PsyBlog has just concluded a great series of articles, each of which tackled a classic experiment in social psychology that demonstrated something counter-intuitive, curious or even shocking about ourselves.
You may recognise some of them, as they’ve become various shades of legendary to notorious, even to people without a special interest in psychology.
Others are well known within the field but have yet to filter out to the general consciousness.
To my mind, one of the best is the theory of cognitive dissonance. Perhaps one of the most important findings in social psychology – explaining how we are motivated to reconcile conflicting beliefs and actions.
The rest of the experiments have been equally as influential and the whole series makes for a great overview of some of the foundation stones of the modern science of mind.
Link to “Why We do Dumb or Irrational Things: 10 Brilliant Social Psychology Studies”.