Increasing Human Intelligence by Studying the Hundredth Monkey Experiment
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Increasing Human Intelligence by Studying the Hundredth Monkey Experiment

In the early 1950’s Japanese scientists studied how Macaca Fuscata monkeys communicated freshly learned techniques to one another by observing how they react once a favorite treat of theirs was placed in the sand. By observing this event Japanese scientists concluded that humans, like monkeys, also share a phenomenon known as ‘global consciousness.’

In the early 1950’s Japanese scientists began experimenting with a type of monkey known as Macaca Fuscata in order to determine their learning capabilities and how this could coincide with human learning capabilities.  What the Japanese scientists decided to do was to drop numerous amounts of sweet potatoes in the sand on the island of Koshima and observe how the monkeys ate them.  The fact that the sweet potatoes were dropped in the sand created a dilemma for the monkeys.  The sand needed to be washed away in order for the sweet potatoes to be enjoyed.  However, at first only a small percentage of the Macaca Fuscata monkeys were able to achieve this which were primarily the youngest monkeys.  The younger monkeys that understood that the potatoes needed to be washed prior to being eaten began to instruct the other monkeys throughout the island.  This slowly became to be known as the ‘Hundredth Monkey Effect.’ 

At first, the majority of the older Macaca Fuscata monkeys did not immediately learn this new trend instead they continued eating the sweet potatoes covered in sand.  Fortunately though, as more and more younger monkeys began to learn the washing technique the older monkeys began to observe this feat than slowly use it themselves.  Finally, by the year 1958 so many monkeys on the island of Koshima had learned to wash their sweet potatoes that it was considered that there were none left that didn’t know how to.  In fact, Japanese scientists discovered that monkeys occupying surrounding islands, and the main troop of Takasakiyama, had also begun to wash the sand off of their sweet potatoes as well.     

The Japanese scientists concluded that this experiment may also help to understand human learning behavior and how fast new techniques can be taught throughout the world.  The idea behind this theory was that once a small group learns a new technique slowly it spreads to other groups until critical mass is reached in which the vast majority will have learned the new trend.  The experiment involving the monkeys’ help the Japanese scientists determine that the new learned technique also had to have been communicated from mind to mind since obviously the monkeys did not vocalize this realization. 

The same theory applies to human beings.  Once a small group of individuals have learned something new than it becomes learned fairly quickly by the vast majority regardless of their location within the world.  Although this theory primarily deals with pseudoscience many mainstream scientists and experts are beginning to now take notice of the effect known as the ‘100th Monkey Phenomena’.         


The 100th Monkey.” By Ken Keyes Jr.

The 100th Monkey Revisited.” By Elaine Myers

The 100th Monkey Effect: Critical Mass.” By selfconcious

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