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Social Influence on behavior - Essay Example

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Social Influence on Behavior Customer inserts his/her name Institution’s name Human behavior is often not standalone in nature. A major consideration is, therefore, the social surroundings in which one dwells. Humans are social animals whose behavior is often influenced by and changes in the presence of others…
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Social Influence on behavior
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Download file to see previous pages The other recognizes the phenomenon of impression management when politicians try to impress their followers through favorable self-presentation. One example is that of a pilot of a crashing airplane who engages in groupthink. This is because the pilot relies on managers at the Aviation centre and air traffic control authorities who in turn rely on the engineers who are responsible for designing the aircraft. Usually airplanes have a certain rule whereby the take off is cancelled or delayed in the event of any anticipated defect or problem in the aircraft. However, the aircraft personnel may refuse to listen to the warnings issued by the control tower regarding safety hazards, thereby certifying that the aircraft is ready to take off. Engineers may also refrain from issuing warnings to secure their position. One of the major causes of this behavior by the pilot is the groupthink phenomenon as highlighted in social psychology. This is because individuals make their decisions based on both the central route (involving cognitive information processing) as well as peripheral route (involving environmental cues) (Petty, Cacioppo, & Schumann, 1983). Therefore, both the rational and non-rational modes of decision-making co-exist even in the most complex situations. Rational decision-making may be defined as the identification and evaluation of alternative courses of action (Wilcox, 2010). Irrational decision-making, on the other hand, is defined as paying little heed to alternatives available and relying on instincts to make a decision (Wilcox, 2010). In the case of the crashing plane (discussed previously) the panic generated by an alarming situation (such as warnings from the control tower or air traffic authorities) can cause the pilot to resort to irrational decisions based on his/her past experiences or intuition. This can most likely be attributed to the lack of time available in such a crisis situation whereby the pilot may not have the time to evaluate alternatives available. Furthermore, few of the eight symptoms of group may be identified to this case. An illusion of invulnerability may exist if the airline has never had a fatal disaster before with the same level of risks as present in the current case. This can cause crew members to become overly optimistic and proceed with a faulty decision. Collective rationalization occurs when the crew members do not question the viability of landing with a technical fault in the plane. Stereotyping of out-groups occurs when the crew members discount all warnings issued by the control tower. Pressure on dissenters is also imminent as engineers failed to issue warnings to secure future contracts with the aircraft. Another example of another social behavior is that political campaigning. Politicians have since long made use of the concept of Impression Management in portraying a favorable perception of themselves. This is because, in order to prosper and gain fame, political candidates must be able to have people develop a favorable impression of themselves. This has been combined with the use of self-presentation which is synonymous to impression management. Referring to the theory of planned behavior, politicians use political campaigning to form favorable attitudes of themselves which results in positive beliefs and consequently positive behavior (in the form of supporters voting for the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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