The Blue-eyed, Brown-Eyed Bully Educational Experiment, Vintage

Anti-Bullying - Central

I take a stand against bullying.
I take a stand against bullying. | Source

How to Be a Bully

I remember experiments that were conducted in the 1970s, on school classrooms of children. Although all of the participants knew it was an experiment, the effect on the children was so powerful, that some came near or committed suicide.

Day One: The teacher would say, "all of the brown eyed people are evil, they are corrupt, they can't be trusted, and no one wants anything to do with them. If you are friends with them, you are just like them"

It did not take long before the brown-eyed students, some who were top students and well- liked, began to suffer. They did worse in their course work. They were less likely to participate in classroom discussions, and toward the end of the experiment, they did their best to stay hidden. The self-confidence of the targeted, "brown-eyed" group plummeted to alarming lows.

Day Two - The teacher changes the target group, to the blue-eyed students. Immediately, the brown-eyed students became aggressive in their dislike of the blue-eyed students. The blue-eyed students suffer as much as, if not more than, the brown-eyed students from the day before.

EVERYONE knew this was an experiment, but what sociologists term as the "risks" associated with being the "out" crowd are so powerful in our modern society, that humans will fill like water, the side that is the "in", or popular societal group.

This is a perfect example of how easily the crowd can be swayed into bullying a person or group for ignorant, or unreal reasons. This shows how easy it is, or popular to become the Bully. It beats being the Bullied.

During this era, other experiments were conducted, where all but one person was privy to the information that an experiment would be done. A group of 20 people, 1, being unaware of the group dynamic, would be told by a facilitator, "the sky is green". The 19 would heartily agree that, "yes, the sky is green". At first the 1 may say, "No, the sky is Blue", but in a very short span of time, the lone Individual, would quickly agree, "Yes, the sky is green"

I believe this is what the homeless, the mentally ill, addicts and the "wrong skin-color" face in our society everyday! I think it is possible they are bullied by peers, teachers, parents, ministers, siblings and/or employers. People who in society, have standing, or crowd authority over others, use their authority to determine a lack of value in these certain groups of people or individuals. Keep in mind, this kind of bullying can change focus in an instant. Just like the Brown-eyed/Blue-eyed switch.

How To Beat A Bully - Movie Trailer

Bully or Be Bullied?

I know that here in the Southern U.S., poor whites are the least represented group of any. They are chided and made fun of; "the people of Walmart" is a good example. These poor whites are a punchline and big joke. They are looked down on, from every segment of our society. My family falls into this category, so we have lived with it for as long as I can remember.

In the past year, the activities of radical right-wing politics have swept up the poor whites, giving these picked on, or bullied group, someone else to pick on.

The radical right-wing politicians consider poor whites as dog poo on their shoes, but they understand societal and crowd politics, and are using the demographic of crowds,or "risk", to push their agenda.

When they are through, the demarcation line will once more be drawn between Poor whites, and the GOP.

There is a growing trend of racism toward Hispanic people in the South, South West, and Western U.S. 97% of Hispanics in the Northern Americas are born in the U.S.

If we want to talk about who was here first. Indigenous Tribes were here before Europeans, and many cities and towns in the Southwest and West were founded by the first Spaniards, Spanish Americans, Mexicans and Hispanics.

This big push and trend, makes it popular to look at every person with brown or red skin with disgust, and demand they be treated like criminals, or be given less dignity than animals.

This is bullying on a National level.

Reading Is A Cure For Bullying

"Casey & Bella Face Their First Bully
"Casey & Bella Face Their First Bully | Source

Easy Victims For Bullies; The Homeless, Mentally Ill, and Addicts

The homeless, the mentally ill, the alcoholic, and drug addict are part of the "risk" category that no one wants to be associated with. Although many street persons can boast of pasts, filled with condos, airplanes and world travel, the ground level at homelessness is very even ground. It doesn't matter, "what you were", it matters what you look like now. It matters what your "station" in life is today.

For those who have not yet experienced a cold night on a grey sidewalk, stained with piss, gum and blood, it is easy for them to look down from their lofty place and declare, "if they wanted to work..., if they wanted to stop..., if they wanted to get off the streets, all they have to do is get up and pull themselves up by their bootstraps, anyone can do it."

If an individual has been deemed, the "brown-eyed" kid in our society, for their survival, they will become invisible. Because the crowd bullying is too much to bear on top of being so far down.

