Social Influences on Behavior 1
Social Influence on Behavior
February 10, 2014
Social Influences on Behavior 2
From the moment humans are born, they are social beings because without another person feeding, giving them personal care and love, no human infant would survive. Even after humans become adults and are able to take care of themselves, they still need or choose to interact with other individuals since the majority of humans need companionship of ...view middle of the document...
The Zimbardo-Stanford Prison Study
There have been studies that put people in situations where the way they treated others were outrageous and not in sync with their normal behavior. One of the most interesting studies was the Zimbardo-Stanford Prison Study. This was a study where psychologist Philip Zimbardo asked college students to portray prison guards and prisoners and were then taken to a basement on the Stanford University campus that was converted into what resembled a prison.
The "guards" were given khaki uniforms, handcuffs and dark glasses so that the prisoners would have no eye contact with them. They were also given control over the prisoners.
The "prisoners" were given a uniform that consisted of a smock with their number on it. As the days went by the prisoners began to become more dependent on the guards and started to act like actual prisoners by telling on one another and talking about "prison life" on a daily basis.
The findings of this experiment was that after a short time, the guards and the prisoners started settling in to their environments but the guards seemed to settle in quicker and some of them started to harass the prisoners in brutal and sadistic ways, Other guards joined in after a while and even though this study was to have lasted for two weeks, it had to be stopped after only six days. This was due to the awful way the guards were treating the prisoners. There was to
Social Influences on Behavior 4
be no physical violence during this study but aggressive behavior towards the prisoners by the guards was caught on hidden cameras. Zimbardo reportedly told that "after six days I had
it because it was out of control – I couldn't really sleep at night without worrying about what the guards could do to the prisoners." McLeod, S.A. (2008). Zimbardo-Stanford Prison Experiment.
A few months after the study was concluded, Zimbardo interviewed some of the guards as well as the prisoners to get their comments on their behavior. Some of the guards stated that they couldn't believe they could treat people like they treated their prisoners and one even stated that having power over someone else felt good.
Although this was an experiment under somewhat guarded conditions, there are people who are actually in these types of positions and the consequences of feeling like one has power over another can bring about problems in the workplace as well as in the home. Consequences could range from being fired from a job because the person who is in charge was trying to make another worker do something they didn't want to do or could possibly make a change so that the worker is being mean to his family or neighbors when he is away from the job.
This is an example of social facilitation that demonstrates the co-action effect where there could be...