Have You Tried Bullying a Plant? IKEA Holds Anti-Bullying Experiment for Students' Sake

3 years ago



It is a fact that probably most of the people faced bullying at least once during their lives. Whether you were bullied at school, university or even at work, it goes without saying that you might have some kind of psychological trauma or inferiority complex. Bullying has become such a huge problem that world leaders are paying their attention to this huge problem. Off- and online bullying (cyberbullying) have a harmful effect on both teenagers and adults. The Typical Student team previously told you about Melania Trump's initiative, you can read about in Did You Know: Melania Trump To Host Her 1st Anti-Cyberbullying Event.


The Рarm of Bullying: Scientific Research

In fact, such scientists as Patricia McDougall and Tracy Vaillancourt in their research called "Bullying Is Power" declare that being bullied is not only painful and difficult experience for anybody, but also has a negative impact on a person’s academic functioning, physical and mental health, social relationships and self-perceptions. Despite the fact that a lot of bullies regret their deeds, the damage they made to the bullied ones is hardly curable.






However, the situation, taking baby steps, is getting better. For instance, most of the schools and communities are trying to reduce bullying and providing anti-bullying policies and more and more people have already said no to bullying. Besides, the Anti-bullying Day was established and is celebrated on May, 4th annually.


IKEA's Plant Bullying Experiment

So, on the Anti-bullying Day a well-known Swedish company IKEA conducted an experiment revealed the negative effects of verbal bullying. In this way, IKEA proposed students to bully a plant. Shortly after the experiment, they posted a video on Ikea’s United Arab Emirates YouTube channel which showed the negative effects of bullying on the plant. The description below the video says that just like people, plants do have feelings as well and that the impact of positive and negative comments can affect both people and plants.  Besides, they also provide a hashtag – #SayNoToBullying.

Thereby, the video shows two IKEA plants which were set in the United Arab Emirates school and which were fed by students’ comments. Both plants got the same nutrition, water, and amount of light. However, one plant was given nice words of support, praise, and encouragement while the other one was listening to words of humiliation, offense, and disdain. 




After thirty days of the experiment, the students noticed that the bullied plant looked rather weak and wilted while the complimented one was bigger and much healthier. The managing director of IKEA UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Oman, Vinod Jayan, said that the experiment has shown the impact of the words we say.



Is IKEA's Plant Bullying Experiment Scientifically Correct?

Notwithstanding, the experiment has created some disputes among YouTube users, who said that there was almost no scientific validity in this experiment. Besides, the Global News tried to debunk the experiment. They conducted their own experiment during which two plants were listening to a positive speech, another two were given insults, one plant was listening to classical music, another one to death metal and the last one was left in silence.





Their experiment proved that the plant left in silence suffered the most. So, according to their investigation, not the words of insult damaged a plant, but silence and isolation. Besides, the plant that was listening to death metal was the healthiest one. In this way, they came to the conclusion that the volume of sound itself was the essential factor of a plant’s well-being.

No matter how scientifically correct IKEA's experiment is, bullying is still a huge problem of modern society. Despite the vast variety of experiments which might be right or wrong we shouldn’t forget that bullying is one of the worst things to do!


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