What’s the Most Important Psychological Experiment That’s Never Been Done?

That is the very good question posed on the British Psychological Society’s research blog. The answers, provided by leading psychologists, are even better. In many cases, it’s not that the experiments haven’t been done, but that they can’t be, often for ethical or practical reasons. But even if the proposed experiments are only thought experiments, they are well worth reading. Some of my favorites:

Switching the parents around,” by Judith Rich Harris (about whom we wrote a bit in Freakonomics, and whom Malcolm Gladwell wrote about at length here).

The ‘Truman Show’ experiment,” by Jeremy Dean.

Challenging the conclusions drawn from Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment,” by Alex Haslam.

Is it worth asking: what’s the most important economics experiment that’s never been done?

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  1. Raj Pandravada says:

    Pavlov’s salivating dog experiment, I guess.

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  2. Raj Pandravada says:

    Pavlov’s salivating dog experiment, I guess.

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  3. Pearl says:

    Could apply to economics, could apply to psychology; clearly it’s flavor-calorie association and its effect on appetite, as demonstrated in the Shangri-La Diet.

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  4. Pearl says:

    Could apply to economics, could apply to psychology; clearly it’s flavor-calorie association and its effect on appetite, as demonstrated in the Shangri-La Diet.

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  5. discordian says:

    They’ve all been done if you read the right literature. Have you seen my tinfoil hat?

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  6. discordian says:

    They’ve all been done if you read the right literature. Have you seen my tinfoil hat?

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  7. jack sparrow says:

    Until recently, economics was not in the business of experiments. However, it is changing now.

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  8. jack sparrow says:

    Until recently, economics was not in the business of experiments. However, it is changing now.

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