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Psychologists Share The Most Important Studies That Almost Nobody Knows About

Psychologists Share The Most Important Studies That Almost Nobody Knows About

Have you ever wondered what some of the craziest, most groundbreaking psychological studies were? You're not alone. Here are some true mind-benders---and they may challenge what you think you know.

This is just creepy, and is a stark reminder of how psychological illness was assessed only decades ago.

The Rosenhan study was performed in the 1970s but is still relevant today.

The researchers feigned hallucinations to enter psychiatric hospitals. Afterward, they behaved as they normally would. They told the staff they felt fine and no longer experienced hallucinations. In the hospital, they were diagnosed with mental disorders (mainly schizophrenia), forced to stay for a prolonged period (average of 19 days), forced to admit to having those illnesses, and had to agree to take antipsychotics as a condition of their release.

The accidental second part of the study occurred when offended clinicians requested Rosenhan send actors to their psychiatric hospital. They felt they'd be able to distinguish who were the real patients and who were the fake ones. Out of 193 patients over 3 months, the staff rated 41 as imposters, and 42 as suspected imposters. Rosenhan had sent no one.

Nature versus nurture? Or unintentional bias?

The Pygmalion effect comes to mind.

In one study, the researchers told the teachers they were testing to see which students were gifted. Instead, they selected a few students at random, then told the teachers that they were the gifted ones.

When the researchers returned later, the students they had selected were, in fact, performing better than the other ones, even though they weren't gifted.

Tl;dr higher expectations of people lead to increased performance.

Memory is malleable. This has enormous implications regarding the reliability of eyewitness testimony.

A lot of Beth Loftus' work on memory is super important and worth knowing. In short, they show that memory is fallible and can be tricked--you can make a person remember an event that never happened pretty easily. Her research is one of the big reasons why eye-witness testimony should be often taken with a grain of salt--someone who's "absolutely sure" they remember seeing the defendent...might have just seen some other person and may not be remembering as clearly as they think.

Increased expectations correlated with unreliable outcomes are exactly what casinos depend upon.

B.F. Skinner's "Skinner Box" experiments, which accidentally laid the groundwork for everything from slot machines to Loot Boxes in modern video games.

He built a box, with a lever inside that would deposit some food into the box. He introduced a pigeon, and the pigeon figured out fairly quickly that the lever gives it food, and so pulls the lever whenever it's hungry.

However, when Skinner modified the box so that the lever would not give food every time, but on a pseudo-random schedule, requiring the bird to pull the lever multiple times to receive the food, the bird would no longer pull the lever only when it was hungry, but would compulsively pull the lever constantly.

Replace bird with Grandma, food lever with a slot machine, and Skinner with Casino, and you've got yourself a recipe to exploit the sh_t out of some desperate and bored people.

Herd mentality in action.

A group is shown a symbol, such as the number 0. Each person is asked to say what they see. Every member of the group except 1 is part of the experiment. All of them give the same wrong answer, saying it is a 2, not a zero. The last person will often fold and also say 2 despite their eyes saying it is a 0. While some did say 0, all subjects took longer and felt a strong desire to keep the group consensus.

Also great party trick.

Edit: Shout out to u/ialen2 below for the links to the Asch experiments, they posted it minutes after me but it got buried.

These experiments show that addiction could have environmental as well as psychological triggers. Fascinating.

Bruce Alexander's Rat Park experiments - showing that given normal living conditions and normal social bonds, rats will not become addicted to drugs even if those drugs are freely available.

Playing Mozart for your baby probably doesn't make it smarter. Can't hurt, though.

The actual study regarding the effects on the brain after listening to Mozart. So many people believe "playing Mozart for your baby will make them smarter."

  1. The study was conducted on college students, not infants.
  2. Listening to Mozart only improved one aspect of cognition, which was spatial reasoning (the ability to figure out how objects can fit or be oriented).
  3. The effect was temporary, wearing off after less than an hour.
  4. The reason that this study should be more well known is to understand the breakdown between what a study finds and how the message is misinterpreted by the time it disseminates to the general public.

    I'm guilty of this, but being conscious of it can make a huge difference.

    Martin Seligman's book, Learned Optimism, made me much more mindful about something called "explanatory styles." People tend to trend towards optimistic or pessimistic explanatory styles to describe events (good or bad) that happen to them.

    Pessimists tend to explain bad things as:

    • personal ("This is all my fault"),
    • permanent ("This will last forever"), and
    • pervasive ("This will undermine everything else I do").
    • Pessimists will also tend to explain good things as the opposite:

      • non-personal ("This only happened because of the rest of my team"),
      • non-permanent ("This won't last"), and
      • non-pervasive ("This was a one-time fluke in this one project").
      • Optimists will do the opposite. They explain good events as personal, permanent, and pervasive while providing explanations to bad things that treat them as temporary setbacks.