Bullying a Homeless Man Experiment - by Vikarworld - Speaks Volumes Watch to the End

A 'Dirty Bum' Can End Up The Refuse of Bullies

Consider that dirty bum sleeping on your bus stop bench. At one time, he knew and proclaimed, "The sky is Blue", but his employer, and the Corporation he worked for Demanded he call the sky green. As is the way of the Bully, if he was not fast or convincing enough, he was pushed out, and down. He could not get unemployment, he lost his home, retirement and family.

Perhaps that disgusting person you see with only a backpack and a brown paper bag, just needed a little help, until they could get back on their feet. Instead, he got a social worker, whose ex-husband looks just like Sammy. He needed a little help to keep from losing it all, her instant dislike of Sammy sends him into the famous "crack" that thousands fall into every month..

Could it be that person laying in the gutter, paid all of her fines on a traffic ticket, but the Court Clerk, receiving cash payments, was a thief, and stole the money? Since the money was stolen, it looks like gutter-girl didn't pay her simple traffic fines. A warrant is issued for the arrest of that gutter tramp. She keeps saying, "I paid all of my fines", she loses her job, then her home, and her respect of the system. If she did not hold onto all of her receipts, or the theif, the person in a Position of TRUST didn't ever issue her one. Gloria-gutter-tramp is then arrested for something they did not do. Then begins her criminal history. No one is going to believe her over a Court Employee. (This happened to me. Luckily I had kept the receipt from 2 years previous )

Finally, the Court Clerk gets caught, loses her job and may actually spend a day in jail and be required to pay restitution, but no justice is given to those who were real victims of her crime . This happens all the time. Whole lives are ruined by people in a position of trust who proclaim, "You are brown-eyed and we all know you never tell the truth", so the honest brown-eyed individual takes hit after hit, until they are so low, the only place of solace is the bottom of a bottle, or the occasional feeling of acceptance of the drug that makes you feel alive again.

The next time you notice a person in dire straits, consider your next action and attitude. Are you going to join the popular crowd and show your disgust and disdain? Or, will you go ahead and show some compassion. Don't do anything, but give the person a smile, a prayer or a bite to eat. If you give them change, don't worry if they are going to buy booze with it. Can they buy a full meal and prepare it on your $1.25 in change? No, but they can get a bottle or can of grain distilled into alcohol, that will give them some calories to live on until the next couple of dollars comes along.

Once a person has been kicked or fallen that far down, it will take a compassionate hand reaching down, to help their brother or sister up. We are all humans.We are all made of the same minerals and dust. If you believe in Creation, then you must know we are all literally brothers and sisters. If you go with survival of the fittest, then you are saving yourself by saving your fellow man or woman.

We know "how to be a bully", just maybe we can be activist in Stopping bullying! Thanks

Don't Ignore It

We cannot remain silent any longer, we will not Ignore It
We cannot remain silent any longer, we will not Ignore It | Source

© 2010 Lori J Latimer

More by this Author

Comments 43 comments

Nick B profile image

Nick B 6 years ago from Normandy, France

This was well put together, Lills and if I wasn't using Chrome, I'd have been able to do the little quizzy thing too.

Thanks for sharing.

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

Thank you Nick! I wonder if I had created it using Chrome it would've worked? Thanks for the Feedback!

chan0512 profile image

chan0512 6 years ago from Camarillo, CA

yay! I scored 100. lol...

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

I know! I have read over 500 Hub Pages and commented on most of them, plus Hub Hopping, asking and answering questions...writing more stuff. This has gone up and down today...weird. I hit 100 the other day, but it didn't last long. I am pleased, my eyes and brain are fried! Thanks for the read chan!

chan0512 profile image

chan0512 6 years ago from Camarillo, CA

@Lilly I'm commenting on the quiz in your article. :) btw keep the good work, you have written many great hubs. Your profile score has definitely showed that!

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

Thank you again Chan0512! Thank you for the feed back!

