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this is a recommendation for you >> The social animal by Elliot Aronson. What are the differences between editions of the Social Animal by Eliot Aronson? Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement PDF format?. The Social Animal resourceone.info - Download as PDF File .pdf) or view presentation slides online. The Social Animal Elliot Aronson: one of the best psychology books ever. Read here The Social summary and review. Also available in PDF.

Following the tragedy, a local highschool teacher asserted that the slain students deserved to die. She made this statement even though she was well aware of the fact that at least two of the victims were not participating in the demonstration but were peacefully walking across campus at the time of the shooting.

He knew that some of the members of a congressional investigation party had been murdered and that the sanctity and isolation of Jonestown would soon be violated. Jones proclaimed that it was time for them to die.

Vats of poison were prepared, and amid only scattered shouts of protest or acts of resistance, mothers and fathers administered the fatal mixture to their infants and children, drank it themselves, and lay down, arm in arm, waiting to die. On April 20, , the corridors and classrooms of Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, reverberated with the sound of gunshots.

Two students, armed with assault weapons and explosives, had gone on a rampage, killing a teacher and several of their fellow students. They then turned their guns on themselves. After the smoke had cleared, 15 people were dead including the shooters and 23 were hospitalized, many with severe wounds.

Mary has just turned 9. Little girls must have housewifery built into their genes. That George was treated like an inferior by the white community had a direct influence upon him, of course; a number of other forces influenced him less directly. The black characters were, of course, played by white actors. We can only guess what George experienced while viewing these films in the company of his white friends. Things change. The mass media now depict blacks in roles that are not exclusively menial.

In the latter part of the 20th century pride in being black began to emerge, along with an interest in, and enthusiasm about African American history and culture. Although things change, we should not be complacent in the belief that all changes move in a linear, humanistic direction.

There were several casualties, but no one was killed. The world was profoundly shocked by the idea of a congested city being attacked from the air. Newspaper editorials around the world expressed the general horror and indignation of the citizenry. Only 9 years later, U. More than , people were killed and countless thousands suffered severe injuries.

Shortly thereafter, a poll indicated that only 4. A Definition What is social psychology?

The Social Animal

Many definitions are possible. Instead of listing some of these definitions, it might be more informative to let the subject matter define the field. The examples presented on the preceding pages are all illustrations of sociopsychological situations. As diverse as these situations may be, they do contain one common factor: social influence. The Montana shopkeeper was certainly not born with an unflattering stereotype of black people in his head; somebody somehow put it there.

That Charlie ignored the woman of his dreams almost certainly has something to do with his fear of rejection, the way he was feeling about himself, and his implicit assumption about the relative likelihood of being rejected by either of the two women.

It may 6 The Social Animal also be that rejection and humiliation played a role in the rampage killings at Columbine High School. Exactly how the high-school teacher in Kent, Ohio, came to believe that innocent people deserved to die is a fascinating and frightening question; for now, let us simply say that this belief was probably influenced by her own indirect complicity in the tragic events on campus. A still more disturbing question arises from the events in Jonestown and Columbine: What forces could induce parents to poison their own children and then take their own lives?

What is it that induces teenagers to kill their classmates? Again, these are complex questions to which I hope to provide some insights as this text unfolds. If we compare the young George Woods with his grandchildren, we see that the self-images of minority-group members can change, and these changes can influence and be influenced by changes in the mass media and changes in the attitudes of the general population. This, of course, is graphically illustrated by the opinions of Americans about the use of nuclear weapons in The key phrase in the preceding paragraph is social influence.

And this becomes our working definition of social psychology: the influences that people have upon the beliefs, feelings, and behavior of others.

Using this as our definition, we will attempt to understand many of the phenomena described in the preceding illustrations. How are people influenced?

What are the variables that increase or decrease the effectiveness of social influence? Does such influence have a permanent effect or is it merely transitory? What are the vari- What Is Social Psychology?

