Science Olympiad!

By: Charlie Dawson

What is it?

Science Olympiad is a club at my high school that has about 25 people in it. We sign up to do scientific experiments, and compete against other schools one day a year.


Some of the events that I compete in are tests, verbal tests. When a question is asked, and I think that the answer is something other than what everyone else is saying, I will still agree with everyone else not to stick out. However, if it is a written test, I will go with my answer, just like people did in Asch's experiment. This is an example of conformity, or a self-serving bias towards myself, because I just want to agree with people, and not actually answer the question correctly.


When at the competition, with hundreds of other people, I get really into the role of a scientist, just like the guards did in Zimbardo's experiment. I feel like an authority figure over the people who I beat in the competitions, which is not true. I am also very obedient to my coach/teacher because we take it very seriously, even though it is just a fun competition, just like they did in Zimbardo's experiment. And honestly, some people may use fundamental attribution error to explain why I am so serious about this competition, while I believe that it is just because I am around so many other serious people who want to do as well as I do.


Science Olympiad has a lot to do with Milgram's experiment about because of the fact that our coach tells us little secrets to winning the competition, and whether or not we follow these depends on our obedience. Sometimes groupthink happens, and we make a bad decision, and get penalized for it, and sometimes it is a good choice. Also, sometimes group polarization happens, and we overdo the experiment, beating everybody else by a long-shot.