Chapter 13 focuses on social psychology. Lilienfeld opens the chapter with the story of Orson Welles famous War of the Worlds radio broadcast that sent our nation into a frenzy. This is an intriguing bit of history to begin the chapter because it is a great example of the way our species can be so easily deceived by such comically false information delivered through a socially accepted medium.
Throughout the chapter the author talks of the many different ways in which an individuals' behavior is influenced by the social setting in which they are placed. I found the section on social facilitation interesting because both humans and cockroaches completed a race faster when they were watched by a group of their peers. Another section that caught my attention were the Asch Studies on conformity. These studies showed that when the confederates of a group gave the wrong answer to a question the participant is likely to conform to the answers of the confederates even if they think the answer is wrong. This study intrigued me because as a student I have responded the same way when given a question in a group setting. It is scary to think how different social settings can have such a big impact on the way we choose to act and I am excited to learn more about the reasons behind these phenomena.
Writing 1, Section 4