cold water. It's wasn't long before all of the other monkeys would physically and violently prevent any monkey from climbing the steps.

Then they removed one monkey from the cage and replaced it with a new monkey. When the new monkey saw the banana and started to climb the steps, to its surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attacked him. After another attempt and attack, it realized that if it tried to climb the stairs, it would be assaulted.

Next, they removed another of the original group of monkeys and replaced it with a new one. The newcomer went to the steps and was attacked. Even the previous newcomer took part in the punishment with enthusiasm!

Likewise, they replaced a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey tried to climb the stairs, it was attacked. The monkeys had no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they were beating any monkey that tried.

After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys had ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approached the stairs to try for the banana. Why not? Because as far as they know, “that's the way it's always been around here."

The experiment then concludes: People sometimes do the same. How many times have you heard, "It has always been done this way. Don't mess with what works." Instead of challenging these assumptions, many of us, like the monkeys, simply keep reproducing what has been done before. It's the easiest thing to do.

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