        As a natural cynic and pessimist, I'm doing my best to catch myself when I fall into a cycle of pessimism, and trying to find evidence to suggest that bad things aren't as bad as I'm making them. It's really hard, but I think I'm slowly working towards a healthier balance.

        This is nothing short of psychological torture, but speaks volumes on the power of suggestion.

        The Monster Study. In speech therapy, kids were given either only positive or only negative feedback and then their progress was charted. To explain this a little further, the kids in the negative feedback group were told that they had a severe speech impediment whether they actually stuttered or not. Kids who didn't even have a stutter developed severe stutters as a result of the researchers constantly telling them that there was a problem with their speech. After hearing it over and over again, they finally started to believe it. Such a messed up study.

        Edit: Here's a quote :

        To the non-stuttering youngsters ... who were to be branded stutterers, [the graduate student conducting the study] said: "The staff has come to the conclusion that you have a great deal of trouble with your speech... You have many of the symptoms of a child who is beginning to stutter. You must try to stop yourself immediately. Use your will power... Do anything to keep from stuttering... Don't ever speak unless you can do it right. You see how [the name of a child in the institution who stuttered severely] stutters, don't you? Well, he undoubtedly started this very same way."

        The children ... responded immediately. After her second session with 5-year-old Norma Jean Pugh, Tudor wrote, "It was very difficult to get her to speak, although she spoke very freely the month before." Another in the group, 9-year-old Betty Romp, "practically refuses to talk," a researcher wrote in his final evaluation. "Held hand or arm over eyes most of the time." Hazel Potter, 15, the oldest in her group, became "much more conscious of herself, and she talked less," Tudor noted. Potter also began to interject and to snap her fingers in frustration. She was asked why she said 'a' so much. "Because I'm afraid I can't say the next word." "Why did you snap your fingers?" "Because I was afraid I was going to say 'a.'"

        All the children's schoolwork fell off. One of the boys began refusing to recite in class. The other, eleven-year-old Clarence Fifer, started anxiously correcting himself. "He stopped and told me he was going to have trouble on words before he said them," Tudor reported. She asked him how he knew. He said that the sound "wouldn't come out. Feels like it's stuck in there."

        The sixth orphan, Mary Korlaske, a 12-year-old, grew withdrawn and fractious. During their sessions, Tudor asked whether her best friend knew about her 'stuttering,' Korlaske muttered, "No." "Why not?" Korlaske shuffled her feet. "I hardly ever talk to her." Two years later, she ran away from the orphanage and eventually ended up at the rougher Industrial School for Girls --- simultaneously escaping her human experimentation.

        Could this be a hint as to why some people stay in abusive relationships?

        A.E., Fisher, conducted an experiment with puppies.

        With three test groups, puppies in the first group were treated kindly every time they approached a researcher. Puppies in the second group were punished for approaching the researchers. And puppies in the third group were randomly treated kindly or punished.

        The study found that the third group of puppies wound up being the most attached to the researchers.

        This doesn't bode well for global human overpopulation.

        Universe 25 by Calhoun.

        Basically a study of overpopulation. The population of 8 mice in a 9 square feet pen initially doubled every 55 days before growth dropped dramatically after almost a year. Between this point and the final 600th day, the population saw utter breakdown. Aggressive females expelled their young, and the males split into two categories. One was very aggressive violent males who would attack each other, and the other was the 'beautiful ones' - they completely withdrew from mating and all sexual behavior and spent every waking moment grooming. Breeding eventually totally stopped and the behaviors of the mice remained the same until death.

        Calhoun has suggested this social breakdown might be the fate of humans.

        A stunning insight into the biological need to feel loved.

        Harry Harlow's experiments on attachment helped establish the modern paradigm for attachment theory (Mary Ainsworth's "strange situation" experiment was also integral to attachment theory, Harlow's study came first).

        Basically (this is a very general summary), Harlow and his assistants cared for the physical needs of these baby rhesus monkeys. Some of the monkeys were given a "mom" that they could nurse from but was not comforting/soft. Other monkeys had a "mom" that they couldn't nurse from but were covered with soft cloth. Both groups of monkeys would be scared by a loud toy.

        The principals of strict behaviorism (which was thriving at this time in the history of psychology) would lead you to think that the monkeys who had the mother who could nurse them would find comfort in her while scared, and that the monkeys with the soft "mom" who couldn't nurse would not turn to their moms for comfort.

