Ways to Alter an Individual's Behavior

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This essay will highlight, through the use of evidence that has been recorded from studies conducted, ways that an individual’s behaviour can be altered and any ethical issues that may be encountered. There have been many studies that have been conducted over the years by social psychologists wanting to better understand a person’s behaviour, with an aim at observing the contributing factors; which may change or have an influence on how people conduct themselves. Social psychologists therefore look at the conditions by which behaviour and feelings occur. Those of social influence, social power, obedience to authority and conformity are some of the many effective ways in which others can change/influence an individual’s behaviour. As expected with any study that is requiring the observation of people there are ethical implications raised, including that of informed consent. It is believed that if you hold knowledge and have an understanding of how people behave then you have the ability to manipulate this. Studies have shown that when a well-known task is carried out in the presence of others individuals perform to a higher standard than if the activity was performed alone. This is what is known as audience affects or social facilitation and is an activity that, when observed by others, is improved. A well-known task is something that is carried out or observed by an individual on a regular basis as part of a daily routine making it familiar. In 1898 Norman Triplett published his findings from studies he conducted using audience affects. Triplett reported that when cyclists were in the company of other cyclists they had a tendency to raise their performance resulting in faster race times. Pessin (1935) also conducted a study with... ... middle of paper ... ...requirement of The British Psychological Society to lay out guidance and maintain a code of conduct. As previously mentioned, no studies of this kind are free from ethical criticism when the participants who are being observed or taking part may not have been fully aware of the experiment taking place. The aim of the studies discussed within this essay were to investigate the contributing factors that influence behavioural out comes, therefore should the participants have been fully aware of the role they played the success of such studies would not have been possible. It must be noted that the experimenter was under less ethical constraints during the conduction of said mentioned studies due to the time period of which they took place. With the help of such experiments, psychologists have since established guidelines for protecting participants in future studies.

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