Free The Historical Background of Social Psychology Essay Sample
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To understand Social Psychology, we can see how groups influence the choices we do and the steps that we may need to do. Social Psychology is the scientific study of how the presence of others affects the behavior and thoughts of the people. The surroundings affect many people. The people that they interact with, the people they attend school with, and even their closest friends. When students join a college fraternity, they meet new people who live and experience life differently.
The character of the students will determine the friends he will have. If a student is of a silent character, he will want to hang around silent friends. It is reasonable to try and fit into a group of students who seem to be at a higher level. In case a new student wishes to join a certain group, his character must fall in line with the people that he is joining in order to fit in the group. The new member will have to follow the behavioral characteristic of the group. (Myers 2005)
David Myers in his book Exploring Psychology define Social Psychology as The scientific study of how we influence, think about or relate to other people. We are going to use two of his concepts to explain why average young American college students have committed acts of riots.
Conformity refers to a change in behavior or belief caused by social influence so as to fit in a group. It can be referred to the act of yielding to group pressure. The pressure may be involving the presence of others or pressures of social expectations.
Peer pressure is defined as the pressure from peers, encouraging people to change their attitudes, Behavior, values in order to conform to the group norms. People affected by peer pressure may not want to be members of these groups.
Significantly, social surrounding influences one's desire to join a group. A student who has just joined a University will try to blend in the school. He or she will start with a change of the clothes he wears. If the clothes the he finds in school are designer outfits, the student will not come with old fashioned clothes. He will conform to the social norm of the school to avoid ridicule and criticism.
The same happens when a small group of students organizes a riot. The unwilling students will have to conform to avoid social rejection. Humans have a natural yarning to fit in and have an inherent dislike to anything that does not go with the majority. A student conforms to avoid bullies and criticism.
Another factor is normative social influence. This involves persons conforming so that they may be liked or accepted by a group. In time, people conform to the ways other people do things. A student in school may behave in a way that pleases the fellow schoolmates. This will cause the students to love and accept him.
The student will show his determination when a riot arises. He will want to, please his fellow friends by conducting the riot. It becomes the student’s responsibility to fit in and do what others are doing. This may not mean the student likes what he is doing. Most of the time he even does things that are against the law. He has to do it in order to remain in the group of students that are fun to be with.
In conclusion, conformity is the leading cause of students behaving in an unruly way. The two types of conformity highlighted above are significant contributors of students involving themselves with riots. If peer pressure does not exist in schools, the cases of students wanting to be heroes cannot crop up.
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- Classical Studies in Social Psychology
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