adams968: January 2012 Archives

Social psychology is defined in the text as, "the study of how people influence others' behavior, beliefs, and attitudes-- for both good and bad." This chapter was primarily designed to help us understand why we act helpfully or heroically in the presence of some, but give into peer pressure and negativity with others. I found it interesting that research shows that we often believe that only others are vulnerable to social influence, and not ourselves. We seem to think that social findings apply to everyone but us. This chapter begins by discussing how everyone underestimates the impact of social influence on others' behavior. It then discusses conformity and obedience, or psychologically following someones' orders. Finally it will branch into things such as aggression and the many different sources that can cause aggression (which is defined as behavior intended to harm others). Also, the final pages of the chapter talk about prejudice toward others arises and how we can combat it.

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