Essay on Social Psychology And Social Influence

Essay on Social Psychology And Social Influence

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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
individual influence and are influenced by social groups" (Merriam-Webster, 2015). Individual
influence and social influence seem to be a large portion of Social Psychology, often studied
through actual experiences or experiments; Abu Ghraib, Milgram Studies, Asch 's experiments,
Stanford Prison experiment, etc.
Abu Ghraib is one of the strongest Social Psychology references today. Before the United
States ' presence in Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Baghdad 's Central Confinement Facility, was referenced as a "death house" due to deaths, hangings and torture being commonplace. Abu Ghraib was located 20 miles from Baghdad and was constructed sometime in the 1960 's by British Engineers. The prison was home to 10,000 prisoners before the U.S infiltrated Iraq, due to Saddam 's focus on the insurgency, he freed all the inmates. After U.S troops had reached Baghdad, the prison was taken over and used to incarcerate prisoners, as well as conduct sanctioned preventative interrogations for information on Al-­Qaeda attacks...


... middle of paper ...


...manize 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., 1973).
Examples like Abu Ghraib show us the true power of obedience, authority, conformity, dehumanization, moral justification, and social influence are. Even though blame was placed on the soldiers through media and other outlets, these soldiers were merely ordinary people put into a bad situation and to say we would not conform to the roles the soldiers did would be an Fundamental Attribution Error (Aronson, 2012).

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Essay on Social Psychology And Social Influence

- 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....   [tags: Social psychology, Milgram experiment]

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