The Influence Of Other People On Human Behaviour And Performance

1686 words - 7 pages

The influence of other people on human behaviour and performance

In this essay we shall examine and assess the influence of other people on human behaviour and performance. When using the term “other people” we are generally referring to people who have an impact on our lives such as family members, teachers, friends and peers, we shall examine there influence drawing on examples from chapters 1 and 6 of Investigating Psychology. We will then look at memory which relates to our performance rather than our behaviour.
Let us look firstly at the large scale study that Adorno et al (1950) carried out and the findings he and his colleagues made .After the second world war people were ...view middle of the document...

Adorno argued that severe discipline in early childhood led to children unconsciously projecting feelings of hate onto people different from themselves which then continues into later life. This intimates that parental influence is a huge factor in the way we develop.
In contradiction to this Rokeach rejected the psychoanalytical explanation put forward by Adorno and argued that certain features of authoritarianism were present not because of unconscious process but a close minded cognitive style as explained in chapter 1, section 4 of Investigating psychology. He suggests that people high in authoritarian traits or dogmatism were far more likely to look at the source of the message rather than the message itself, so ideas could be supported purely because of the status of the person delivering the message not its content. For example if a policeman delivered a message we would probably not question its content or validity as he seen to be a position of trust and standing within the community.This another demonstration of the influence that other people may have over us. It could be argued however that both of these studies are flawed though as they did not take into account any external factors such as political circumstance or culture. Nor did they look at whether our biological make up would make us behave in such a way.
We shall now look at children’s friendships and the influence they have on our behaviour. As we go through childhood the relationship we have with our friends and the influence they have over us changes. These influences can include the type of music that we listen to or the clothes that we wear. Although we often here of people beg involved with the wrong crowd friends can also have a beneficial effect on how we perform academically, participation in out of school clubs and on avoiding bad behaviours or activities.
If we look at Bigelow and La Gaipa (1974) study as described in chapter 6 of Investigating Psychology we can gain a greater understanding of how friendships changes as we grow up and in turn the influence our friends have over us. When they undertook there research in the 1970s very little was known about children’s friendships, up until this point research had mainly been on emotional relationships and and on understanding what attracts one person to another. Bigelow and La Gaipa devised a new way of investigating the evolving role of a friend and what that friendship means as we progress through childhood. They asked 480 children, half boys and half girls, aged between six and fourteen years from lower-middle-class and upper working class homes from eight schools in three areas of Canada to write an essay describing there bes friend. They then compiled a list of twenty one different characteristics that they anticipated the children may include in there essays.These characteristics included things like commitment,loyalty, similarity in attitudes and values This is because the expectations we have of a...

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