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Norman Triplett (1861-1931) was a psychologist at Indiana University.
In 1898, he wrote what is now recognized as the first published study in the field of social psychology (Strube, 2005). His experiment was on the social facilitation effect. Triplett noticed that cyclists tend to have faster times when riding in the presence of a counterpart as opposed to riding alone. The analysis demonstrated the decrease in the time it took to complete the course when paired up with the times of the other cyclists. He then demonstrated this effect in a controlled, laboratory experiment and concluded that children perform a simple lab task faster in pairs than when performing by themselves.
In addition to his pioneering work in social and sport psychology, Triplett was also interested in the psychology of magic . He developed an extensive list of conjuring tricks and detailed some of the principles involved, such as concealment and suggestion (Triplett, 1900).
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- Strubbe, M. J. (2005). What did Triplett really find? A contemporary analysis of the first experiment in social psychology. American Journal of Psychology, 118, 271-286.
- Triplett, N. (1898). The dynamogenic factors in pacemaking and competition. American Journal of Psychology, 9, 507-533.
- Triplett, N. (1900). The Psychology of Conjuring Deceptions, reprint from American Journal of Psychology, 11, 439-510.
- NORMAN TRIPLETT AND "THE PSYCHOLOGY OF CONJURING DECEPTIONS" by Frederic L. Rickard, Magicol No. 35 (May 1975)