The th Monkey Theory has been on the WOW site since , and we occasionally receive letters claiming that it was a hoax or fake.
Experimental Design – Research Methods in Psychology
We contacted Penny Gillespie, who was married to Ken Keyes and participated in his work and writing. Here is her response:. I'm not sure what you mean by "fake. People bought them by the case and gave them away.
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The story of the hundredth monkey came from a writing by Rupert Sheldrake. After our book was printed, there was some question about whether the study was authentic. Ken presented the story as a legend, or phenomenon; the concepts of morphogenetic fields and critical mass are very true and the story serves to illustrate them. We were also forwarded the following article that "puts a new light on this popular story".
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Going back to the original sources puts a new light on this popular story. Is there some magic key that provides a short cut to cultural transformation? Lyall Watson first told it in Lifetide pp , but its most widely known version is the opening to the book The Hundredth Monkey, by Ken Keyes.
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See below. The story is based on research with monkeys on a northern Japanese Island, and its central idea is that when enough individuals in a population adopt a new idea or behavior, there occurs an ideological breakthrough that allows this new awareness to be communicated directly from mind to mind without the connection of external experience and then all individuals in the population spontaneously adopt it. I found this to be a very appealing and believable idea. Archetypes, patterns, or fields that are themselves without mass or energy, could shape the individual manifestations of mass and energy.
The more widespread these fields are, the greater their influence on the physical level of reality. We sometimes mention the Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon when we need supporting evidence of the possibility of an optimistic scenario for the future, especially a future based on peace instead of war.
If enough of us will just think the right thoughts, then suddenly, almost magically, such ideas will become reality. However, when I went back to the original research reports cited by Watson, I did not find the same story that he tells. Where he claims to have had to improvise details, the research reports are quite precise, and they do not support the "ideological breakthrough" phenomenon. At first I was disappointed; but as I delved deeper into the research I found a growing appreciation for the lessons the real story of these monkeys has for us.
Up until , Keyes' description follows the research quite closely, although not all the young monkeys in the troop learned to wash the potatoes. Up to this time, the propagation of the innovative behavior was on an individual basis, along family lines and playmate relationships. Most of the young monkeys began to wash the potatoes when they were one to two and a half years old. Males older than 4 years, who had little contact with the young monkeys, did not acquire the behavior. By , the sweet potato washing was no longer a new behavior to the group. Monkeys that had acquired the behavior as juveniles were growing up and having their own babies.
This new generation of babies learned sweet potato washing behavior through the normal cultural pattern of the young imitating their mothers. By January, , almost all the monkeys in the Koshima troop, excepting those adults born before , were observed to be washing their sweet potatoes. If an individual monkey had not started to wash sweet potatoes by the time he was an adult, he was unlikely to learn it later, regardless of how widespread it became among the younger members of the troop.
In the original reports, there was no mention of the group passing a critical threshold that would impart the idea to the entire troop. The older monkeys remained steadfastly ignorant of the new behavior. Likewise, there was no mention of widespread sweet potato washing in other monkey troops.
There was mention of occasional sweet potato washing by individual monkeys in other troops, but I think there are other simpler explanations for such occurrences. If there was an Imo in one troop, there could be other Imo-like monkeys in other troops. Instead of an example of the spontaneous transmission of ideas, I think the story of the Japanese monkeys is a good example of the propagation of a paradigm shift, as in Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
The truly innovative points of view tend to come from those on the edge between youth and adulthood. The older generation continues to cling to the world view they grew up with. The new idea does not become universal until the older generation withdraws from power, and a younger generation matures within the new point of view. It is also an example of the way that simple innovations can lead to extensive cultural change. By using the water in connection with their food, the Koshima monkeys began to exploit the sea as a resource in their environment.
Sweet potato washing led to wheat washing, and then to bathing behavior and swimming, and the utilization of sea plants and animals for food. What does this say about morphogenetic fields, and the collective unconscious?
The Model F-ratio of 3. The p-value 'Probability of exceeding the observed F-ratio assuming no significant differences among the means' of 0. In other words, the three routes differ significantly in terms of the time taken to reach home from work. The following graph Figure 4 shows 'Simultaneous Pairwise Difference' Confidence Intervals for each pair of differences among the treatment means.
If an interval includes the value of zero meaning 'zero difference' , the corresponding pair of means do NOT differ significantly. You can use these intervals to identify which of the three routes is different and by how much. The intervals contain the likely values of differences of treatment means , and respectively, each of which is likely to contain the true population mean difference in 95 out of samples.
Notice the second interval does not include the value of zero; the means of routes 1 A and 3 C differ significantly. In fact, all values included in the 1, 3 interval are positive, so we can say that route 1 A has a longer commute time associated with it compared to route 3 C. Other statistical approaches to the comparison of two or more treatments are available through the online statistics handbook - Chapter Multi-factor experiments are designed to evaluate multiple factors set at multiple levels. One approach is called a Full Factorial experiment, in which each factor is tested at each level in every possible combination with the other factors and their levels.
Full factorial experiments that study all paired interactions can be economic and practical if there are few factors and only 2 or 3 levels per factor. The advantage is that all paired interactions can be studied. However, the number of runs goes up exponentially as additional factors are added. Experiments with many factors can quickly become unwieldy and costly to execute, as shown by the chart below:. To study higher numbers of factors and interactions, Fractional Factorial designs can be used to reduce the number of runs by evaluating only a subset of all possible combinations of the factors.
These designs are very cost effective, but the study of interactions between factors is limited, so the experimental layout must be decided before the experiment can be run during the experiment design phase. You can also use EngineRoom , MoreSteam's online statistical tool, to design and analyze several popular designed experiments. The application includes tutorials on planning and executing full, fractional and general factorial designs.
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Start a day free trial today. Genichi Taguchi is a Japanese statistician and Deming prize winner who pioneered techniques to improve quality through Robust Design of products and production processes. Taguchi developed fractional factorial experimental designs that use a very limited number of experimental runs. The specifics of Taguchi experimental design are beyond the scope of this tutorial, however, it is useful to understand Taguchi's Loss Function, which is the foundation of his quality improvement philosophy.
Traditional thinking is that any part or product within specification is equally fit for use. In that case, loss cost from poor quality occurs only outside the specification Figure 5.
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However, Taguchi makes the point that a part marginally within the specification is really little better than a part marginally outside the specification. As such, Taguchi describes a continuous Loss Function that increases as a part deviates from the target, or nominal value Figure 6. The Loss Function stipulates that society's loss due to poorly performing products is proportional to the square of the deviation of the performance characteristic from its target value.
Taguchi adds this cost to society consumers of poor quality to the production cost of the product to arrive at the total loss cost. Designed experiments are an advanced and powerful analysis tool during projects. An effective experimenter can filter out noise and discover significant process factors.
The factors can then be used to control response properties in a process and teams can then engineer a process to the exact specification their product or service requires. A well built experiment can save not only project time but also solve critical problems which have remained unseen in processes.