Reality TV: Putting the Crazy on Display

In between experiments, part of my job is to simply sit back, relax, and observe a group of about 15-20 rhesus macaques at a time. I focus on an individual monkey and every thirty seconds I have to make a note of his or her behavior. Sometimes they sleep, sometimes they scream, and sometimes they have sex to establish dominance. But sometimes, during a fight, a monkey will get so fired up that his only means of intimidation toward a challenger is to smash his head against a wall until he knocks himself out.

Just kidding, a monkey would never be stupid enough to do that. But a human would.

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Welcome to New Media Monkey!

Hello, readers, and thanks for visiting my blog, where I take a critical look at human behavior in the age of digital media and how it can be explained by non-human primates. You can find out why I’m interested in monkeys, what I’m studying, and who I am in the “About Me” section, but in a nutshell, my goal with this blog is to bring a new perspective in analyzing why we act the way we do in the technological world of the 21st century. I’ll be touching upon many aspects of psychology, such as the inherent primate need to stay connected through social networking (Facebook, Twitter, Google+), the instant gratification of Netflix streaming, the “evolution” of the news from print to online, and even reality TV (I don’t think it’ll be too much of a stretch to find the connection between a macaque and a member of the Jersey Shore, right?).  Oh and that furry cutie on the sidebar? That’s my mascot, the New Media Monkey, who’ll be here every week for a new post.

New Media Monkey mascot photo courtesy of