A long time ago, I heard somewhere a description of an extraordinary experiment with chimps, and I mentioned it a number of times in lectures. Eventually, I had a call from the Yale Law Review, which wanted to reference it in an article and asked for a citation. I had to confess that I had no idea, and I suspect it is an urban legend. Here is how it went:
A group of chimps were denied food until they were very hungry, and then released from their cages into a central area where there was a bunch of bananas. But as they reached for the bananas, they were drenched with cold water, which apparently chimps hate. This was kept up until, Pavlov style, they were conditioned to shrink at the sight of bananas, their favorite food. Now a new chimp was introduced into the group, and when he rushed for the bananas, the other chimps pulled him away, fearful of being doused. Eventually, even though he had never been doused, he too would shrink from bananas, despite being hungry. This was repeated until none of the banana shy chimps had ever been doused, and yet all were averse to their natural food.
This was said to represent the origins of religion. !!!
I am sure it is a legend, but it OUGHT to be true.