        The opposite happened. The monkeys with the soft moms clung to them for comfort after being scared. The monkeys with the nursing moms did not run to them for comfort.

        This was groundbreaking because it threw a curveball at behaviorism and set the course for more research into child development and attachment. Choosing the soft mom and rejecting the nursing mom demonstrated that it's not enough just to have your physical needs met (i.e. food), we also need comfort and reassurance to form attachments to caregivers.

        Sounds like how a certain "News" network operates...

        One that hasn't been mentioned yet: the selective attention experiment: tell people to pay really close attention to one thing and they're likely to miss even the most obvious other things that are happening. If this reminds you at all of the echo chambers in certain 'news' organizations these days, you just may have spotted the gorilla...

        Compelling evidence that racism is learned, rather than inherent.

        In the late 1960s, a schoolteacher named Jane Elliot wanted to teach her Iowa 2nd grade students about racism in a way that would really hit home, but how? None of them had seen a black person except on television.

        She realized her class was evenly divided between brown eyed and blue eyed pupils (Elliot, herself, had green eyes) and an idea came to her.

        One day she walked into class with a Webster's Dictionary that she had covered with brown paper. She announced to her class that this book contained breakthrough science that proved brown-eyed people were inferior to blue-eyed people, and that class would be "adjusted" accordingly.

        She segregated her students by eye color for the day.

        During the day's lesson, whenever blue-eyed ('superior') students made mistakes, she encouraged them to keep trying. When brown eyed ('inferior') students made mistakes, she said "See? This is because you're inferior."

        When brown-eyed students did well, she didn't acknowledge it. When blue-eyed students did well, she lavished praise upon them and lauded their 'superiority'.

        As the day wore on, brown-eyed students who had previously been good students began to become disruptive, visibly dejected and expressed a lack of interest in school. Blue-eyed students--even those who had previously been 'bad' students--saw a tremendous improvement in their performance, demeanor, and behavior.

        The next day, Elliot announced to the class that she had made a mistake in her reading. Actually, it was the brown-eyed students were superior and the blue-eyed students were inferior.

        The class was again segregated, and praise or criticism was leveled to each student accordingly as it had been the day before. Blue-eyed students began acting out and talking about quitting school, while brown-eyed students began to score high marks, learn quicker, and behaved better.

        On the third day, she announced to the class that the book was just a dictionary--there was no study, and that she wanted to teach them how judging people based on the color of their skin felt by choosing to treat them differently based on the color of their eyes.

        Although the experiment sounds cruel, most of her students interviewed decades later expressed positive opinions about it.

        This is due to the autokinetic effect—tiny movements in the eye, in dark environments, can create the illusion of movement.

        Asch's and Sherif's studies on conformity.

        Asch's was a participant was given a line, then a set of three lines of varying lengths, and they had to match the length to the standalone line. Even when they were very obviously completely different lines, a confederate would answer B (if the correct answer was C) and the participant would often go along with that.

        Sherif's study was similar. The experimenter would shine a laser pointer (or something) on a blank wall. They would then ask the participants how far it moved (even though it didn't). The first participant was a confederate and would say something like "oh about 4 inches" and then the next person, the participant would ballpark it from that, "like 6 inches" even though they clearly saw it didn't move.

        Did you know that David Letterman owned a marshmallow factory? And that marshmallows are 95 percent air? You're welcome.

        The Stanford marshmallow experiment. They took kids and offered them one marshmallow now or two marshmallows fifteen minutes later. As kids got older they overwhelmingly chose the two over the one. The results show one of the major aspects of maturity: the ability to delay gratification and conceptualize future rewards. This is what makes (most of us) more sophisticated than kids.

        Fear of loss, rather than the prospect of gain, may explain why people make strange financial decisions.

        Kahneman and Tversky's prospect theory, and loss aversion in particular.

        If you win 10 dollars, you're only slightly happy, but you would be disproportionately sadder if you lost 10 dollars, even though the amount of money is the same. People are more impacted by loss than gain, and this explains many of the weird illogical money decisions people make.

        Why buy bonds/GIC's when stocks historically make more money? These psychologists won the Nobel prize for their work.

        A valuable clue about how humans learn about actions and consequences. Like Jane Elliot's experiment, it hints that racism is a learned habit.

        Basically, the researcher, Bandura, had kids in the experimental group watch an adult hit, kick, and otherwise abuse a Bobo doll. Then, when the kids were released to play with it on their own, those who saw adults abuse the doll also used it in that way, hitting and kicking and yelling at it. This has lots of implications about how we acquire behavior but the one that is most important to me is about parenting. A parent who yells at or goes so far as to even hit their kid is essentially doing the same thing as in this experiment; they're setting an example for the child's behavior. And as we see with Bobo dolls, the child will learn.

