Failed Sociological Experiment #1: Operation Darwin
Purpose of Experiment: To study humans in their natural habitat.
Hypothesis: Humans tend to form complex social interactions when left to their own devices.
Findings: No findings. Hidden ceiling camera discovered by several subjects.
Failed Sociological Experiment #2: Mr. Critical
Purpose of Experiment: To record the reaction of several people to harsh, loud criticism by a complete stranger.
Hypothesis: Some people will be too perplexed to protest; others will sharply defend themselves against unwanted criticism.
Findings: Store managers ask you to leave when they see you screaming at customers.
Failed Sociological Experiment #3: Call of the Wild
Purpose of Experiment: Go through a public zoo with a silent dog whistle. Record the reactions of people when you use it.
Hypothesis: When the pandas start tearing each other apart, someone will tell you to knock it off.
Findings: Crowds love dueling pandas.
Failed Sociological Experiment #4: Bootless Bootlegging
Purpose of Experiment: Go through a security checkpoint to Mexico with an empty car. Go through the same checkpoint later with about twenty bags of sand, and act suspicious. Repeat each day for two weeks.
Hypothesis: The government is willing to spend thousands of dollars and dozens of hours investigating bags of sand.
Findings: Homeland Security detention centers are cold.
Failed Sociological Experiment #5: Come Again?
Purpose of Experiment: Ask someone for directions. Then, ask them to repeat what they just said. Keep asking them to repeat themselves until they give up and leave. Find out how long that takes.
Hypothesis: People will think you either have a serious memory problem, or are messing with them.
Findings: 45% of participants thought they were on a hidden camera show.
Failed Sociological Experiment #6: Tammany Hall
Purpose of Experiment: Pick a random member of Congress and send him/her letters accusing him/her of corruption. Find out if that member of Congress will personally respond to such outlandish accusations.
Hypothesis: No one in Congress has the kind of time to respond to baseless accusations.
Findings: Homeland Security detention centers are really cold.
Failed Sociological Experiment #7: Pen Pals
Purpose of Experiment: Wait until one in the morning. Then, look through your phone book for someone that lives a few miles away. Call them and claim to be from another country and ask to be pen pals.
Hypothesis: Most people will politely explain the difference in time zones and ask that they call back later.
Findings: People with Caller ID aren't so polite.
Failed Sociological Experiment #8: Beam Me Up
Purpose of Experiment: Find out how much the average person knows about Star Trek and thinks about Star Trek fans.
Hypothesis: The average person is neutral towards Star Trek, yet despises its fans (trekkies).
Findings: Although only 28% of subjects think trekkies are “nerds”, 79% feel that Star Trek fans do not exercise much. A whopping 61% believed that Star Trek and Star Wars were created by the same person.
Failed Sociological Experiment #9: Armageddon
Purpose of Experiment: Find out how many people think the world will end in the next couple of years.
Hypothesis: No one could be gullible enough to think that, given all our advanced technology and ingenuity, the world will end.
Findings: The world is ready for Armageddon insurance.
Failed Sociological Experiment #10: A Rose by Any Other Name
Purpose of Experiment: Strike up a conversation with a complete stranger. During the conversation, make up words. Record whether the person asks the meaning of the word or derives its meaning from the context.
Hypothesis: The more real a word sounds, the more likely it is that the subject will derive its meaning.
Findings: Freudian slips make this experiment unfeastible.