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Social influence for social psychology class - Research Paper Example

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A Day in the Life: Social Influence in the Life of Students [Name] [Course Name, Section, University] [Professor] March 9, 2011 A Day in the Life: Social Influence in the Life of Students The social behavior of university students is a fascinating topic to broach…
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Download file to see previous pages The example given in David G. Myer’s Exploring Social Psychology allows for a deeper analysis of these changes by illustrating how they might really occur. The example provided a few instances of conformity. By definition, conformity is “Changing your attitudes, beliefs, thoughts, or behaviors in order to be more consistent with others,” (Psychology Dictionary (C) at AllPsych Online). For example, the way Juan dresses is an example of conformity. He dresses in “designer jeans and tight-fitting t-shirts he and his friends are fond of wearing.” This shows that he has changed his behavior, the way he dresses, in order to be better accepted by his friends, who dress in the same way. This also illustrates conformity as a circular action. Juan dresses in designer jeans and tight-fitting t-shirts in order to be consistent with his friends, who wear these things to be consistent with each other. If one of them were to start wearing something different, there is a possibility another will follow to achieve the same consistency, therefore eventually changing what the entire group as a whole wears. Evaluation apprehension is also demonstrated in the example text. By definition, evaluation apprehension is when “individuals working in the presence of others experience a general concern for how these others are evaluating them, and that this apprehension facilitates their performance on simple, well-learned tasks,” (Psychology Glossary: Evaluation Apprehension Theory). In the example text, we see this when Holly, who has been practicing playing darts, notices that her throws are inaccurate when Juan is watching her. Holly has become preoccupied with how Juan is evaluating her ability to play, which causes her to play poorly. If Holly wasn’t experiencing the “pressure” of Juan watching her, there is a good possibility that she would be throwing her darts more accurately. This serves as a good example because many of us have experienced similar situations where the idea that someone is watching us enters our conscious thought, which in turn effects our performance at the task at hand. Earlier in the text, Phillip could have also been experiencing the effects of evaluation apprehension. He knew after a certain point the previous semester that Juan would be borrowing his notes. The idea that not only his own grade, but Juan’s as well, were dependent on these notes may have caused him to take great caution in taking good notes. It can also be considered that the desire to not feel such pressure was the reason why Phillip stood up to Juan, refusing to give him the notes all semester. There are many examples throughout the text of normative social influence. Normative social influence is defined as “the influence of other people that leads us to conform in order to be liked and accepted by them; this type of conformity results in public compliance with but not necessarily private acceptance of the group's beliefs and behaviors,” (Psychology Glossary: Normative Social Influence). Since conformity is a component of normative social influence, this idea applies again to the way Juan dresses. He is influenced by those around him to dress the way he does. He knows that by dressing like his friends, he is gaining acceptance. With this as another thing in common, he is assuring that he is liked by his friends. We can also return to the conversation between Juan and Phillip. Phillip may be aware of the fact that Juan only talks to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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