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Group Pressure upon the Modification and Distortion of Judgment - Research Paper Example

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The paper “Group Pressure upon the Modification and Distortion of Judgment” focuses on the reinforcements and punishments people receive for maladaptive behavior and on altering them. However, response shaping through operant conditioning is also an effective tool…
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Group Pressure upon the Modification and Distortion of Judgment
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Download file to see previous pages Because it emphasizes the individual, it qualifies as psychology, yet because of its focus on the social situation, it has much in common with sociology. Thus the general area where sociology and psychology overlap is called social psychology, although the topic involves far more than simply trying to find common ground between the two disciplines. Myers (1987) has identified three areas of consideration in social psychology: the way people think about one another, how they influence one another, and how they relate to one other.
Social psychologists are concerned not only with the formation of attitudes but also with how attitudes can be influenced and changed. An attitude is made up of thought, feeling, and a predisposition to act upon that thought and feeling. The sheer thought is the basis of an opinion. While thought and feeling may technically make up an attitude the third factor, the behavior is likely to result. The credibility of the person attempting to change attitudes is an important factor in determining success. The perceived intentions of the communicator are especially important. If intentions are seen as positive, influence will tend to be greater.
Some have debated whether one or two-sided presentation is the most effective. Is it better to just present one side of an issue or to give both sides? Research to date indicates that the one-sided approach is more effective if the audience is unintelligent, authoritarian or already in agreement with the stated position. Generally, however, the two-sided approach works better because the presenter sounds more objective (Jones and Brehm, 1970).
Cognitive dissonance is an inner tension resulting from the attempt to hold two contrasting thoughts at the same time (Festinger 1957). One of those thoughts may result from behavior, therefore, if an attitude contradicts action, dissonance results.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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