CLues to the 'missing experiment' required

Ian Johnson reframer at
Thu Sep 18 03:31:47 EST 1997

I heard of an experiment, details following, from a colleague but neither
of us have any real facts as to it's existence or outputs. Can anyone out
there help?

The experiment was conducted with monkeys...

The monkeys are put into a large cage with lots of space to climb and play.
In one corner, approachable by walking up a log, is a bunch of bananas. The
monkeys approach the bananas with thoughts of lunch, but as they get closer
they are sprayed with water, and the monkeys disperse. Over time they try
less and less often until they 'learn' not to try anymore. 

Then a new monkey is introduced, initially it too tries to obtain a banana,
only to be met with the same treatment and it too learns. The strange thing
is that after few new monkeys being introduced and learning the same
lesson, there comes a time when new monkeys do not even try for the
bananas. Without the experience of being sprayed they just ignore the fruit
in the corner.

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