While there is some debate on whether or not the 5 Monkeys Experiment actually took place, there are certainly a few lessons to be learned… but first, read the story
The 5 Monkey’s Experiment
A group of scientists placed five monkeys in a cage, and in the middle, a ladder with bananas on top.
Every time a monkey went up the ladder, the scientists soaked the rest of the monkeys with cold water.
After a while, every time a monkey would start up the ladder, the others would pull it down and beat it up.
After a time, no monkey would dare try climbing the ladder, no matter how great the temptation.
The scientists then decided to replace one of the monkeys. The first thing this new monkey did was start to climb the ladder. Immediately, the others pulled him down and beat him up.
After several beatings, the new monkey learned never to go up the ladder, even though there was no evident reason not to, aside from the beatings.
The second monkey was substituted and the same occurred. The first monkey participated in the beating of the second monkey. A third monkey was changed and the same was repeated. The fourth monkey was changed, resulting in the same, before the fifth was finally replaced as well.
What was left was a group of five monkeys that – without ever having received a cold shower – continued to beat up any monkey who attempted to climb the ladder.
If it was possible to ask the monkeys why they beat up on all those who attempted to climb the ladder, their most likely answer would be “I don’t know. It’s just how things are done around here.”
So what can we learn from the 5 Monkeys Experiment?
Challenge and question everything, especially if it does not feel right (the Monkeys don’t have that ability).
When faced with a problem look for for new methods to solve it – the Monkeys really wanted those bananas.
Does it make you thinking about anything else? We would love to hear your comments below/