Can the same principles be applied equally to the attitudes of the high-school teacher in Kent, Ohio, and to the toy preferences of young children? How does one person come to like another person? Is it through these same processes that we come to like our new sports car or a box of Wheaties?

How does a person develop prejudices against an ethnic or racial group? Is it akin to liking—but in reverse—or does it involve an entirely different set of psychological processes? Most people are interested in questions of this sort. Because all human beings spend a good deal of our time interacting with other people—being influenced by them, influencing them, being delighted, amused, saddened, and angered by them—it is natural that we develop hypotheses about social behavior.

In that sense, we are all amateur social psychologists. This is not surprising; conventional wisdom is usually based upon shrewd observation that has stood the test of time. For one thing, we are all susceptible to the hindsight bias, which refers to our tendency to overestimate our powers of prediction once we know the outcome of a given event. For example, it 8 The Social Animal seems reasonable to assume that people who are threatened with severe punishment for engaging in a certain behavior might eventually learn to despise that behavior.

But when tested empirically this assumption turns out to be wrong. People who are threatened with mild punishment develop a dislike for the forbidden behavior; people who are severely threatened show, if anything, a slight increase in liking for the forbidden behavior. Likewise, most of us, from our own experience, would guess that, if we overheard someone saying nice things about us behind our backs , we would tend to like that person—all other things being equal. This turns out to be true.

But what is equally true is that we tend to like that person even more if some of the remarks we overhear are anything but nice. More will be said about these phenomena in the following chapters.

In our attempt to understand human social behavior, professional social psychologists have a great advantage over most amateur social psychologists. Although, like the amateurs, we professionals usually begin with careful observation, we can go far beyond that.

We do not need to wait for things to happen so that we can observe how people respond; we can, in fact, make things happen. That is, social psychologists can conduct an experiment in which scores of people are subjected to particular events for example, a severe threat or a mild threat; overhearing nice things or overhearing a combination of nice and nasty things.

Moreover, we can do this in situations in which everything can be held constant, except the particular events being investigated. Professional social psychologists can, therefore, draw conclusions based on data far more precise and numerous than those available to the amateur social psychologist, who must depend upon observations of events that occur randomly and under complex circumstances where many things are happening at once. Nearly all the data presented in this book are based upon experimental evidence.

It is important, for this reason, that the reader 1 understands what constitutes an experiment in social psychology and 2 understands the advantages, disadvantages, ethical problems, excitements, headaches, and heartaches that are associated with this adventure.

Although an understanding of the experimental method is important, it is by no means essential to an understanding of the substantive material presented here. As a reader, you can peruse this chapter before reading on if you prefer to un- What Is Social Psychology?

Occasionally, these natural situations become focused into pressures so great that they cause people to behave in ways easily classifiable as abnormal. When I say people, I mean very large numbers of people.

To my mind, it does not increase our understanding of human behavior to classify these people as psychotic. It is much more useful to try to understand the nature of the situation and the processes that were operating to produce the behavior. Let us take, as an illustration, the Ohio schoolteacher who asserted that the four Kent State students deserved to die.

Moreover, I doubt that classifying them as psychotic does much to enhance our understanding of the phenomenon. Similarly, in the aftermath of the Kent State slayings, the rumor spread that the slain girls were pregnant anyway—so that it was a blessing they died—and that all four of the students were so filthy and so covered with lice that the mortuary attendants became nauseated while examining the bodies.

These rumors, of course, were totally false. But, according to James Michener,5 they spread like wildfire. Were all the people who believed and spread these rumors insane?

Later in this book, we will examine the processes that produce this kind of behavior, to which most of us are susceptible, under the right sociopsychological conditions. According to Berscheid, the danger in this kind of thinking is that it tends to make us smug about our own susceptibility to situational pressures that could produce unpleasant behavior, and it leads to a rather simple-minded approach to the solution of social problems. Specifically, such a simple-minded solution might include the development of a set of diagnostic tests to determine who is a liar, who is a sadist, who is corrupt, who is a maniac.

