Cognitive Dissonance And Self Justification

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In this paper I will discuss police brutality, which is a highly controversial topic in the media. The social psychology topics I will discuss in relation to the event are cognitive dissonance/self justification (Ch. 5) and privilege (Ch.8) My news sources are from NBC Philadelphia and CNN.
Social psychology mentions that when a person is in a situation where their behavior is inconsistent with their beliefs, a process called cognitive dissonance takes place. The person will try to justify the reasoning behind their behavior and self-justification occurs. For example here are two conflicting thoughts, “smoking will lead a shorter life” and “I smoke four packs a day.” To self-justify a person will say, “I consider myself a pretty healthy person because I walk everyday.” Therefore this person is making him or herself feel better about smoking and reduces their overall discomfort.
One recent case touches upon the topic of cognitive dissonance/self justification. Two Philadelphia police officers beat a man in May 2013. Officers were charged with aggravated assault and conspiracy. The victim was Najee Rivera and he was riding his scooter. Officers attempted to stop him for a traffic violation. Rivera fled from the officers because he was frightened. Officers eventually caught up to Rivera and kicked him off his scooter and beat him severely. Rivera had a broken eye socket and gashes that required staples.
After the incident, officers justified themselves by saying that they believed Rivera was a drug dealer, and that Rivera attacked them. Therefore, officers protected themselves by using force. Rivera was charged with assault, resisting arrest along with other offenses. The Philadelphia District Attorney 's office threw out Rivera’...

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.... It would definitely be difficult to find a time for all of us to meet up (besides class) since we go to school, work, family responsibilities, etc.
As group, we did agree that police brutality is a hot topic right now and it is constantly in the media. This is something that needs to be dealt with and resolved. We shared similar perspectives on why police brutality is an issue. It mainly has to deal with how racism is institutionalized into our society and we have a biased view of those who are not white.
Racism has been around for hundreds of years and it is still around, individuals who are of a different race still continue to feel threatened if they enter a grocery store and are precisely watched. Or an individual will feel disadvantaged when they apply to a college that is consisted mostly of white students. Hopefully within a few years things will change.
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