science Social Experiments That Almost Killed the Researcher  

Jacob Shelton
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Social psychology and the experiments that take place in that nebulous world have been occurring since at least the 19th century, when researchers began trying to create utopian communities in the United States. Obviously that didn’t work. In defense of the failed utopian communities, rather than devolve into bloodshed and mayhem, the communities either drifted apart or transformed into a more sustainable society. The social experiments on this list didn’t exactly end the same way. In fact, most of people on this list who tried to change the way a human being does something either ended up vomiting everywhere, getting choked by a stranger, or found themselves trapped in a tunnel. What are the odds, right? Whatever you do, don’t try these social experiments gone wrong at home.

Nowadays everyone can be a social scientist. All you really need is an outlet for your “research," be it YouTube, a friendly blog, or if you’re lucky, a national film distribution company. Unfortunately for just about everyone on this list, their social experiment blew up in their face in front of the entire world. Some social scientists, like Morgan Spurlock, managed to spin their failure into positives, but other researchers on this list weren’t so lucky. To see just how poorly something can go when you don’t have a plan, check out this list of the social experiments that almost killed the researcher.

Journalist Freaks Out on Weed Lube


Journalist Freaks Out on Weed ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Social Experiments That Almost Killed the Researcher
Photo:  uploaded by Jacob Shelton
It's hard out there for freelance journalists/social scientists, and sometimes to get eyeballs on your work you've got to go out there and try something weird. Mira Gonzalez hoped that Fiora's weed lube would change her life for the better (and cure chronic yeast infections), but it might have ruined her life instead. She applied the lube as instructed (by spraying it on her vagina), but when she didn't get as high as she thought she would, she drank the entire bottle. Oops!

Gonzalez went to bed and experienced what she calls a "12 hour nightmare" about losing a baby and was high for the next three days. It's a miracle that she didn't lose her mind forever.

When Giving a Homeless Man a Pizza Backfires


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Video: YouTube
At some point, it became a thing for YouTubers to perform social experiments, which is fine, but at some point someone is going to get killed. It's shocking that the guy who filmed himself giving a pizza and $100 to a homeless man didn't get beat up and left for dead under the bridge. Lesson learned? Probably not.

Stanford Prison Experiment


Stanford Prison Experiment is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Social Experiments That Almost Killed the Researcher
Photo:  uploaded by Jacob Shelton
The Stanford Prison Experiment is easily the most famous of social experiments. Films have been made about how poorly this research went, and it's even been re-created, with a similar outcome. During the Stanford Prison Experiment, students were split up into two groups - prisoners and guards - and things immediately went off the rails. The "guards" began abusing the "prisoners" and the experiment only ended when one of the researchers' girlfriends began objecting to the conditions to which the students were being subjected.

Morgan Spurlock Almost Eats Himself to Death


Morgan Spurlock Almost Eats Hi... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Social Experiments That Almost Killed the Researcher
Photo:  uploaded by Jacob Shelton
Aside from the Stanford Prison experiment, the experiment that Morgan Spurlock embarked upon in his 2004 documentary Super Size Me is one of the most famous social experiments in history. Spurlock ate three McDonald's meals a day for 30 days. Five days into the experiment Spurlock became lethargic, and about 20 days into the experiment he began to suffer heart palpitations. When all was said and done, it took Spurlock five months to lose the 25 pounds he had gained in those 30 days.