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Stop Monkeying Around

A Fascinating Monkey Experiment with a Very Human Lesson

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Stop Monkeying Around: A Fascinating Monkey Experiment with a Very Human Lesson

How often do we bypass our value system, simply because that’s what everyone else does?
Community and Individuality, Conformism & Non-Conformism

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leah March 20, 2011

hahahaThat is funny Reply

Simcha Boca Raton, FL December 12, 2010

Trying not to be a monkey I understand your story Chana, because I am the the monkey trying to climb out. I am doing teshuvah "in steps" at the advice of a Chassidic rabbi. As I become accustomed to practicing each step it becomes part of my values. Still I am struggling with the values of the secular world that "raised" me. These secular values are the other monkeys in the room trying to pull me down. At times they succeed; but more often than not, I succeed and climb out of the room. Thanks for the reminder that I can be more than a "monkey". Reply

Anonymous EHT., NJ May 16, 2010

Stop Monkeying Around I agree with this article 100%! We are all human beings and need to stop, think and evaluate our roots, values, beliefs, in this world! This article lets us know to think for ourselves and not to be hurt by other humans!Thank you for the advice. Reply

Harold Braunstein Brooklyn, NY via chabadmanhattanbeach.com February 5, 2010

Thinking for One's Self Chana, I agree with you but I'm surprised you bring it up in this religious forum. Don't we, to make sure our children have their roots, begin to inculcate them with our thinking and rituals well before they are able to think for themselves? Just a thought, something to think about, because I know you are old enough to think for yourself. Reply

James David Trabuco Canyon, Ca/USA December 25, 2009

Monkey Effect Very interesting scientific observations on those monkey's. Also worth reading is a book taught in most college sociology classes called "The Lucifer Effect". It demonstrates how easily humans can be made to hurt other humans. Reply

Richard Bellingham, WA via jewishbellingham.com December 24, 2009

Thank-you Thanks for the reminder.

(I hope that I can use that that lesson: starting with having enough fortitude to cancel my T.V cable service and the "box" most of us take for granted...100+ channels nothin'on...more commercials and louder and more invasive than ever before for $600/yr. Now we are encouraged to buy a HD TV....)

The monkey experiment is probably a hoax- ie more a illustrative story than an actual experiment.
It has been many,many decades that any experiment employing negative re-enforcement on any "being" has been conducted.

However the story brings to mind a real experiment conducted by Stanley Milgram in 1962 at Yale to understand the dynamics of how ordinary people can do horrific things to other people. Despite uncovering a basic truth, the affair landed Dr. Milgram in a pot of boiling controversy.
"We do as we are told". Reply

Rachelle Baruch Mason, OH December 22, 2009

Monkeys Dear Chana - I find a very serious message in this post, in addition to the important message you share with us. The monkeys prevent others from climbing because of their fear of what it might do to them. They're trained to do so. So are we trained to prevent others - even if we think we're not. How often do we prevent others from "climbing", because of our own fears. Sadly, it happens often and it's deeply rooted in the unconscious mind. One example of this is the way a large and influential percentage of people in this country spent 10 months criticizing and trying to defame the current president in the most ugly way. Regardless of political views, the behavior suggests a very deep and worrisome underlying problem in the human consciousness that seems almost as automatic as the behavior of the new group of 10 monkeys. I'm sure that remembering our values when exposed to these situations, could make a difference. Thanks for the video. Reply

Michael Minnetonka, MN December 22, 2009

Good message and advice I'm not a fan of animal research so the impact of this message wasn't as powerful for me as it could have been, but I do appreciate the message. It's very easy to grow lazy and become complacent until we reach the point where we stop evaluating the quality and value of our lives. It's important to think about what you said in your narration and stop, think and evaluate our lives and values. Thank you for the reminder. Reply

Anonymous Haiku, Hawaii December 21, 2009

People should stop Maybe the "researchers" should be squirted with water every time they try to intimidate, coerce, or frighten other Beings (who cannot escape from their prisons).

Perhaps the researchers (who are paid millions of our tax dollars by the NIH) would then learn to behave with wisdom and compassion, and become caretakers rather than torturers. Reply

Harry S. Pearle Rochester, NY December 21, 2009

Owning our Mistakes to Take Responsibility Thanks for this interesting lesson. How can we resist peer pressure?

One idea that came to me on the day after Chanukah is to use the label MISTAKE. Mishugah, in Hebrew means mistake or crazy.

When we do something wrong it is a mistake, but we may feel ashamed of it. It may be easier to label it as a simple mistake to save face and change our attitude and behavior.. Reply

Chanan Crown Heights, NY December 21, 2009

What do we do about all the Monkey's in Washington All of them need to be replaced and learn that getting squirted with water won't make you drown! Reply

Anonymous Worcester, MA USA December 20, 2009

But what if you think that... But what if someone thinks that everyone around him is correct? What then?
How does someone looking at this behavior from the outside get through to this "monkey"? Reply