If YouTube turned us all into voyeurs, constantly consuming media that’s being shoved our direction, it also turned us into potential subjects, forever ready to be part of someone else’s video. A few different “social scientists” have put that to use by staging social experiments and filming the results. Some of them are hard to watch and a lot of them are easy to excuse, but all of them make for interesting viewing. After all, it’s easy to speculate about what you’d do in any given situation—but it’s hard to argue with some of the sobering data compiled below.
1. Would You Help a Victim of Domestic Abuse?
This couple staged a violent argument along a wooded jogging trail to see how passers-by would respond.
2. Would You Notice Your Own Family If They Were Homeless?
Here’s an intriguing premise. Subjects’ friends and family members dressed as if they were homeless and placed themselves along the subjects’ morning commute. Would you notice your own family if they were homeless?
3. Would You Stop a Man From Taking Advantage of an Intoxicated Woman?
This one is particularly interesting because of how the responses differ depending on people’s perceptions of the woman.
4. Would You React Differently to a Black Man Breaking Into a Car Than a White Man?
Please be warned, the local police use some very salty language when questioning one of these two men about just what he’s up to.
5. Would You Help a Homeless Person Who Fell?
This one is remarkably, sadly simple. A homeless man falls over. A well-dressed man falls over. Who are people more likely to help?
6. Is What Unites Us Stronger Than What Divides Us?
Not every experiment has an unhappy ending. This one is actually pretty affirming. As you probably know, the situation between India and Pakistan is a tense one, so Coca-Cola set out to see just how strong that division was. As it turns out, the gap between the two nations is nothing an innovative communications portal and an ice cold Coke can’t bridge.
7. Bonus: A Reverse Experiment
To end everything on an up-note, this man had a friend pose as a homeless person asking for cash at a gas station. Anyone who gave him a little extra cash ended up getting their entire tank of gas paid for.
Tyler Huckabee is RELEVANT's executive editor. He lives in Nashville with his wife, dog and Twitter account.