Social psychology plays a vital role in our society, often relying on social influence when it comes to making decisions, even if we do not admit it. Circumstances, experience, interpretation, and many other factors are taken into account in seconds by our brains when making a decision or analyzing a situation. Many would argue that our dislikes and likes are a result of our own decisions/personality, while others argue they are a result of social influence.
The debates are endless between Personality Psychology and Social Psychology, but they do have similarities; study of social behavior, selfreport, etc. Social Psychology is defined as "the study of the manner in which the personality, attitudes, motivations, and behavior of the
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Research has shown that ingroup favoritism (the guards) is often linked to outgroup (prisoners) hate and hostility (Gaunt, R., Jacques-Philippe, L., & Denis, S., 2004). In Zimbardo 's Stanford Prison experiment, we can see this more clearly. The Stanford Prison Experiment consisted of students who were assigned to the roles of either prisoners or guards for a period of six days (Haney, C., Banks, W. C., & Zimbardo, P. G., 1973). This study alone, demonstrates the power of authority, conformity, moral justification, and various other phenomenons seen in Abu Ghraib. In the Stanford Prison Experiments, both prisoners and guards, conformed to their roles and as such guards began to dehumanize the prisoners, a theory attributed to the dehumanization is the sunglasses the guards wore; the sunglasses were believed to have protected the identity of the guards, resulting in abuse towards prisoners. Another factor that attributed the dehumanization and abuse towards the outgroup, is guards called prisoners by their numbers versus their names, assisting in the outgroup and dehumanization process (Haney, C., Banks, W. C., & Zimbardo, P. G.,
The main focus of this research proposal is to address the study of social psychology and the role it plays in helping one understand human social behavior. In this proposal, one will attempt to explain how the field of social psychology will evolve within the next 10 years. Allport, (1985) maintains that social psychology is the scientific study that seeks to understand the nature of individual’s behavior and how they think, feel, and are influenced by others. To understand the framework of this proposal, one will focus on human social behavior as it relates to research in social psychology.
In this study Zimbardo chose 21 participants from a pool of 75, all male college students, screened prior for mental illness, and paid $15 per day. He then gave roles. One being a prisoner and the other being a prison guard, there were 3 guards per 8 hour shift, and 9 total prisoners. Shortly after the prisoners were arrested from their homes they were taken to the local police station, booked, processed, given proper prison attire and issued numbers for identification. Before the study, Zimbardo concocted a prison setting in the basement of a Stanford building. It was as authentic as possible to the barred doors and plain white walls. The guards were also given proper guard attire minus guns. Shortly after starting the experiment the guards and prisoners starting naturally assuming their roles, Zimbardo had intended on the experiment lasting a fortnight. Within 36 hours one prisoner had to be released due to erratic behavior. This may have stemmed from the sadistic nature the guards had adopted rather quickly, dehumanizing the prisoners through verbal, physical, and mental abuse. The prisoners also assumed their own roles rather efficiently as well. They started to rat on the other prisoners, told stories to each other about the guards, and placated the orders from the guards. After deindividuaiton occurred from the prisoners it was not long the experiment completely broke down ethically. Zimbardo, who watched through cameras in an observation type room (warden), had to put an end to the experiment long before then he intended
In the summer of 1971, at Stanford University, Philip G. Zimbardo developed The Stanford Prison Experiment to test his theory on the Lucifer Effect. The idea that good people can become evil when placed into an atrocious situation or a position of authority over others. For this experiment they set up a simulation prison in a corridor of Stanford University, they collected 24 average, male, volunteer, undergraduates who were all tested previously for psychological abnormalities, and split them up into two groups, guards and prisoners (Stanford Prison Experiment) All guards wore identical khaki uniforms and aviator shades to de-individualize them and hide their emotions. Also, they had been given no training or instruction on how to be a prison guard, and were given free reign to do whatever was necessary to maintain law and order in the prison. Whereas prisoners were forced to wear thin paper gowns with nothing underneath to humiliate them, and a metal chain on their ankle to constantly remind the prisoners of the...
Social psychology is an empirical science that studies how people think about, influence, and relate to one another. This field focuses on how individuals view and affect one another. Social psychology also produces the idea of construals which represent how a person perceives, comprehends or interprets the environment. Construals introduce the idea that people want to make themselves look good to others and they want to be seen as right. It is also said that the social setting in which people interact impacts behavior, which brings up the idea of behaviorism. Behaviorism is the idea that behavior is a function of the person and the environment.
15 men participated in The BBC Prison Study. At the beginning of the experiment there was a possibility for the prisoners to be promoted to guards, therefore, prisoners did not identify with their group. After 3 days, prisoners started to work together, they noticed that guards could not agree on decisions and prisoners overthrown guards. Guard groups had a deviant – the over-disciplined guard. Then everyone came up with an idea of equality, but that did not work either and the experiment was stopped. This experiment’s conclusions differ from Stanford’s Experiment and therefore it opened up a discussion once
Social psychology is an empirical science that studies how people think about, influence, and relate to one another. This field focuses on how individuals view and affect each other. Social psychology also produces the idea of construals which represent how a person perceives, comprehends or interprets the environment. Construals introduce the idea that people want to make themselves look good to others and they want to be seen as right. It is also said that the social setting in which people interact impacts behavior, which brings up the idea of behaviorism. Behaviorism is the idea that behavior is a function of the person and the environment.
