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Home Columns Parables The Story of the Five Gorillas
The Story of the Five Gorillas PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Parables
Written by Allan Albert   
Saturday, 02 June 2007 07:12

There was an experiment involving five gorillas who lived in a large cage. The cage had a ladder in the center, and everyday a fresh set of bananas where placed high up on top of the ladder.

As soon as one gorilla would attempt to get the bananas, the scientists would spray all the gorillas with cold water. This process was repeated when any gorilla tried, and eventually, the gorillas stopped trying.

Some time passes and the gorillas still left the bananas alone. At this point, the scientists stopped spraying the cold water and replaces one of the five gorillas with a new one.

As soon as the new gorilla sees the bananas it attempts to climb the ladder. But this time, instead being sprayed with cold water, it was the other gorillas that attacked him and prevented him from getting the bananas! They didn't want to get sprayed with cold water again so they made sure that the new gorilla stayed away from the bananas.

After a couple of attempts (and attacks), the new gorilla learns to leave the bananas alone.

The scientists then replaces yet another gorilla. The second replacement does the same thing as the first new gorilla and it too gets attacked. Amazingly, even the first new gorilla, who know nothing about the sprays, takes enthusiastic part in the attacks.

The process of replacing gorillas is repeated until all the five original gorillas have been replaced with new ones. Each time a new gorilla attempts to get the bananas, it gets stopped by the other gorillas.

None of the gorillas in the cage knew why they shouldn't be climbing the ladder, yet none of them would try again, nor would they allow the other ones to do so.

Their only reason for their behavior is that its just the way things have always been done...


Last Updated on Monday, 15 October 2007 04:35
 

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