Experiments that Never Made It

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From the Minutes of the Ethical Review Committee
Experiment proposal #:  1145
Investigator:  Dr. --------
Status:  DENIED
	We hope to investigate the role of the hippocampus in learning and
memory. Participants from the university community will receive accute
lesioning, performed by qualified medical experts,in their left
hippocampal regions.  Following surgery, participants will be tested on
several verbal and spatial working memory tasks, which will be compared to
pre-surgery performance.

Reviewers Comments:
	Although this study could potentially aid the progress of science
in ways thay can only now be imagined, we must reject the proposal on
ethical grounds.  You have neglected an important aspect of experiments
such as these: the post-experimental debriefing.  Participants leaving
your experiment are likely to face issues dealing with their experiences
that you have not foreseen.  We encourage you to resubmit your proposal
with a debriefing protocol, and suggest it includes providing a licensed
psychotherapist to participants, to aid in assimilation to the community.

Experiment proposal #:  1153 
Investigator:  Dr. -------- 
Status:  DENIED

This experiment involves investigating how humans respond to simulated
and actual physical violence.  Naive participants will be recruited from
the Introductory Psychology Course, as partial fullfillment of course
requirements. On one day, participants will be exposed to realistic
computer games involving bludgeoning and painful injury.  The next day,
the same participants will witness actual bludgeoning and painful injury
(in a counterbalanced fashion.)  Following each session, several
personality tests will be administered.

Reviewer comments:
It is against University policy to allow Intro. Psych. recruits to
take part in multiple-session experiments.  Although this study could aid
the progress of science in ways that can not be imagined, we reject the
request and encourage re-submission once these concerns are addressed.

Experiment proposal #:  1156
Investigator:  Dr. --------
Status:  DENIED

In this study, we will examine the ability of subjects to learn
simple motor skills while exposed to one of two musical genres:  Baroque
or Hip-Hop.  Subjects will be paid for their time.

Reviewer Comments:
Although this research has the potential to advance the march of science
in ways thay can only be dreamt, per APA guideline 4533/a34; "...all paid
and unpaid volunteers must be referred to as 'participants'."  Due to your
callous lack of respect for our most valuable resource; these vital
collaborators in the research mileau, we reject your request but encourage
resubmission once you have come to terms with your unfortunate

Experiment proposal #:  1162 
Dr. -------- 
Status:  DENIED

We propose to study the ability of the African Chimpanzee to learn and
perform the so-called PRP task, a dual-choice reaction-time task.  We will
vary both stimulus and response numerosity to discover if Man's
evolutionary cousin also uses a Response-selection Bottleneck to perform

Reviewer Comments:
Although this experiment has the potential to expand the horizons of human
knowledge and help advance science, we must reject your proposal because
the task you describe is undoubtedly incredibly and painfully boring.
Inhumane treatment of animals is reprehensible, and would not reflect well
upon our institution.  Resubmission of a similar experiment is not

Experiment proposal #:  1171
Investigator:  Dr. --------
Status:  DENIED

We plan to replicate and extend S. Milgram's obediance experiments in a
cross-cultural setting.  Non-native University students will serve as the
"Instructers", while either another non-native or native-born experimental
accomplice serves as "Learning Subject".  Instructers will administer what
they believe to be shocks to the accomplices whenever an error in learning
is made. We will investigate how obedient these participants are to the
wishes of an authority figure, the experimenter.

Reviewer Comments:  This experiment has the potential to alter the way we
think about authority, and lead to scientific advancements that can only
now be hoped for.  However, we must reject this proposal due to its use of
deception. It is unacceptable to tell the "Instructer" that he or she is
shocking the accomplice, and then fail to deliver this shock.  This is
unnecessarily deceptive.  We encourage resubmission after you develop
procedures and apparati that allow this deception to be avoided.

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