Chapter 13: Social Psychology

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Social Psychology is the study of how people influence others' behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes. Chapter 13 covered the in's and out's on how social interaction affects us. Based on Mark Leary's Need-To-Know theory, humans have a biological based need for social connections. But these interactions affect our behaviors and attitudes more than we can comprehend. Social Psychology is the study of how people influence others' behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes. Chapter 13 covered the in's and out's on how social interaction affects us. Based on Mark Leary's Need-To-Know theory, humans have a biological based need for social connections. But these interactions affect our behaviors and attitudes more than we can comprehend. One psychological trait really stuck out to me was bystander nonintervention. In 2009 there was a 15 year-old girl viciously gang raped outside of a school dance. Not only was the viciousness of the crime appalling, but also it was learned that at least a dozen witnesses stood by and did nothing. Psychologists John Darley and Bibb Latane have come up with a few causes of bystander non-intervention. The first, pluralistic ignorance, is experience during a more mild act of emergency (i.e. some drunk man passed out on the ground). It is the error of assuming that no one in a group perceives things as we do. So the individual walking by might look around at everyone else walking past the drunk man and if no one is stopping to help they might just assume their perception of the event is flawed and continue on their way. The second option is called diffusion of responsibility and it more present in an emergency (i.e. the young girl being gang raped). It is the reduction in feeling of personal responsibility in the presence of others, meaning that the larger the group of people idly standing by, the less personal responsibility they feel for what is happening because everyone else is standing by as well.

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Great blog post--I find the topic of social psychology really interesting and it blends in well with the intro to sociology course I took several years ago. There was also the case presented inc lass about a two young Chinese girls were repeatedly run over by a car, with a group of bystanders simply watching. I definitely think that the diffusion of responsibility is a huge factor in the "non intervening" nature of large groups; each person thinks that another person should be responsible, since it is such a large group. If the large group sees that no one is reacting, then they might not assess the situation to be a "true emergency".

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This page contains a single entry by soko0048 published on January 24, 2012 9:43 PM.

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