Social action might then consist of identifying these people and relegating them to the appropriate institutions. Of course, this is not to say that psychosis does not exist or that psychotics should never be institutionalized. Nor am I saying that all people are the same and respond exactly as crazily to the same intense social pressures. It is of paramount importance that we attempt to understand these variables and the processes that produce unpleasant or destructive behavior.

An illustration might be useful. Think of a prison. Consider the guards. What are they like? Chances are that most people would imagine prison guards to be tough, callous, unfeeling people.

Some might even consider them to be cruel, tyrannical, and sadistic. People who take this kind of dispositional view of the world might suggest that people become guards to have an opportunity to exercise their cruelty with relative impunity.

Now picture the prisoners. No matter what specific pictures exist inside our heads, the point is that there are pictures there—and most of us believe that the prisoners and the guards are quite different from us in character and personality. This may be true, but it may be more complicated.

In a dramatic demonstration, Philip Zimbardo and his colleagues created a simulated prison in the basement of the Psychology Department at Stanford University.

By flipping a coin, Zimbardo designated one-half of them prisoners and one-half of them guards, and they lived as such for several days. What happened? It was no longer apparent to us or most of the subjects where they ended and What Is Social Psychology? There were dramatic changes in virtually every aspect of their behavior, thinking and feeling.

In less than a week, the experience of imprisonment undid temporarily a lifetime of learning; human values were suspended, self-concepts were challenged, and the ugliest, most base, pathological side of human nature surfaced. Originally published in The New Yorker, April 24, James Thurber has captured the flavor of conformity in the following description: Suddenly somebody began to run.

It may be that he had simply remembered, all of a moment, an engagement to meet his wife, for which he was now frightfully late. Whatever it was, he ran east on Broad Street probably toward the Maramor Restaurant, a favorite place for a man to meet his wife.

Somebody else began to run, perhaps a newsboy in high spirits. Another man, a portly gentleman of affairs, broke into a trot. Two thousand people were abruptly in full flight.

Go east! I was still uncertain as to what was the matter, in spite of all the shouting. I drew up alongside the woman with some effort, for although she was in her late fifties, she had a beautiful easy running form and seemed to be in excellent condition.

She gave a quick glance and then looked ahead again, stepping up her pace a trifle. One or two individuals began running for their own reasons; before long, everyone was running. Because others were running. Is conformity good or bad?

In its simplest sense, this is an absurd question. But words do carry evaluative meaning. The label evokes an image of Daniel Boone standing on a mountaintop with a rifle slung over his shoulder, the breeze blowing through his hair, as the sun sets in the background. It evokes an image of a row of bureaucratic men dressed in gray flannel suits, carrying identical briefcases, looking as though they had been created by a cookie cutter.

But we can use synonymous words that convey very different images. For individualist or nonconformist we can substitute deviate; for conformist we can substitute team player. Somehow, deviate does not evoke Daniel Boone on the mountaintop, and team player does not evoke the cookie cutter—produced bureaucrat. When we look a little closer, we see an inconsistency in the way our society seems to feel about conformity team playing and nonconformity deviance.

For example, one of the bestsellers of the s was a book by John F. Kennedy called Profiles in Courage, wherein the author praised several politicians for their courage in resisting great pressure and refusing to conform. To put it another way, Kennedy was praising people who refused to be good team players, who refused to vote or act as their parties or constituents expected them to.

Nonconformists may be praised by historians or idolized in films or literature long after the fact of their nonconformity, but they are usually not held in high esteem at the time by those people to whose demands they refuse to conform. This observation receives strong support from a number of experiments in social psychology. For example, in a classic experiment by Stanley Schachter,2 several groups of students met for a discussion of the case Conformity 15 history of a juvenile delinquent named Johnny Rocco.

