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World as laboratory : experiments with mice, mazes, and men

Author: Rebecca M Lemov
Publisher: New York : Hill and Wang, 2005.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Summary:
The idea in the 1930s and 1940s was to build a system by which people's actions and behaviors--eventually even their thoughts--could be predicted and controlled. To cure society's ills was the goal. The early "social scientists" ran animals, then men, through mazes, strapping them to galvanic skin response recorders and "punishment grills." With World War II came federal money and new techniques, as vast amounts of  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Rebecca M Lemov
ISBN: 0809074648 9780809074648 9780809098118 0809098113
OCLC Number: 58451877
Description: 291 pages, [8] pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Strange fruits and virgin births --
Running the maze --
Embracing the real --
Psychic machines --
Circle of fear and hope --
In and out of the South --
An ordinary evening in New Haven --
The biggest file --
Anthropology's laboratory --
The impossible experiment --
The real world --
Conclusion.
Responsibility: Rebecca Lemov.
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Abstract:

The idea in the 1930s and 1940s was to build a system by which people's actions and behaviors--eventually even their thoughts--could be predicted and controlled. To cure society's ills was the goal. The early "social scientists" ran animals, then men, through mazes, strapping them to galvanic skin response recorders and "punishment grills." With World War II came federal money and new techniques, as vast amounts of information were collected, filed, and fed to computers so that everything from personal preferences to national loyalty could be measured, targeted, studied, and changed. And with the Cold War, well-intentioned programs took a sinister turn. With CIA encouragement, and using drugs and psychosurgery, scientists turned to brainwashing, interrogation techniques, and remote-control behavior. Author Lemov traces how the absurd, the practical, and the dangerous experiments of these human engineers left their laboratories to become our day-to-day reality.--From publisher description.

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