        But yeah, this experiment essentially proved the concept of modeling, which brought new elements into how psychologists saw learning.

        Edit: oh yeah and there were also observed effects when the adults were rewarded or punished for beating up the Bobo doll. It showed that people learn about consequences from watching others.

        The Spacing Effect suggests that repetition learning is most effective for long-term retention of information.

        For the sake of remembering all these psychological experiments, Ebbinghaus's memory experiments are quite relevant to know about.

        His experiments showed that people forget around 50% of what they have learned after about a day (and 75% after 2 days, and so on) unless they try - and succeed - at recalling it. Then you forget more slowly the next time. If you space your recall tests right before you would naturally forget then this is the most efficient way to remember something in the long run (called the Spacing Effect). There is software that can automate this for you in the event you ever need to memorize something (which almost everyone does at least occasionally, and students do constantly).

        Another finding related to his work in memory is that if you have a test in a few days cramming is better for remembering, but only in the extremely short run: you'll forget it all after about a week. So if you need to pass a test tomorrow: cram. If you need to pass a test in 6 weeks, 6 months, or 6 years: spaced repetition.

        The Backfire Effect may explain why some people cling to false beliefs despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

        The Backfire Effect was discovered in the 1950s when a researcher infiltrated a UFO cult that predicted the end of the world, and their group's rescue in the nick of time by a group of benevolent aliens who represented the astral incarnation of Jesus Christ.

        When the world didn't end on the predicted date, the researcher was watching specifically to see how they would respond to their worldview being so dramatically disproven. Instead of admitting they were wrong, they doubled down and invented reasons why they'd been right all along.

        On further study, the backfire effect seems to affect primarily people with conservative worldviews -- people who believe false conservative ideas are more likely to hang on to those false ideas even after presented with debunking evidence. (Liberals are also motivated to resist evidence that debunks false liberal ideas, but are less likely to invent false justifications for their resistance.)

        Here's a great article that describes it.

        Similar to the Backfire Effect, which also demonstrated certain people's propensity to cling to easily disprovable beliefs.

        The Illusion of Truth experiments are extremely relevant in today's society, particularly on Reddit.

        There are a few basic tenets.

        1. People are more likely to believe something if they hear it multiple times, even if they know it's a lie.
        2. If people hear information and then find out later that it was a lie the original information they heard is sticky and they will be more likely to remember it is true. This can occur even if the lie were discovered very quickly.
        3. Kahneman's study showed that the way two questions are phrased effects how people will answer—even if the questions are essentially identical.

          Kahneman and Tversky's Prospect Theory. Kahneman recently won the Nobel for this and other work. It shows that people are really bad at understanding probabilities and are very influenced by how the message is framed, and whether it is framed as a gain or loss. For a simple example, asking "This surgery has an 80% chance of failure. Do you still want to have it?" Vs. "This surgery has a 20% success rate, do you want to have it?" Gets different answers even though the question is the same. The actual scenarios they used in the original experiments are fascinating and available online- look it up! It definitely changed how I interpret probabilistic decisions.

          The bonds we form as infants may predict the nature of our future relationships. Once again, the battle of nature versus nurture.

          Not a psychologist, but a psychology major. To add on to the many studies already mentioned, I think Mary Ainsworth's Strange situation is pretty important. She came up with the attachment theory. Basically saying how you form relationships as an infant predicts how you form relationships as an adult.

          Logical, critical thinking is improved in the context of societal rules, rather than contextual objectivity.

          The Wason selection task. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wason_selection_task#Use_of_logic

          Basically "Are people able to understand if/then statements?" as a larger indicator to ask if people are critical thinkers.

          Less than 10% of people got the right answer in more than one study, but if you put it into a context of societal rules, there is a pronounced improvement of how many people get the right answer.

          And finally, a study that explains SO MUCH about life in the age of social media.

          The cognitive dissonance experiment (Festinger) with the result that is the opposite of what you might expect: people following someone's orders were more likely to later decide they agreed with those orders when they were paid LESS to do so. The dissonance: our brains can't handle the conflict between our actions and our thoughts, so it adjusts our beliefs to fit our actions. "If I did that (especially without getting paid much), I must have believed in it." In a replication experiment: If you read scripts to raise funds for a randomly selected organization, you will believe more in that organization (unless you were paid a lot to read the words).

          Implication: Signing loyalty oaths actually makes you more loyal (unless you were forced to, and keep that in mind). Also: Sharing statements on social media doesn't just reflect beliefs, it deepens them.

