What We Don't Know, Won't Hurt Us.. Or Will It?

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I found the chapter on "social psychology" to be most informational and unforgettable. I underestimated how powerful one's influence can be on another or even many.

I liked reading about the studies of conformity and obedience, because they show real-life examples of people behaving ridiculously due to others' influences. I feel like after reading the Asch study, I will think twice before I decide whether to go along with the rest of the group or not, regardless of unanimity.

As for the Milgram study, I was surprised how many people were willing to shock another all due to obedience. I learned that just because someone is of higher authority, does not necessarily mean that they should be listened to.

I completely agree with the "enlightenment effect" in that learning psychology research can really change real-world behavior for the better. If people were aware of mass hysteria and the effects of conformity and obedience, then Hitler may not have gotten as far as he did. Therefore, I think that people should be more informed, especially about this chapter, so that anything like the Holocaust will not be able to happen again. I know that I will always think back on my knowledge of "social psychology" from the Lilienfeld book whenever need be.

-Lilienfeld textbook "From Inquiry to Understanding
-http://schools.nyc.gov/SchoolPortals/32/K376/TopLinks/TeacherResources.htm
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Yes, if people were aware how few people actually supported Hitler, he would probably not have gotten as far as he did. However, while hidden knowledge can hurt us, untimely reveal can also (at least the government thinks so). Consider the numerous research projects the government has completed that have been revealed to the public; if their findings were published too early, people would panic; however, when the information is not given out at all, people become resentful. This means that a charismatic leader can make the government seem much more stable than it is or much less so, as well. The problem with Hitler was not that he forced people to believe what he did, but because he got enough people to agree with him that forced the consensus on the rest.

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This page contains a single entry by bergd012 published on April 28, 2012 3:04 PM.

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