To begin the experiment the Stanford Psychology department interviewed middle class, white males that were both physically and mentally healthy to pick 18 participants. It was decided who would play guards and who would be prisoners by the flip of a coin making nine guards and nine prisoners. The guards were taken in first to be told of what they could and could not do to the prisoners. The rules were guards weren’t allowed t o physically harm the prisoners and could only keep prisoners in “the hole” for a hour at a time. Given military like uniforms, whistles, and billy clubs the guards looked almost as if they worked in a real prison. As for the prisoners, real police surprised them at their homes and arrested them outside where others could see as if they were really criminals. They were then blindfolded and taken to the mock prison in the basement of a Stanford Psychology building that had been decorated to look like a prison where guards fingerprinted, deloused, and gave prisoners a number which they would be calle...
Social psychology is one of the many variations of psychology. By definition, social psychology is how humans influence each other’s way of behaving and thinking. Under social psychology, there are various ways to define human behaviour and understand why we behave in a particular manner. These approaches deal with multiple concepts such as conformity, obedience, and social influences. They help answer questions about our behaviour and actions, while also analyzing our cognitive processes in certain situations. Social experiments conducted throughout history have also led to more understanding in the aforementioned areas. With these understandings of social behaviour, society can benefit and become aware of themselves and their mentalities.
According to the text , Social Psychology, “social psychology is the scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another”(pg. 4) this is viewed in a variety of social topics incorporating group behaviors, attitudes, conformity, obedience to authority, stereotypes and peer pressure. Outside factors can have a positive or negative affect our view of ourselves and each other. These outside factors are used to persuade and influence group behavior. Persuasion is defined as “the process by which a message induces change in beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors” (Myers, 2010, pg. 230). The principles of this process of persuasion according to researchers, Robert Cialdini and Thomas Davidson, are attractiveness and likeability, reciprocity, social proof, consistency, authority, and scarcity (Davidson, 2008)(Myers, 2010, pg. 237). These principles of persuasion impact our self-perception, our attitudes and behaviors, and our culture.
When put into an authoritative position over others, is it possible to claim that with this new power individual(s) would be fair and ethical or could it be said that ones true colors would show? A group of researchers, headed by Stanford University psychologist Philip G. Zimbardo, designed and executed an unusual experiment that used a mock prison setting, with college students role-playing either as prisoners or guards to test the power of the social situation to determine psychological effects and behavior (1971). The experiment simulated a real life scenario of William Golding’s novel, “Lord of the Flies” showing a decay and failure of traditional rules and morals; distracting exactly how people should behave toward one another. This research, known more commonly now as the Stanford prison experiment, has become a classic demonstration of situational power to influence individualistic perspectives, ethics, and behavior. Later it is discovered that the results presented from the research became so extreme, instantaneous and unanticipated were the transformations of character in many of the subjects that this study, planned originally to last two-weeks, had to be discontinued by the sixth day. The results of this experiment were far more cataclysmic and startling than anyone involved could have imagined. The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast the discoveries from Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford prison experiment and of Burrhus Frederic “B.F.” Skinner’s study regarding the importance of environment.
This experiment gathered twenty-one young men and assigned half of them to be “prisoners” and the other half to be “guards”. Simply put, the point of the experiment was to simulate a prison and observe how the setting and the given roles affected the behavior of the young men. The men who were given the roles of guard were given a position of authority and acted accordingly. This alone strongly influenced the behavior of both the guards and the prisoners. The guards had a sense of entitlement, control, and power, while the prisoners had a feeling of resentment and rebellion. Social pressure also played a crucial role in the experiment. Many of the guards began to exploit their power by abusing, brutalizing, and dehumanizing the prisoners. Some of the other guards felt wrong about this abuse, but did nothing to put an end to it. Finally, the situation and setting of the experiment immensely altered the conduct of both the prisoners and guards. The setting of being in a prison caused many of the volunteers to act in ways that they may have normally not. Even though the setting of being in a prison was essentially pretend, the volunteers accepted the roles they were given and acted as if it was all a reality. The prisoners genuinely behaved as if they were indeed real prisoners, and the guards treated them likewise. The situation these volunteers
Social psychology is an in-depth study of socialization. Gordon Allport (1985) defined it a discipline that utilizes scientific methods to understand as well as explain how thoughts, feelings and behaviors of human beings are influenced by the actual, implied or imagined presence of other people (Smith & Mackie, 2000). Cantril (1934) regards it as being the scientific learning o...
This lack of awareness does not bode well for human nature as this makes humans susceptible to heinous acts; demonstrating that there may be no innate moral code to humans, and in the event, there is a guideline, it can be overruled by authority. Moreover, social psychology demonstrates how an aspect of human nature is the need to feel accepted and fit in; the motivation for why individuals conform or give into social norms. Overall, the whole purpose of social psychology is to be able to draw general assumption from accepted phenomena to predict individuals’ reactions to certain social stimulus. It relies on social context heavily, and would not divulge any knowledge if there was only one individual present. Fundamentally, social psychology depends on group dynamics, or perceived presence of others in order to draw any conclusion about human nature. Thus, social psychology is insightful in regard to human nature when in a social environment, but not human nature on the individual scale. All social psychology phenomena are contingent on a perceived/actual presence of others or group dynamics; the mannerisms of human nature in social context cannot be applied to the