FuzzyCookie profile image

FuzzyCookie 6 years ago

You have managed to show the ugly face of the society and how discrimination persists everywhere. Its apparent but still we kind of ignore this. While I am saying all the goody goody stuff, I too have chivvied the homeless away. I feel bad for them but idk what to do.

everything apart, congrats on getting a perfect 100 in just 5 weeks.. - hi5'es - :D

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

Thank you FuzzyCookie for the comment. Thanks for the congrats. It is very hard work to get to 100. It is not easy to maintain. Like staying at that perfect 125lbs LOL. I am glad you stopped by for a read and comment. Peace :0)

RunAbstract profile image

RunAbstract 6 years ago from USA

LillyGrillzit, while I was reading this article, what you were saying was so vivid to me. So many people are unable to look past the moment, forward or backward, and so find it very easy to lable the person they see on the street, or other less fortunate places in life. To "follow the crowd" is to feel accepted by society. To stand and be counted is to stick you neck out, so why risk it? Such an easy out. Such a no ripple approach.

I only wish that people as a whole could learn to practise the Golden Rule. I can actually imagine what a better world we would all have!

If the crash ever comes.... I want you in my commune!

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

Thank you Run Abstract! Your heartfelt comment is encouraging today. There really are emapathetic souls, and aware people out there. I will survive unless Geology or Nature gets me. I will meet you at the Commune when it all goes down!

RunAbstract profile image

RunAbstract 6 years ago from USA

Right on! See you there!

rgarnett profile image

rgarnett 6 years ago from KC, MO

Well said for sure. Society has always had its own set of norms and in going outside those norms, people are pushed aside. I always wonder who set up those norms. Who made the in crowd and the outsiders? Anyway, you wrote this very well and it was very thought provoking. :)

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

Wow, if I were the headmaster, I wouldn’t have allowed experiments like that in my school. One slander of a teacher can harm the soul of a child irreparable; a soul can’t understand the reasons or reality behind slanders. If I were the teacher, I would have refused to bully the kids. Thanks for this informative hub, and yes, I realize that researches are much wiser now than they were in 1970 and this kind of experiments are (hopefully) not practiced any more. But I agree with the essence of your hub. Bullying, cowing, discriminating equals evilness. Showing disgust and disdain to people on lower levels of society equals evilness too, but fact is, one should be very careful when showing compassion. Taking them in, allowing them in your personal zone, trying to be their savior, is most of the time extremely dangerous. Not in the sense that one might loose his life or possessions, but in loosing your trust in humanity and your empathy for those people. Compassion is best show through the channels of the church and welfare organizations. Great hub, voted UP!

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

rgarnett, thank you for giving this a read, and for leaving a thoughtful comment! I love to read thought provoking material, and it is a pleasure to provoke thinking as well... I think "norms" are ever changing, and this is wherein the danger lies. This week it is one group, next month it is turned around.

rgarnett profile image

rgarnett 6 years ago from KC, MO

Considering that our social norms are nothing like those of other cultures and societies, I just can't figure out why some cultures are so different from ours, if ours is in fact the right way to be. Society was shaped by someone's idea of the right way to think and act. I just wonder who that was and now I am getting all jumbled up. It sounds much more eloquent in my head ;P

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

rgarnett, I hear what you are saying, and it makes sense. Personally it seems to me that those who have all the toys and most of the financial power in our culture have set the norms. These are the ones who make the Rules and Laws, because they have clout, money and mostly power to sway Congress. The least amount of money flowing through a group, are the least important and have virtually no representation.

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

MartieCoester, Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Your comment and words, indicate you are a person filled with compassion and care.

In the US, many changes occurred in the school system because of these "experiments". Again, it was a time when schools were completely trusted and the parent wasn't privy to much that happened in the classrooms. They also used to just take the kids off on "field trips" without informing parents.

I understand that helping people can have dangerous side affects, but organizations and churches are not always willing to help, these days they are having a hard enough time taking care of their own members.

I think if one follows their instincts regularly enough to act within safety and sanity, it is a reasonable risk. Thinking kind and loving thoughts of well-being will never be a risky behavior. Often a person's intention shows by looks and body language.

Having been in similar circumstances, I never hesitate to leave good, clean food, for people on the street, and often where they don't have to be near me. Not for my sake, for theirs. They are already down enough.

I believe these simple acts or attitudes of kindness are what the Churched were given example to do, outside of their safe and thick walls.(imo)I recall every prophet, including Jesus of Nazareth walked out...the temples were filled with overtly 'religious' members who put monetary value on salvation...they were not places the poor and down-trodden were safe or welcome.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

Oh yes, you are quite right about those so-called religious members! If only we can get funds to establih kibbutz-like farms for these people, teaching them to be self-sufficient and responsible.

