Social Psychology This Study Reviews How People Term Paper

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Social Psychology

This study reviews how people react when forced to say or engage in behaviors contrary to their personal beliefs or opinions. According to the researchers, Janis & King (1954; 1956) note often private opinion changes so an individual's beliefs or opinions align more closely with the behaviors a person must engage in, even when contrary to their own beliefs. The authors hypothesized that a person who is forced to change their private opinion will reduce dissonance by bringing their personal original opinion into closer correspondence with statement made against their previous beliefs. Once this happens, the individual would demonstrate a change of opinion after being forced or induced to say something contrary to their original beliefs. The authors secondary hypothesis is that the pressure to reduce dissonance which is one's natural inclination would reflect the amount of dissonance present after stating something against one's primary beliefs; the opinion change is likely to be greater if more pressure is utilized by outside parties to elicit a change of behavior and opinion, rather than use of a greater reward. This means opinion change is more likely where pressure exists but a small reward for changing opinion rather than a large reward is provided to the individual in question.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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Term Paper on Social Psychology This Study Reviews How People Assignment

The researcher's explored derivation using a controlled experiment using variable rewards as a means of forcing people to make statements contrary to their personal beliefs. The controlled variable would be the personal beliefs, and the uncontrolled variable would be the type of reward or amount of pressure placed on the subjects to force them to make statements that conflicted with their original and private reviews. The authors believed the larger reward offered, the smaller the opinion change would be; the results of the study strongly support the idea that the more pressure that is placed on an individual, the more likely they are to change their opinions or beliefs about a situation or case so they corroborate their statements and align with the "group think" present. In the presence of minimal reward for doing so, individuals are more likely to change their opinion to reduce cognitive dissonance. The results of the study also suggest the larger the reward and pressure the less likely an individual is to compromise their beliefs and thus face cognitive dissonance, as suspected initially by the researchers conducting the study.

2. There are many problems inherent in the American justice system today from a social psychological perspective. Problems of the courts reliance on witness testimony is problematic for example, at least in accordance to memory researchers who state individuals are more likely to remember situations and events falsely if their memories do not correlate with the memories of other individuals in the jury or group they participate or engage with, a finding that largely coincides with Janice & King's (1954) ideas on role-playing, suggesting witness testimony is much like role playing, where to fit in, the witness "remembers' things as others in the group might rather than as they actually happened. Alternately, one may hypothesize that witness testimony will not reflect memory as much as it might reflect the witnesses opinion of the individual in question; thus if the witness had a good opinion of the individual accused of X crime, they may be more likely to alter their perceptions or memories of an event even on a subconscious level, and then believe in the alternate ending as it would be as reality. This is nothing more than a reflection of mankind's inherent desire to fit in and belong when confronted with others opinions. Jury deliberations also reflect the ideas of cognitive dissonance presented in the text (Festinger & Carlsmith, 1959). In a high pressure environment, people of weak character are more likely to succumb to pressures by the majority or those with more authority such that they may not express their actual opinion or belief, but rather change their beliefs so they align more with that of the jury majority. This may result from a mere tendency of jurors to change their opinions because they are more likely to doubt their opinion if it does not align with that of other members of the group or jury as is the case in a justice setting.

Trial lawyers often use many common persuasion tactics including peripheral tactics and impression management to win jurors and the judge over to their side. They may attempt to change the jurors and witnesses internal opinions by changing their impressions of the person being tried. This words both ways, as each trial lawyer will attempt to do the same for the person they plan to defend. If I were to rearrange the current trial system, I would recommend jury deliberations be held with more than one party, and with a moderator chosen by the court to ensure that individuals were not influenced to change their beliefs due to high pressure situations. I would also eliminate expert testimony as much of social psychology deals with theories supporting the idea that people's memories are influenced by new experiences including pressure placed on them whether that pressure comes from lawyers or other witness testimony that conflicts with their own. Trials should be held in private with trial lawyers presenting their cases separately and without the availability of public view of the trial so that members engage in discussion and evaluation of the victim or the person accused would not be unduly influenced by people simply watching the court trial.

For example, a juror might look over and see the family member of a criminal accused of theft, robbery and murder. The juror may have a family, and note the accused may also have a family that includes several young children; all present at request of the trial lawyer to give the impression the accused is innocent. This may unduly influence the jury member to change their original opinion or belief of the juror, the one that is most likely to be accurate.

3. There are many key relationships that exist between infants and their mothers; three primary relationships include the amount of physical contact between mother and infant, the amount of verbal contact between mother and child and the amount of contact the mother and baby have with other people as well as the quality of these contacts (Beckwith, 1972; Greene, 1983). Research suggests the more physical, verbal and social contact an infant receives, even while in the womb (Green, 1983) can dramatically predict whether the infant grows up into a healthy and happy toddler or one demonstrating social and/or emotional problems especially with reference to relationships.

Children need physical, verbal, and nonverbal contact with their mother that is gentle and provides the infant with a sense of safety and security. If children do not have this early in life, they are more likely to develop problems as they grow into toddlers, children and then young adults. Many children with behavioral problems can trace the origin of their problems to a relationship (or lack of) with one or both parents.

Of note also are the duration and quality of romantic relationships with securely attached individuals, as compared to anxious or ambivalent relationships among attached individuals, and avoidant attached individuals. Studies suggest couples that are securely attached that share romantic relationships are more likely to influence their children to engage in healthy and comforting relationships as they grow when compared with anxious, ambivalent or unattached (avoidant) partners (Rodrigues & Kitzmann, 2007). Children often model their behaviors based on their experiences with their parents. In a romantic relationship couples are more likely to share open communication with each other and feel comfortable presenting dissenting opinions to their partners without fear of retaliation or adverse consequence. The relationship demonstrates results similar to the effects of divorce on children (Rodrigues & Kitzmann, 2007). Sociological studies demonstrate the connection between an infant's attachment with their mother can influence their cognitive development, and therefore have an impact on the child's future relationships with others (Greene, 1983). Rodrigues & Kitzmann (2007) suggest adolescents demonstrated "higher levels of anxious attachment" with respect to romantic relationships and other social relationships (Green, 1983) if anxiety or conflict exists between the mother and her partner or husband during the child's early years of development.

This suggests to me it is critical infants have the time to bond and attach with their mother in a positive and uplifting way. When one digs deep into the research there is evidence suggesting neonates or children in the womb are subject to the anxiety and stress of a mother just as much as if they were young infants (Green, 1983). Because so much of brain development and cognitive perception develop at an early age, it is critical the child have an opportunity to enjoy solid relationships with their mother and their fathers. As the mother often acts as the primary caregiver especially during periods of infancy and breastfeeding, the mother's behaviors and social relationships, including romantic relationships, can dramatically affect how… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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