Topic 1: Obedience and Conformity
One example of obedience is how children obey their parents but sometimes won’t obey other people, such as babysitters. Children are quick to listen to their parents, but many kids will not listen to other adults or people older than them because they are testing authority and they are trying to determine where the boundaries are. For example, if a babysitter tells a child to not eat a sugary sweet, they may continue to ignore them, but if their parent intervenes and tells them to stop, the child will most likely listen. If the babysitter gives in and allows them to eat the sugary treat, the child will remember this next time they are in the babysitter’s presence.
One example of conformity is people choosing to go somewhere that they may not want to go because someone else or multiple people are going to that place. For example, there are cases where some students attend a college because their friends are going to the same school, even though they may not want to attend that school. This could apply to all levels of education, such as high school, and this can pertain to joining clubs and activities as well.
Topic 2: Expectations and Stereotype
Gender stereotypes are a widely discussed topic, and many of these stereotypes come into play when children are young. A few examples of gender stereotypes and expectations are hyper masculinity, hyper femininity, women should be dainty, men cannot display emotions, women can’t play a certain sport or dress a certain way because “it’s for boys”, and boys should not like certain things because they are too “girly”. These are just a few examples of stereotypical sayings and beliefs, which unfortunately are taught at a young age. Young boys and girls hear these sayings that categorize them into the stereotypical woman or man. I believe stereotyping is a very negative thing, and this applies to all topics such as gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, etcetera. I feel as though these beliefs can have a lingering effective into adulthood since these views are being somewhat forced onto children at a young age. I think children should be allowed to like what they like or dress how they feel or play a sport or play with certain toys because they enjoy them; just because something falls into a different society imposed gender “category” does not mean a child of the opposite sex cannot like it, play it, etcetera.
Topic 3: Social comparison theory
As stated in the textbook, social comparison theory can be defined as “theory that states we seek to evaluate our abilities and beliefs by comparing them with those of others”. This theory can be divided into two categories: upward (those superior to use) and downward (those inferior to us). One prime example of this is students comparing grades on exams or projects with their friends or acquaintances. When students receive their grades, one of the first things they do, besides checking their score, is ask their friends how they did on the test or assignment. This is a prime example of the social comparison theory because students will often compare grades with students who they believe are more intelligent than them and those who they believe are not as smart as them to validate or justify their score. For example, if an exam is very difficult and a student does not do well, they might compare with someone who normally receives lower test scores than them to justify the fact that their score really is not horrible, even if they did poorly. On the other hand, if a test was easy, a student might compare their score with someone who normally scores very high on exams so their high score is justified and it boosts their self-esteem because they received a score equivalent to the person who normally does very well. This is a really interesting theory, and I believe it applies to students of all ages. Personally, I don’t think comparing grades with others is a good thing because although sometimes a person’s self-esteem may be boosted because they did well, students who did not do well now feel inferior and not as intelligent. I think it’s better to keep grades to yourself; you can still be proud of a grade and not compare it with others and potentially hurt someone’s self-confidence because they received a lower score than you.
Diffusion of Responsibility
This is the act of reducing feelings of personal responsibility in the presence of others. An example of this is back when I was about 7. I was on the monkey-bars at a playground when I fell off and broke my arm. I was crying a lot and my dad was not anywhere in sight, so I was just sitting on all the mulch screaming and crying because of the pain. Not a single person came over to help me except the one friend I had made there that day. She kindly brought me over to my dad, but not a single parent, kid, grandparent came over to assist me. They all probably thought that someone else would eventually come help me or see if I was okay, so they didn’t bother.
Mass hysteria is an outbreak of irrational behavior that is spread by social contagion. A well-known example of this is the Salem Witch Trials. There were 4 women who were acting odd and having strange “fits”, so the clergy assumed they were possessed by the devil and sentenced them to death. After this, many other women started to show signs that they use black magic and believe they have skills no one else has. Again, they were told they were acting strange and 21 women (not including the first 4) were accused of the same behavior and also executed.
Personally, the impact of social facilitation has a negative effect on me when it comes to public speaking. It is supposed to enhance my performance by the presence of others, but it does the complete opposite. I can practice for hours in my room and get it perfectly, but as soon as I step in front of a crowd, doesn’t matter the size, I break down. I get so nervous that you can actually hear it in my voice. All the information I once knew seamlessly is now all jumbled up and not in order. Knowing that people are watching and all their attention is on me makes everything 100x worse than when I practice by myself.
This one I experience the most, especially in relationships. Just because the person’s cute appearance, I tend do think this is a good person. I often find him or her more trustworthy. I project his or her more approachable and they would have a pleasant character.
I am very introvert and shy to speak in front of people, but I will also sing along loudly in a concert. I will also shout loudly cheering for athletes when watching sports games. When people bury themselves in groups, personal awareness becomes very light. We tend to do what other people do.
Diffusion of responsibility
Sometimes I find myself could do a project on my own very efficiently. But in group, we tend to count on others to do the work. We don’t feel responsible for the project because we are just part of it. At last, it turns out that the group work is not as good as individual work.
A friend of mine actually displays the social facilitation very much. According to him, he gets excited when people are watching him. To a certain extent, he feels nervous, but the nervous could be a positive driver and make him outperform. I think this is very interesting because I can never be myself in front of a lot of people.