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Episode 2 of 3

Duration: 1 hour

Dr Michael Mosley continues his exploration of the brutal history of experimental psychology. Experiments on the human mind have led to profound insights into how our brain works - but have also involved great cruelty and posed some terrible ethical dilemmas.

In this film, Michael investigates how scientists have struggled to understand that most irrational and deeply complex part of our minds - our emotions.

Michael meets survivors - both participants and scientists - of some of the key historical experiments. Many of these extraordinary research projects were captured on film - an eight-month-old boy is taught to fear random objects, baby monkeys are given mothers made from wire and cloth, and an adult is deliberately violent before a group of toddlers.

Michael takes part in modern-day experiments to play his own small part in the quest to understand emotions.

Music Played

29 items
  • BBC Radio 4: In Our Time: Neuroscience

    BBC Radio 4: In Our Time: Neuroscience

    Melvyn Bragg and guests examine the relationship between the mind and the brain as they discuss recent developments in Neuroscience.

    Listen to In Our Time: Neuroscience from BBC Radio 4
  • BBC Radio 4: Mind Changers: Arden House

    BBC Radio 4: Mind Changers: Arden House

    Listen to Claudia Hammond present a series looking at the development of the science of psychology during the 20th century. Here she re-visits Ellen Langer and Judith Rodin's 1976 study, conducted in a New England nursing home, Arden House.

    Listen to Mind Changers: Arden House on BBC Radio 4
  • BBC Radio 4: Mind Changers: Harlow's Monkeys

    BBC Radio 4: Mind Changers: Harlow's Monkeys

    When psychologist Harry Harlow decided to look at how baby rhesus monkeys learned to recognise their mothers, he didn't know that he would revolutionise parenting. Listen to Claudia Hammond as she finds out more.

    Listen to Mind Changers: Hawlow's Monkeys from BBC Radio 4


Series Producer
Kate Townsend
Production Manager
Jessica Ross
Michael Mosley
Nicola Stockley
Executive Producer
Jonathan Renouf


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