          Thanks to Reddit user Berkamin posing the following question: "Psychologists of Reddit: besides Pavlov's classically conditioned dogs, the Stanford prison experiment, and the childhood delayed gratification experiment, what other paradigm-establishing psychological experiments should everyone know about?"

          Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

          Have you ever found yourself in an argument so stupid and/or pointless that you were sure you were being punked? Like you keep looking away from the other person to check your surroundings for places Ashton Kutcher and a camera crew could come popping out of?

          You're not the only one.

          u/Anti-hollowkid asked: What is the dumbest argument you've ever been in?

          Brace yourselves, folks. Some of these arguments are breathtakingly bonkers. The sheer number of people who are willing to argue with someone over provable facts and what that other person likes or doesn't like is just ... stunning. It's stunning, you guys. Just not in a good way.

          I Know What I Like


          My wife and I once argued over whether or not I liked mustard on my hot dog. I was for me liking mustard, she was against me liking mustard.

          The argument lasted way longer that you could ever imagine it would.

          - AardvarkAndy

          A Stair Step

          My brother and I argued if our staircase had 13 or 14 steps, based on an argument about if the floor of the second floor counts as a stair-step or not. We still have no solution.

          - RazerWolf04

          My dad is a stairbuilder and I spent many summers working at his warehouse, so I can clear this up. 14.

          - Apples9308


          My husband and I have this thing where we only say "I love you" on Saturdays. Every other day it's "I love you, but only on Saturdays." I don't know how it started, but it's been going for 11 years now.

          We're both shiftworkers, so sometimes we have to stop and think what day it actually is. We had an argument recently over whether it was Saturday or not. I said it was Saturday, he said it was Friday. It was Monday.

          - FormalMango


          I remember when I was about 13 my parents had an hour-long shouting match that ended with them almost getting divorced. The issue? Whether or not the nation of Iraq has a coastline.

          My mother arguing that Iraq had a coastline, while my stepdad argued that it did not. This was back in 2004, and they are still quite happily married to this day. That incident is something they look back on and laugh about, and both of them admit it was really a pretty stupid thing to argue over.

          - dontcryformegiratina


          With an ex:

          "I owe you $80 for the bills of ours that you pay, and you owe me $40 for the bills of ours that I paid. Here's $40 in cash; we're even."

          She did not understand this.

          I literally had to go get another $40 out of the ATM, and hand the $80 to her. Then I had her hand me the $40 she owed me.

          "Now how much do you have in your hand?"

          She still didn't understand.

          She somehow has a college degree.

          - Speedly

          Mini Wheats

          When we were kids my brother and I got in a physical fight because he said I like mini wheats and I insisted I didn't. His argument was that I always sang the mini wheats song and I was deeply offended that he wasn't aware that it was just stuck in my head but I hated the cereal. I actually did like the cereal I'm not sure why I was arguing with him about it but I remember how genuinely angry I was.

          - shicole3



          I'll tell you about the only legal trouble I've ever been in, the fight that got me arrested. It started over whether we should return a box of crayons or not, and to this day I don't have any idea how it escalated to the point of the cops being called, but they were and I was the one taken in.

          - CorrectionalChard

          That's Unfair

          My boyfriend insisted that when two people are in an argument and one makes a point so reasonable and logical the other one can't disagree with it - it's unfair. I tried, logically and reasonably, to explain several times why that is just winning the argument, proving your point thoroughly and is completely fair.

          His answer was that I was being unfair.

          - ShyAcorn

          Pure Masochism

          How the ch in masochism is pronounced. My friend caught me saying "masoKism" while he would say "masoSYism."

          To be fair, he grew up speaking French, in which the ch in masochism is pronounced in "his" way. But he insisted that I was the wrong one here and that was just infuriating.

          - argofire

          Emailing NASA

          A woman was adamant that looking at the big solar eclipse on the television was unsafe unless you were wearing glasses. She wouldn't believe us and insisted on emailing NASA to check.

          - derawin07

          A Non-Standard Ruler? 

          I worked for a company that made signs. We had a customer ask for signs that were 7mm wide that were to go on a door. Our sign makers figured the order meant inches because 7mm is pretty small, so made them 7 inches. I got a phone call from the customer who went mad at me for making them the wrong size. So I put a reorder through for 7 mm.

          Argued with the sign makers over it but they eventually agreed to do it after I shown them the order in writing. I even had the customer put her complaint in writing, reiterating the size they wanted.

          7mm signs went out and a day later I get the customer on the phone literally screaming at me.

          Cue the dumb argument - we ended up having an argument over how big a millimetre is, and obviously everyone in the office were laughing, but this customer just wouldn't accept it and said we must be using a non-standard ruler to measure.

          Ended up being escalating to the sales department manager who refused to issue a refund. We still don't know what they actually meant.

