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A History of Modern Psychology 11th Edition

A History of Modern Psychology (11th Edition)

Book Edition11th Edition
Author(s)Schultz, Schultz
Chapter 8, End of Chapter, Review Questions, Exercise 1
Page 187

How did Hollingworth's research for the Coca-Cola trial help to change American psychology?

Here is a tip:

Experimental research conducted in relation to a giant soft drink company in Country A took psychology to a respectable level. 


Harry Hollingworth conducted meticulous research using about 64000 instruments for assessing motor, perceptual, sensory capacities, and a wide range of other mental skills. The results showed no remarkable harmful effects of the different doses of caffeine on the behavior of the participants under investigation. Consequently, the company won the case, and this impacted Country A's psychology in two major ways:

  • It was then understood that the experimental researches conducted by the psychologists were worth being financed by high-profile companies.
  • Applied psychology has tremendous career opportunities for psychologists that are financially gratifying and not at the cost of compromising professional ethics.

Verified Answer

Harry Hollingworth accepted the research proposal made by the company, which was under trial for using caffeine as the main ingredient in its soft drink. The drink was claimed to be life-harming, addictive, and capable of altering the behavior of human beings.

As the company did not have any legal evidence to prove that the amount of caffeine used in its soft drink was not harmful to human behavior, it wanted a psychologist to conduct objective research in the hope of having the results in its favor.

Hollingworth conducted vigorous research for 40 days while maintaining ethical standards and gained permission from the organization to publish the results even if they were unfavorable to the company's trial. The organization, however, won the case and it was reinstated that sound and accurate research can be funded by organizations and that careers in psychological research can be financially satisfying.

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