A typical group consisted of approximately nine participants, six of whom were real participants and three of whom were paid confederates of the experimenter. The results clearly showed that the person who was liked most was the modal person who conformed to the group norm; the deviate was liked least. In a more recent experiment, Arie Kruglanski and Donna Webster3 found that when nonconformists voiced a dissenting opinion close to the deadline when groups were feeling the pinch to come to closure , they were rejected even more than when they voiced their dissenting opinion earlier in the discussion.

Clearly, there are situations in which conformity is highly desirable and nonconformity constitutes an unmitigated disaster. Suppose, for example, that I suddenly decide that I am fed up with being a conformist.

So I hop into my car and start driving down the left-hand side of the road—not a very adaptive way of displaying my rugged individualism and not very fair to you if you happen to be driving toward me conformist-style on the same street. Similarly, consider the rebellious teenager who smokes cigarettes, stays out late, gets tattooed, or dates a certain boy just because she knows that her parents disapprove. She is not manifesting independence so much as she is displaying anticonformity, not thinking for herself but automatically acting contrary to the desires or expectations of others.

On the other hand, I do not intend to suggest that conformity is always adaptive and nonconformity is always maladaptive. There are compelling situations in which conformity can be disastrous and tragic. Moreover, even knowledgeable and sophisticated decision makers can fall prey to special kinds of conformity pressures inherent 16 The Social Animal in making group decisions.

In such an atmosphere, even the most barbarous activities seemed reasonable because the absence of dissent, which conveyed the illusion of unanimity, prevented any individual from entertaining the possibility that other options might exist. In normal circumstances people who turn their backs on reality are soon set straight by the mockery and criticism of those around them.

In the Third Reich there were not such correctives. On the contrary, every self-deception was multiplied as in a hall of distorting mirrors, becoming a repeatedly confirmed picture of a fantastical dream world which no longer bore any relationship to the grim outside world. In those mirrors I could see nothing but my own face reproduced many times over. Here, men in high government office—many of whom were attorneys—perjured themselves, destroyed evidence, and offered bribes without an apparent second thought.

This was due, at least in part, to the closed circle of single-mindedness that surrounded the president in the early s. This single-mindedness made deviation virtually unthinkable until after the circle had been broken. Once the circle was broken, several people for example, Jeb Stuart Magruder, Richard Kleindienst, and Patrick Grey seemed to view their illegal behavior with astonishment, as if it were performed during some sort of bad dream. This process created an atmosphere of unreality in the White House that prevailed to the very end.

If you said it often enough, it would become true. When the press learned of the wiretaps on newsmen and White House staffers, for example, and flat denials failed, it was claimed that this was a national security matter. That was concocted as a justifi- Conformity 17 cation after the fact. But when they said it, you understand, they really believed it.

Seven astronauts, including a civilian schoolteacher, perished in a fireball of smoke and flames. The decision had been made to go ahead with the launch despite a near disaster on an earlier Challenger flight and despite strenuous objections and warnings from knowledgeable engineers about the defective O-rings at the joints of the booster rockets. I doubt it. First, NASA had already conducted two dozen successful launches with essentially the same equipment.

Second, NASA officials, like the general public, were caught up in the enthusiasm surrounding the launching of the first civilian schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe into space. Any mention of possible system failure would have suggested a need to spend more money, a conclusion NASA found distasteful in light of its commitment to costeffectiveness and economy.

Unlike NASA administrators, engineers at Morton Thiokol the company that manufactured the solid rocket boosters were not concerned about the political, economic, and public relations implications of a decision on whether to launch. All they cared about was whether the damn thing would work—and given the subfreezing temperatures at the launch site, they objected strenuously to the launch.

For them, more was at stake than a successful launch. They were in great conflict. On the one hand, as engineers, they were sensitive to the opinions of their fellow engineers.

Thus, in part, they tended to identify with the same concerns that NASA administrators did. They were relatively cohesive groups isolated from dissenting points of view.

