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Ethics and criminal justice: social Influences on behavior - Essay Example

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Social influences are characterized by an individual’s emotions,behavior and opinions being influenced and affected by other people around them in the community or society. Social influences take many forms that can be manifested in various ways,with the most notable ones being conformity,peer pressure,socialization,obedience,persuasion…
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Ethics and criminal justice: social Influences on behavior
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"Ethics and criminal justice: social Influences on behavior"

Download file to see previous pages Social influences are characterized by an individual’s emotions, behavior and opinions being influenced and affected by other people around them in the community or society. Social influences take many forms that can be manifested in various ways, with the most notable ones being conformity, peer pressure, socialization, obedience, persuasion, leadership, marketing and sales. There exist varieties of social influence including compliance, which is seen when people agree with other people’s opinions despite having reservations about these opinions. . Identification is a social influence that is characterized by people being influenced by a person who is held in high regard like famous people, celebrities and politicians. Internalization encompasses the aspect that involves people accepting a behavior or belief, and they agree with notions either publicly or privately. Social influences are aspects in people’s daily lives that they perceive as accepted and normal, and they form the basis upon which people base their judgments. Social influences determine what members of a particular society regard as a duty or obligation. This paper is based on ethics and criminal justice, and it seeks to discuss social influences on behavior. The opinions and norms of our friends, relatives and associates have the ability to influence our behaviors and beliefs. This can be explained by the notion of identification in which people will seek to identify with their colleagues’ opinions and norms in order for them to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance (Conser et al, 2011). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can also be applied in this explanation whereby the need to feel a sense of belonging and love predisposes an individual to conform to other people’s norms and opinions in order to be accepted. The impact of societal norms and beliefs on an individual depend on their role and function in that particular society with respect to their responsibilities. The need to conform to what is regarded as right in society is regarded as informational social influence; this predisposes an individual to social proofing (Darley, Messick & Tyler, 2010). Informational influence leads people to accepting or believing information from other parties that pertains to the substance and evidence of reality. A multitude of factors comes into play for informational influence to have a significant impact on an individual especially where informational influences are concerned. Informational social influences have an impact on an individual when this person has discrepancies in their certainty of events in their perception and belief system (Lorenz et al, 2011). A disagreement between individual and societal norms leads a person to conform to opinions and norms that serve their greatest interest and wellbeing. Normative social influences are determined largely by societal norms in the sense that an individual adopts views and opinions according to the positive expectations of others around them in society (Pratkanis, 2010). These two psychosocial needs have different outcomes with regard to an individual’s perceptions, beliefs and opinions. Informational social influences result to individualistic or private compliance, whereas normative influences lead to public/societal compliance or acceptance (Vago & Nelson, 2009). Police officers are a component of the law enforcement and criminal justice system of any given country, and they are trained on how to effectively handle and deal with different situations and circumstances. Police officers are prone to various aspects and factors of social influences in their duty and obligations as enforcers of the law of the land and jurisdictions they serve. Police officers are mandated to enforce to the rule of law and maintain peace and order in societies and communities that have different customs, traditions and practices that in most cases differ from their established norms. The training that police officers receive ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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