Social Influences On Behaviour Essay

1039 words - 5 pages


Extreme cases of social roles or influences usually need treatment. Such as in the case of social influences and altruism were in the extremes it is necessary to correct behaviors that occur. However, choice is the clear decision maker in determining actions, whether good or bad, correct or incorrect, education needs to be available for people to make the right decision.

Social Influences on Behavior Paper
By examining the basic concepts and of human interaction in social situations and the way behavior changes by examining altruism and social influence we can get a better understanding of these concepts through a psychological perspective. What happens in these ...view middle of the document...

However, there is a problem with this theory, diffusion of responsibility, “The phenomenon in which the presence of other people leads to a diminished sense of personal responsibility to act.” (Kowalski, R., & Westen, D., 2009) This is a phenomenon where the individuals in the group either think someone else in the group will do something or, in the case of the rape and murder of Ms. Genovese, have already called the police to come assist in the situation. Altruism does not exhibit any behaviors that necessitate therapeutic intervention; however, it does necessitate education. People need to be informed about certain aspects of altruism so that an event such as the murder of Ms. Genovese does not occur again.
Social influence is a broad definition that has several aspects about it such as: social influence, self-fulfilling prophecies, obedience, and conformity, group processes which include norms, reference groups, and role. Social influence is “the ways in which the presence of other peoples influences a person’s thought, feeling, or behavior.” (Kowalski, R., & Westen, D., 2009) An example of this is a teacher who holds their students to a higher standard and believes and expects them to perform at a high level, the students will tend to perform at a high level. Self-fulfilling prophecies are “impressions of a situation that evoke behavior that, in turn, makes impressions become true.” (Kowalski, R., & Westen, D., 2009) This is if we think someone is attractive we will be more friendly and sociable with them than if we perceive them to be unattractive. Obedience is the overt compliance with authority; this is where trouble can start to occur. Take the Jonestown massacre for example; the loyalty and obedience of the people to Mr. Jones caused them to commit mass suicide because Jones told them to do so. Conformity is “the process of changing attitudes or behavior to accommodate the standards of a group.” (Kowalski, R., & Westen, D., 2009) Conformity is dangerous because as an individual you have an overwhelming desire...

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