When such groups are called upon to make decisions, they often fall prey to what social psychologist Irving Janis calls groupthink. And this optimism is perpetuated when dissent is discouraged. In the face of conformity pressures, individual group members come to doubt their own reservations and refrain from voicing dissenting opinions. Consensus seeking is so important that certain members of the group sometimes become mindguards—people who censor troublesome incoming information, as did the executives at Morton Thiokol.

By citing these examples, I do not mean to suggest that individuals who make foolish, disastrous decisions should not be held accountable. What I do intend to suggest is that it is a lot easier to conduct an inquiry and assign blame than it is to understand the psy- Conformity 19 chological processes underlying faulty decision making.

But it is only through digging deeper and trying to understand these processes that we can have any hope of improving the way people make decisions and thus of reducing the frequency of disastrous decisions in the future. What Is Conformity? Most situations are not as extreme as the examples cited above. We will attempt to zero in on the phenomenon of conformity by beginning with a less extreme and perhaps simpler illustration.

Recall that Sam watched a presidential candidate on television and was favorably impressed with his sincerity. However, in the face of the unanimous opinion of his friends that the candidate was insincere, Sam acceded—verbally, at least—to their opinion.

Final Notes:

Several questions can be asked about this kind of situation: 1 What causes people to conform to group pressure? Specifically, what was in it for Sam? Or was it the case that Sam maintained his original opinion but only modified what he said about the candidate?

If there was a change in opinion, was it permanent or merely transient? What we can do 20 The Social Animal is construct an experimental situation that is somewhat like the one in which Sam found himself, and we can control and vary the factors we think might be important.

Such a basic situation was devised by Solomon Asch8 in a classic set of experiments. Put yourself in the following situation: You have volunteered to participate in an experiment on perceptual judgment.

You enter a room with four other participants. The experimenter shows all of you a straight line line X. Simultaneously, he shows you three other lines for comparison lines A, B, and C.

Your job is to judge which of the three lines is closest in length to line X. The judgment strikes you as being a very easy one. It is perfectly clear to you that line B is the correct answer, and when your turn comes, you will clearly say that B is the one. He also chooses line A. You begin to feel like Alice in Wonderland. As you might imagine, the individuals who answered first were in the employ of the experimenter and were instructed to agree on an incorrect answer.

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The perceptual judgment it- Conformity 21 self was an incredibly easy one. It was so easy that, when individuals were not subjected to group pressure but were allowed to make a series of judgments of various sizes of lines while alone, there was almost a complete absence of errors. Indeed, the task was so easy, and physical reality was so clear-cut, that Asch himself firmly believed that there would be little, if any, yielding to group pressure.

But his prediction was wrong. When faced with a majority of their fellow students agreeing on the same incorrect responses in a series of 12 judgments, approximately three-quarters of the participants conformed at least once by responding incorrectly.

Solomon Asch performed his classic experiment more than 50 years ago. Although the results were powerful, it is tempting to dismiss his findings on the grounds that American college students are quite different now. Specifically, with the advent of computers and the Internet you might think we have grown more sophisticated and, therefore, much less susceptible to this kind of group pressure.

Not so. Over the years, the Asch experiment has been successfully replicated a great many times. Just a few years ago, in a particularly striking demonstration on national television, Anthony Pratkanis9 repeated the Asch experiment precisely as Asch did it 50 years earlier.

Resisting group pressures is very difficult and this shows up in not only on the faces of the participants, but also in their neurological activity. These scans indicated a major difference between participants who yielded to and those who resisted group pressure. Subjects who resisted showed a great deal of activity in the amygdala, a region of the brain associated with pain and emotional discomfort.

Going against the group is painful. The situation created by these experiments is especially intriguing because, unlike many situations in which we may tend to 22 The Social Animal conform, there were no explicit constraints against individuality. In many situations, the sanctions against nonconformity are clear and unequivocal. For example, I hate to wear a tie, and under most circumstances I can get away with this minor idiosyncrasy.