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

MartieCoester, I agree 100%. It is also one of my "solutions to fix the world", matching the homeless with places that can be restored and converted to life centers, where gardens are grown, animals are rehabilitated etc. Whenever we are broken, it is healing to fix and build. Thank you!!

BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

This is so very true, thanks for sharing this. Very interesting read.

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

Thank you BobbieRant. Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment. I appreciate the feedback. :0)

bayoulady profile image

bayoulady 6 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

i remember reading of those experiments with eye color and the power of persuaion/peer pressure in the reader's Digest back in the mid 70s.Good points made!

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

Thank you bayoulady! I know you're writing a lot, and I appreciate the time to read and stop by and comment. :0) I'm glad there is still some of us that was pretty powerful.

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts

Lilly (first, consider me "mildly nudged" to come looking). Completely separate from that, though, I probably don't have to say this a well written and important Hub.

One of my biggest "things" has for years been the all the misguided and ignorant "messages" society sends about one group or another.

This is a really "stupid" and minor example, but when I was a kid being a small girl was considered an appealing thing. It was something some girls were jealous of other girls over. Being petite was seen as being feminine. Somewhere along the way, 6 ft super-models showed up on the scene, everyone recognized how attractive they are (no doubt about that) and the message turned into, "you're inadequate and short" if you're petite woman. (Most of my friends have all been somewhere near the 5' 4" height (average), with some being an inch or two shorter. This, today, is seen as inferior. I don't know if you recall or not, but the message in the 60's and 70's was that flat-chested was most model-liked and attractive. Today, the message is different. I know these are just examples of society's messages when it comes to physical attractiveness, but it would take a book to bring up the "zillions" of other kinds of messages that people just accept because it's what's out there.

This whole "phenomenon" is something to keep writing about and talking about, because throughout history some of these messages have not been anywhere near as benign as the ones about beauty. (I'm thinking, of course, of the years leading up to World War II, when a lot of dangerous messages were believed in horrible, criminal, and dangerous degrees.)

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

Wow what a powerful Hub!! Two of my children were sufferers of people 'in trust'. Luckily, I was there for them to turn to and attempt to explain things, no telling what road they would have traveled!

Your Hub has given me ideas!!


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

Lisa HW, I am almost moved to tears by your 1). coming by and giving this a read, 2). the power of your comment. This is an arena that I had not even considered, but you are (W)right On! As women our height, body frame, breast size and petit(ness), could cause the light of "difference" or "undesireablility" to come shining like a most unwanted beacon. My poor biological mother was 5'11" born in 1937, she was really an Amazon Beauty, but because of her being a freak in Southern California society, she always felt ugly, and tried to shrink herself. Thank you very much for pouring out this passion, and perhaps it will inspire your muse to Write On! Peace and the Best

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

SweetSusieg, Thank you very much for the visit, and read. I am glad this Hub has stirred your memory for a time when justice was called for, and you had the strength and ability to create a safe haven for those under your care. Write On! Peace :0)

katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

You sure said a mouth full, society is a big fat bully and oh the how wastefull. I like your attitude and the way you think. Thank you for this gentle yet very vital reminder. I will smile more brightly at everyone I pass. Peace :)

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

Ms.Katiem,thank you! I love when you visit. Your comments and ideas have inspired me many times over. Come back anytime. :0)

ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Interesting read. Sadly corruption etc is the way of the world, but it should not be.

I am appalled to read about the school experiments. It smacks of Hitler.

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

Thank you Ms. Ethel, the 70's were a time when juvenille facilities were experimental grounds for experiments with LSD, and schools kept parents out. I think it was the results of these experiments that changed the way schools operate.

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Perhaps "ignorance" is the key component. The bully may have had a bad day, not be "aware" of their unintended consequences. Education is a key component of stopping the "bullying." Our biases are often a product of many inputs: news, schools churches and etc.. In addition, our perspectives are influenced by our life's experiences... What may seem "bullying" to one person may not be to another...

