Tuskegee Experiment and the Likelihood of It Happening Today

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This paper will show basic Psychological studies and terms. One theory that will be introduced is Skinner’s box theory. Burrhus Skinner was an American scientist who conducted behavioral experiments with rats. This paper will also give the reason to why Psychology is a mandatory class in most Universities. Common terms in Psychology such as correlation, causation, and illusory correlation will be defined and explained. Then, the paper will end on the topic of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, where African American farmers were observed and recorded on the long-lasting effects of Syphilis.

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The Skinner Box was a science experiment on rats that studied their behavior when rewarded and punished. Skinner’s experiment was to put a hungry rat in a box with a lever on the inside. If the rat pulled the lever, then food would come in from the side to feed the rat. At first, the hungry rat explored around to find food and accidently pulled the lever. The rat realized that pulling the lever would reward him with food and continued to pull it. Humans can be the same way sometimes in society. When you go into work, you know that if you do your job you will get rewarded with pay. The drive to work in order to receive pay is an example of positive reinforcement. An example of this theory for punishment is spanking. When a kid disobeys their parents and receive a spanking, they realize that what they had done was wrong. Skinners box theory is a part of the world today.

Most Universities require that you take a Psychology class in your college career. Psychology is a class that can be used to better understand human behavior. This understanding can be useful in different classes and in life. The more you know about yourself, the better chance you have at being the best version of you. Psychology also helps you understand the thought processes of other people around you. This can give you the ability to know the most productive way to work with others.

The term correlation is defined as “a mutual relationship or connection between two or more things”. An example of a correlation in everyday life is that if you work out every day, you will get stronger. The term causation is defined as “the act of causing something”. An example of causation is that dropping a bowling ball on your foot will cause pain. The term illusionary correlation is defined as “the phenomenon of perceiving a relationship between variables even when no such relationship exists”. An example of illusionary correlation is when a guy believes that all southerners like sweat tea. These terms are a part of basic Psychology.

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study was an observational study on African Americans that were infected with the sexually transmitted disease, Syphilis. The Tuskegee institute conducted the experiment at the time when there was no cure for syphilis. However, once the cure did arrive, the scientists did not treat them. Instead, they continued to observe the long-term effects of this disease. Eventually the experiment was shut down, but 28 had already died, more than 100 died later of the effects of the disease, and close to 60 spouses and children were infected. A study like this could never be ran legally in our society. If the study was proposed to be done today, the United States Department of Health and Human Services would be the organization to deny or verify it.

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