I can either put on the tie and eat in the restaurant or leave, open-necked and comfortable but hungry. The negative consequences of nonconformity are made very explicit. In these situations, there were no explicit rewards for conformity and no explicit punishments for deviance. In short, what I am suggesting is that these individuals had two important goals: the goal of being correct and the goal of staying in the good graces of other people by living up to their expectations.

In many circumstances, both of these goals can be satisfied by a simple action. Similarly, if others agreed with your judgment of the lengths of the lines, you could satisfy both goals by being true to your own estimate. If you were a participant in that experiment and you initially believed that the correct answer was line B, then saying so might satisfy your desire to be correct—but it might also violate the expectations of your peers, and they might think you a bit odd.

On the other hand, choosing line A might win you the acceptance of the others, but unless you became convinced that they were correct, it would violate your desire to be right. Most people believe that they are motivated primarily by a desire to be correct but that others are motivated primarily by a desire Conformity 23 to stay in the good graces of other people.

For example, when people unobtrusively observe an Asch-like conformity experiment, they typically predict that the experimental participants will conform more than they actually do. That is, we know other people conform, but we underestimate the extent to which we can be induced to follow the group.

Was Sam convinced by his fellow college students that his preferred presidential candidate was a phony, or did he simply go along with their judgment in order to be accepted while continuing to believe in the sincerity of the candidate?

Because Sam is a hypothetical person, we cannot answer that question definitively. If a participant is joined by even one ally who gives the correct response, his or her conformity to the erroneous judgment of the majority drops sharply. A fellow dissenter exerts a powerful freeing effect from the influence of the majority. If there is unanimity, however, the actual size of the majority need not be very great for it to elicit maximum conformity from a person.

In fact, the tendency for someone to conform to group pressure is about as great when the unanimous 24 The Social Animal majority consists of only 3 other people as it is when the unanimous majority is Commitment One way conformity to group pressure can be decreased is by inducing the individual to make some sort of commitment to his or her initial judgment.

Picture yourself as an umpire at a major-league baseball game. There is a close play at first base and you call the runner out—in the presence of 50, fans. After the game, the three other umpires approach you and each says that he thought the runner was safe. In all its complexity, our head is capable of fantastic things, and that is why some people are dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of our mind.

New York Times columnist David Brooks explores human nature and some crucial issues in our development in this book.

Some of the topics addressed by the author are the way our mind works, our decision-making process and the influence of our unconscious on our way of life. You will understand how your IQ affects your success, how your emotions impact your decisions and the importance of your unconscious.

Want to know a little more about the workings of the human mind? Come with us, and we will show you! But there is a great chance that, once this kid grows up, he will fall in love with someone who does not fit his criteria. Why does this happen? Because we are drawn unconsciously by people who resemble us and who have similar facial features.

For example, if our noses have a similar width and if there is a comparable distance between our eyes. Also, we are attracted to people who share our educational, economic, and ethnic characteristics.

A study found that more than half of the married couples in Columbus, Ohio, lived only 16 blocks away when they started dating. We are more likely to fall in love with people who share our attitudes, expectations, and interests. Despite this, we also wobble toward people with specific generic physical characteristics. But they are also attracted to men with different DNA characteristics. For example, on average, heterosexual women prefer tall men with symmetrical facial features, who are a little older and stronger than them.

Researchers also showed that women are more sexually attracted to men with large pupils. And, according to a large study conducted around the world, men prefer women with a hip-waist ratio of 0.

Although the hip-waist ratio is the most important factor, men also like women with large lips, clean skin and shiny hair. Influences Over Our Choices Although we believe that we are in control of our behavior, several researchers have already shown that small things can influence us a lot.

Even a few words can activate large associations, changing our behavior. Moreover, the way we judge something depends on how it is presented to us.

