The “HOPE” Experiment :

Jivan Ghadage

Posted on : 24 Apr 2020

During a brutal study at Harvard in the 1950s, Dr. Curt Richter placed rats in a pool of water to test how long they could tread water.

On average they'd give up and sink after 15 minutes.

But right before they gave up due to exhaustion, the researchers would pluck them out, dry them off, let them rest for a few minutes - and put them back in for a second round.

In this second try - how long do you think they lasted?

Remember - they had just swam until failure only a few short minutes ago...

How long do you think?

Another 15 minutes?

10 minutes?

5 minutes?


60 hours!

That's not an error.

That's right! 60 hours of swimming.

The conclusion drawn was that since the rats BELIEVED that they would eventually be rescued, they could push their bodies way past what they previously thought impossible.

I will leave you with this thought:

If hope can cause exhausted rats to swim for that long, what could a belief in yourself and your abilities, do for you?


The experiment:

Image Source: Google



profile pic

This is amazing! Best case study for us to understand how this magic happens!

#hope #hopeexperiment #experiment

Thanks for posting a link to the article describing the experiment. I read through it, and I can't locate the specific experiment you describe above. Could you point me to that part of the article where the rats are removed from the tank after 15 minutes, then later placed back in the tank, at which point they're able to tread water for 60 hours? I don't see it.

Posted on : 24 Apr 2020