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

Thank you for the comment dallas93444! A Bully is defined by the dictionary:

bul·ly 1 (bl)

n. pl. bul·lies

1. A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people.

2. A hired ruffian; a thug.

3. A pimp.

4. Archaic A fine person.

5. Archaic A sweetheart.

v. bul·lied, bul·ly·ing, bul·lies

1. To treat in an overbearing or intimidating manner. See Synonyms at intimidate.

2. To make (one's way) aggressively.


1. To behave like a bully.

2. To force one's way aggressively or by intimidation: "They bully into line at the gas pump" (Martin Gottfried).

by Free Online

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

As a former Assistant Principal in a high school, I too have met "bullies." There is no place in society for them. However, there are times when a "bully" can be perceived as a bully and the bully is not aware they are a "bully." An example: A dance instructor who is busy, very talented and in high demand, may to a young child "bully" them, where in fact from the instructor's point-of-view they are not bullies... As you have noted bullies hurt others. Communication perhaps would help. Alone, it would not eliminate the bully, or their tactics...

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

Thank you dallas3444. You are correct, communication is a good place to start in making a person aware that they are bullying.

If the dance instructor were teaching a class of full-grown marines, it would indeed change the dynamics. :->

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

Go Lilly-I love your work. I recall reading about those experiments and discussing it in my under grad psych class. It prompted the need and ethical requirement for 'permission' forms acknowledging that the 'mouse' used was aware of the work.

As a mental health worker I am amazed at the stigma towards the mentally ill, the handicapped, and ANYONE who is different. I'm appalled at comments I hear among people regarding their 'judgement' about another person's condition or poverty level. It is obvious that there is a lack of understanding, a lack of compassion, and a whole lot of prejudice going on. Thanks for bringing this to the table.

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

Denise, your comments on this topic mean a lot to me. You are in the field where you are working to help those who through no fault of their own; or even bad choices are helpless and at the mercy of whoever crosses their path. We are all of the same species and what happens to the least, happens to us all! Thank you for coming by!

gg.zaino profile image

gg.zaino 6 years ago from L'America

Hey Lori,

Great article Sister of the street!! :) Someone told me this was a kick ass hub and i ought take a peek. Glad i did!

I'm relieved somewhat to report that my eyes are green these days and no longer brown. Ha!

The majority of the planets population take much for granted and point fingers dangerously at themselves when condemning others for their unique differences. Ego and its resultant cancers drive the mass insanity.

Funny, but when i meet someone for the first time- and get to feeling comfy enuff to share- i tell of my past. Most are speechless at first, the astonishment is always cool to watch. "YOU WERE HOMELESS?" :)

I live a life with no shame of where i've been and who, once i was. I'm not concerned with others opinions unless of course love is attached.

Sucks sometimes having to tolerate the unenlightened but they also have the gift of life and there is always hope for conversion...sometimes they need to be knocked down...

Keep shouting Lori- some do listen!!! again, Great Hub! - Peace n Hugs greg z...

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

Dear GregZ, I missed your post here somehow, I am so glad you gave this a read! I love what you said, "'You Were Homeless?,'I live a life with no shame of where i've been and who once i was...unless of course love is attached..." so Happy to know you! peace my friend.

LauraD093 profile image

LauraD093 4 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

I really enjoyed this hub. It attacked the issue from all sides-the focus is put more on the bullied then the bully at times and the only solution is going to be addressing both sides of this issue. I remember the effects being bullied had on me and how I became more aggressive as a coping mechanism as I entered into High School.Peer pressure and group mentality play a huge role.Unfortunately our society in many ways is set up for the strength in numbers and follow the leader type ideologies equal rewards. Individualism is often not a positive but a negative when it comes to integration into any type of social,governmental or corporate structure. Children mimic the environments around them. An old ideal "It takes a village to raise a child-so my a question has always been what happens when the village is operating under these mentalities?

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 4 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

Laura, thank you for these insightful comments. Your final question would make an excellent Q & A. I would be interested to see the responses. Thanks again.

Erika Smith 3 years ago

You really managed to capture my attention and show how discrimination persists everywhere in today's society, especially in young children. After watching the documentary "A Class Divided", I thought to myself, "Wow, we really have come a long way in the past few decades." Not that racism or discrimination don't exist today, but it's gone beyond the color of your skin. Bullying is a HUGE problem in today's world. I had never thought to compare discrimination and racism to bullying, however, essentially it is the same. Maybe early childhood school teachers should watch this and implement lessons using Mrs. Elliot's experiment.

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 3 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas Author

Dear Ericka,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful feedback and response. If this article has produced a cause and effect, that thrills me.

Let kindness rule the day.



    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    August 19, 2010 Updated December 30, 2014

    Click to Rate This Article