As you can imagine, the patient is much more likely to choose the prognosis focused on the success rate. Theories About Moral Judgment According to the view of some philosophers, moral judgment is based on deliberate reasoning. And this is called moral rationalism.

Its proponents claim that we make moral decisions logically, applying universal principles to a given situation. According to moral rationalism, there is a power struggle between our primitive, selfish instinct on the one hand, and our moral principles on the other.

And if we want to act morally, we must have the willpower to subdue our selfish drives that are hidden in our subconscious. For example, imagine that you have some problems in your dating and meet an attractive person who calls you to leave.

Although your instincts may persuade you to say yes, your moral principles are there to prevent you betraying your partner. Intuitionists assert that not all our impulses and intuitions are selfish, and that human beings have an inner moral sense to guide them.

We experience this moral sense in things like compassion, which is a sense of justice. According to intuitionism, we do not necessarily experience a struggle between our feelings and our reason. But instead, there is a struggle between our selfish drives and our moral sense. So if you want to have a meeting with a person from your job, for example, you may feel very guilty even before consciously consulting your moral principles, which will remind you that you are in a relationship.

Psychopaths are as intelligent as the rest of us, so you would expect them to have the same moral standards as they use the same reasoning skills. But this is not the case. Psychopaths typically have low ethical standards and are more likely to cause suffering in others.

Their intuition is the result of a very different logical system. This example shows how conscious deliberation does not necessarily lead to moral behavior.

The Social Animal

In fact, sometimes our moral judgment precedes our conscious deliberation. And in some cases, rational moral judgments are produced by quick, intuitive assessments. For example, when researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands read moral statements about controversial topics such as euthanasia and abortion, people reacted with feelings of evaluation milliseconds after they had listened.

In other words, they formulated a moral stance before they had time to reason consciously about the decision. And in some cases, conscious reasoning may not influence moral decision-making. Babies, for example, have already been automatically supportive of ethical behavior. In one experiment, six-month-old babies watched a movie showing a puppy struggling to climb a hill. After watching the movie, the babies had the choice of playing with one of the puppies.

And they typically chose the second puppy that was helpful. Not really! What always happens is that people without emotions do not make very rational decisions. Instead, they can make ridiculous decisions or even take them. Even simple decisions like deciding where to eat lunch can be difficult for these people.

One reason why emotions are so important in decision making is that they allow us to assess the subjective value of different choices, which is a condition for rational choice. In other words, our emotions allow us to feel what kind of impact the decisions will have on us. For example, what happens when you think you are falling off a cliff?

You probably feel fear or even panic. We interpret these alerts as an emotion, and this reaction creates a great incentive for our choices or to avoid certain decisions.

And that is precisely why Damasian patients had so much trouble making decisions. They did not experience any emotional alertness; they simply had no incentive to choose anything. In reality, in many ways, we could not exist without other people. Of course, this is true on a survival level, but this also applies to identity issues.

After all, when we are children, our personalities arise according to the relationships we have with our parents.

For example, parents often laugh when their babies are laughing, look at the baby when the baby is looking, or mimic the sounds the baby does and vice versa. This kind of reflex is critical to the development process because our brains have evolved to understand social cues, responding to them, and seeking a response from the other person. When we observe someone drinking a glass of water or smiling, our brain simulates the same action. A specific set of neurons, called reflex neurons, is responsible for this process.

When enabled, they create the same pattern that would appear if we did this action.And this becomes our working definition of social psychology: the influences that people have upon the beliefs, feelings, and behavior of others. Slight Liberal Bias?

March This book is now in its tenth edition. However putting a lot of effort into something also means that we will try to convince ourselves that we are happier with the results, For example people who spend a lot time and money to get in shape might try to convince themselves that the results are good.

This example shows how conscious deliberation does not necessarily lead to moral behavior. Why are you so confident? When I first wrote the book, I was moved to acknowledge my indebtedness to my friend and mentor, Leon Festinger.