          - Lovelocke

          This Unusual Vegan Argument

          Was in a pub with a few friends, and some random Dude dropped an ear, and somehow figured I'm vegan. Well, people like him are the reason I usually avoid mentioning it. He came up to me and insisted on starting a discussion about veganism. He claimed that by the end of it, I would be eating meat again.

          He listed some stupid arguments, I told him I was not convinced and then tried to keep on drinking beer with my friends. He followed me, and wanted me to "try to convert him to a vegan." I stupidly listed some of my reasons thinking it would make him go away. He told me he still was not convinced, so I was like whatever. Again, I really just wanted to drink beer with my friends.

          That dude followed me all night and expected me to try make him vegan. Doesn't matter what I said, and all the reasons that for me are obviously good enough to be vegan. He'd be just like "No, that doesn't convince me, therefore your argument and how you life is stupid."

          Didn't matter how often I told him that I honestly don't care; 5 minutes later he would come up to me again "I'm still not vegan, so veganism is stupid, all your arguments were stupid, now give me a good reason to become vegan!" At one point, I was literally yelling at him that I don't give a single flying f about what he eats and why, that it's in no way my responsibility to "turn somebody vegan" and in no way his business what I eat.

          Honestly, for that dude, I would have bought a whole ham, just to shove it up his stupid annoying face.

          - onlytruebertos

          Monty Python

          In college my roommate and I argued about a line in Monty Python & the Holy Grail. The scene with the Black Knight where the line "Alright, we'll call it a draw" is uttered. We argued about who said that line, whether it was King Arthur or the Black Knight.

          It went on for hours longer than it should have because I was stubborn and refused to admit I was wrong.

          - Skrivus

          Albert or Arnold


          Whether Albert Einstein or Arnold Schwarzenegger would be more useful to have around during a Zombie apocalypse. How on earth would Albert Einstein come in handy!?

          - Gerrard1995

          Below Sea Level

          I live on an island and when you go upland and you look out the sea looks like it's higher than or on the same level as the land. It's just a weird perspective thing because of the horizon. One day some kid says that it's because the island is under sea level.

          I'm like wtf bro all of us would be with the fishes. He argues that no that's not true and if I just go upland I'll see. We then spend a good 5 minutes of my time arguing about it until I decided to leave this kid in his stupidity. He even said we shouldn't believe everything adults tell us and sometimes we need to think for ourselves.

          This kid was older than me and was going to a good school. Lost my respect for him ever since then.

          - -justforclout-


          Someone tried to fight with me over how to spell my name.

          Now, my name is in a lot of languages with slightly different spellings. I would have accepted any of those spellings, but this one was just... Not even close. It didn't make any logical sense.

          An analogous example is if my name was Thomas and someone was insisting it was spelled Tomash. And not just the name Thomas in general, but that me specifically, on my birth certificate, was named Tomash. I know how to spell my own name.

          I swear to god, it went on for like an hour.

          - TK-DuVeraun

          Whales Are Mammals

          I was in an online chat room one day, and we were talking about whales. I commented on how whales are mammals and the next thing you know, someone was arguing with me and trying to convince me that a whale was a fish.

          - kawaii_psycho451


          Stupid microwaves. Having a man child talk down to me about how microwaves work only for him to google it and prove me right. He slept on the sofa that night.

          - sun_phobic

          Shower Schedule

          My friend keeps telling me that the norm is that a person should shower once a week. This has been going on for years. I'm almost convinced he's trolling me.

          - LibrarianGovernment

          No Balloons For Grandma

          My cousin and I argued over a balloon going to Heaven. We were at his big sisters prom send off and he let a balloon go and it went high into the sky.

          He then said this balloon will go up past space and go to Heaven and reach grandma (God rest her soul). And I was like no it's not and it's probably not even gonna reach space. Releasing balloons is terrible for the environment and kills/harms so much wildlife.

          He got really mad and defensive and started telling me to google it and do my research and I'm like I don't have to google it you idiot. He was mad at me for a good week.

          - Dskee02

          Spontaneous Dolphin Existence


          How dolphins reproduced. It took me a few solid minutes of explaining to her that dolphins have reproductive organs and that they did not just pop into existence. The argument began with her saying she wanted to work with sea creatures.

          Personally, I hope she was messing with me cause I lost a little faith in humanity that day.

          - thebeststory

          Male Chickens

          I repeatedly had the argument with a friend over whether roosters were chickens. She was convinced that only the females were chickens (hens). We were 18 at the time.

          - bee_zah

          Lightning McQueen

          Me and my friend were drinking underage, we ended up in an argument of whether lightning McQueen's eyes were blue or green. Somehow throughout the whole thing both of us never thought to straight up google a picture.

