Chapter 13 is devoted entirely to the concept of Social Psychology, which is defined as the study of how people influence other's behavior, beliefs, and attitudes-for both good and bad. Reading about this subject matter in Psychology grabbed my attention from the very beginning, because we are influenced by other people every day and this subject is relatable to many.
The chapter begins with an example of how a few people can drastically effect a large group of people. In 1938, six million Americans listened to a radio show hosted by Orson Welles. The program that night was an adaption of "War of the Worlds." in which Welles decided to trick his listeners by making the show a phony news broadcast. In the broadcast, he had multiple reporters inform the station that Martians were planning an attack on New York City. tens of thousands of listeners believed the broadcast to be real, even though Welles informed listeners that this was a joke.
People fell prey to their own confirmation Bias, and panicked without discerning fact from fiction. Any other radio station would have provided evidence that Welles was simply playing a prank for Halloween on his viewers.
People are a very sociable species. we need other human beings in our lives to interact with. Without other humans to interact with, individuals become depressed, anxious, lonely, and develop mood problems.
People are susceptible to to many actions, however, and because of our social nature, we evaluate our abilities and beliefs by comparing them to those of others. We also may fall prey to mass hysteria, because research shows that irrational behavior in many people will cause individuals to join in.