          - 23071115

          But ... Ice Floats

          Waiter/Host here.

          Woman wanted ice on the bottom of her drink.

          Now read that sentence again and try to imagine arguing with that particular brand of stupid.

          - FarWoods

          Time Zones Exist

          Coworker claimed that it was the same time of day and the same season on the whole globe. Had to get 4 coworkers to confirm to him that time zones do in fact exist.

          - JustARegularToaster


          My brother is colorblind. And he CONSTANTLY tries to correct me on what color things are.

          "Hey could you hand me that red _____?"

          "that's orange"

          "no, it's red"


          "YOU CANT EVEN KNOW"

          It is the base of our most common and heated arguments.

          - droneb2hive

          Andre 2000?


          I'm late, but I saw this question and instantly remembered that I was booted from a Facebook group because I called someone out on a lie that was not only bull, but extremely pointless. She was friends with the moderator and they made the case that my argument over such a little lie was more of a problem than the lie itself (though they didn't refer to it as a lie.)

          The woman said that she used to babysit for Andre 3000 and that his name was Andre 2000 - but he changed it after the year 2000 had passed. This was so easily disproven it was ridiculous. Their debut album came out in 1994 and he was already going by Andre 3000 at that time.

          The argument wasn't a huge long drawn out thing, but the fact that either of us were on Facebook at separate times meant that the responses were over a long period of time so this argument lasted a few days.

          It was stupid.

          - P1ST0L_Wh1PP3D

          Stars Like Our Sun

          I was arguing with my grandpa about stars he didn't believe that there are other stars like our sun. Basically he thought there is only the sun, the moon and the earth.


          Richard Nixon

          I have a degree in history. I mostly focused on nationalism. Wrote a 50 page paper on it and Richard Nixon with around 50 100 sources. Looked at micro film for hours on end. Part of the paper focused on how Nixon being chair of the house committee of Unamerican Activities was used as a powerful weapon to use against political enemies. It also inspired Joe McCarthy. Have had people tell me I was wrong and Nixon was never elected to a position besides the president and Joe McCarthy came before Nixon. I stopped trying to talk history to people.

          I also know quite a bit about the history of the Balkans its amazing how many Serbs refuse to believe Tito did anything wrong.

          Wrote 100 page paper on nationalism in Israel. Its frustrating to talk about because for some reason a lot of people think Palestinian firing rockets randomly into Israel is ok but if Israel retaliates the people get up in arms over a targeted air strike that kills 3 people.


          Balloon to Heaven

          My cousin and I argued over a balloon going to Heaven. We were at his big sisters prom send off and he let a balloon go and it went high into the sky. He then said this balloon will go up past space and go to Heaven and reach grandma (God rest her soul). And I was like no it's not and it's probably not even gonna reach space.

          And he got really mad and defensive and started telling me to google it and do my research and I'm like I don't have to google it you idiot. He was mad at me for a good week.


          Binder Clips

          I got into an argument with a co-worker over how we were attaching two pages of a letter together: small binder clips or paper clips.

          He felt that paper clips would leave a "dent" in the paper when removed, but binder clips won't. He refused to staple them together. I felt that binder clips would also leave a "dent", so we might as well just use the paper clips.

          It ended with him saying: "Do what you want [me], I don't care!" and storming off.



          Once got accused of faking being Jewish. Why? I have no clue. We argued over the course of a month, any time I'd bring it up and she heard about it, she'd begin going after me for "faking it".

          My mother's side is ethnically Jewish. Grandparents were practicing.




          3 friends and I once got into an argument about how to pronounce Nutella. It lasted for about 3-4 months. It was hilarious how serious we took it, it'd get heated but never for real serious.

          I think someone even called the company that made it to check, or that may have been for the Cheetos company. We were really bored in high school.


          Lingerie Boxes

          Late to the party, but there it is.

          I'm a manager at a small store. We're only 4 working there, so my team and I grew very close and we joke around a lot. Once during a slow shift, my employee and I had an argument because we were looking at the lingerie boxes, and I thought that two specific boxes had the same woman on it, but she was 100% positive they weren't the same person.

          Looking back, I don't know why it was such a big deal to us at the time, but we even called another employee who lives across the street to come and tell us what the heck was up with that. Turns out I was right, and she was pretty salty about it. It was a great night.


          Wicked Witch of the West

          I almost got into an argument with an old girlfriend over Glinda the good witch from Oz. She insisted that Glinda was manipulating Dorothy to assassinate the Wicked Witch of the West and convince the Wizard to leave to create a political void she could fill.

          I conceded the issue when I heard the whole premise because I thought it was too damn stupid to get worked up over.


          Keep Your Hands to Yourself

          Just the other day I legit got in an argument with my co-workers on why I don't like my butt being grabbed by anyone (I'm a guy). Seriously.

          They went on about "I don't mind it. Mike and I do it all the time and we don't care." Yeah, that's nice dude, but I'm not you, and there's something called "Keep your hands to yourself" (which was taught to a good portion of us growing up). Just like how Karen wouldn't like it if I touched her boobs or her grabbing your crotch or frankly ANY area you wouldn't like being grabbed, keep away. In general, you should not be touching me in any areas after I've told you not to several times before.

          So unless you're sleeping me or dating me, keep your damn hands off my toosh.



          My best friend and I argued over whether or not telekinesis was possible. Her argument was that humans don't yet know what the human brain at 100% usage was capable of, and that telekinesis was inside the possibilities.

          I said the brain does use 100%, just at different times.

          We didn't speak to each other for four days.



          How dolphins reproduced and whether or not ghost existed (back to back with the same person). It took me a few solid minutes of explaining to her that dolphins have reproductive organs and that they did not just pop into existence (the argument began with her saying she wanted to work with sea creatures).

          How it shifted to the existence of ghosts is a solid and reasonable question to ask (I don't remember why). I had to then proceed to tell her that ghost hunting TV shows do not constitute as undeniable evidence.

          Personally, I hope she was messing with me cause I lost a little faith in humanity that day. This was in high school SO... hopefully she was kidding.


          Dogs and Chocolate


          I told this stupid woman that chocolate is toxic to dogs. She went on to tell me how a little bit will just make them hyper and then they will calm down. I told her to google it. Her and her bf shut right up. Now they have a kid. Good luck, Jeremy and Andrea. morons.

          I should also add that this argument started because Jeremy was giving his tiny dog chocolate and I told him it was toxic.


          Is water wet?

          My roommate and I have a recurring argument over whether or not water is wet l, and whether or not a person is considered wet underwater.

          For the record, it is no to both questions.


          Mission Trip

          A kid a church telling me about the mission trip I went on. Not only was I not on that trip, but I had never been on any mission trip. We were good friends, so it's not like he would've mistaken someone else for me.

          He insisted I was there as if an entire week long trip would just fall out of my memory. He even had stories of things we'd done together. I'm not sure if he thought I was lying, joking, stupid, or crazy, but I was pretty sure he was some combination thereof.


          Dragon Tales

          One time I got into a shouting match with my mom and little brother in the car. The issue? The names of the two-headed dragon from the PBS kids afternoon show Dragon Tales. I swore it was Zack and Macie.

          It was actually Zak and Wheezie. I don't even remember why we were yelling about it.


          Green Or Yellow?

          When I was about 15 or so my mother and I spent about 20-30 minutes arguing about the color of a shirt. We agreed it was blue/green, but to me it was just a shade more blue, while to her it was just a bit more green.

          Turns out, your eyeballs yellow as you age and hers were 24 years yellower than mine, so I think that skewed her color vision.


          Stars In Their Multitude


          I once got in an argument over whether or not a line from the song "Stars" in Les Mis says "...but mine is the way of the lord" or "mine is the way of the law".

          I didn't even really care what he thought but he was so adamant and cocky that it got me heated. By the end of it we were shouting at each other and I had to apologize, which I think is what he wanted the whole time.



          My brother is colorblind. And he CONSTANTLY tries to correct me on what color things are.

          "Hey could you hand me that red _____?" "that's orange" "no, it's red" "orange" "YOU CANT EVEN KNOW".

          It is the base of our most common and heated arguments.


          Hot Water

          About five years ago, my girlfriend (now wife) once had a very intense argument about whether or not hot water cleaned things better than cold water.

          She genuinely believed that water temperature didn't matter. This is someone who has not one, but two masters degrees.

          We argued for something like 2 hours, and we seriously almost broke up over the whole thing.


          Biology Class

          I had an argument with a girl IN THE MIDDLE OF A BIOLOGY CLASS in high school about how humans are not mammals. She thought a human was a human and we are not mammals because "mammals are animals and humans are not animals"

          I tried explaining to her the difference between reptiles and mammals and how humans fall under the mammal category to try and educate her... but she just wouldn't listen.

          I still have no idea why the BIOLOGY teacher did not get involved...


          Solid Or Liquid?

          Some classmates and I got into a heated debate as to whether or not the human body could count as a soup, salad, or sandwich. The teacher got mad at us, but hey! All we were doing was watching a movie.

          For the record, my logic lays with soup- Liquid contained within a solid, at a hot temperature.