Social psychology is the “scientific discipline that attempts to understand and explain how the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others” (Franzoi, 2009).
It is important to learn how people react in social situations. The first concept picked for this paper is the bystander effect, which is a form of altruism involving helping a person in need. Experimenters have found that the presence of another bystander tends to inhibit action.
Daley and Latane found this true during their experiment in which they had participants separated in different rooms only contact was through microphones. During this experiment they simulated an epileptic attack: “They played a tape recording of a supposed epileptic seizure on the part of one of the participants. In experimental condition, each person was led to believe that he or she was the only one whose intercom was tuned in during the seizure; in other conditions, each person was led to believe that one or more people were also tuned in” (Aronson, 2008).
They concluded that when the conditions changed and more people were tuned in to the attack it was less likely that any bystander would try to help. Through their experiments Darley and Latane “developed a multistage model of the decision-making process that underlies bystander interventions: Bystanders must notice emergency, interpret it as one, assume personal responsibility to intervene, decide how to intervene, and then actually intervene” (Kowalski & Westen, 2011).
... the purpose of a control in an experiment? Does every experiment require a control? Answer: The purpose ... all sorts of stuff. Some of the conditions were that the hypothesis would turn out ... Answer: Some of the experimental conditions were that the 50 subjects I got, it ... It wouldn't have mattered anyways. What experimental conditions are responsible for the results that were obtained? ...
Social psychologists look at recursors that might cause certain behaviors. In the bystander effect people evaluate if the situation is an emergency. Experimenters have found that one main precursor involved is how others will perceive their actions. Many bystanders do not want to help because they do not want to look foolish to other bystanders. This will affect how they proceed in helping someone in need. People who live in large cities are more likely to exhibit this behavior because there is no sense of collectivism.
In smaller towns the bystander effect is different because people know each other and do exhibit collectivism. social facilitation is associated with the bystander effect. Social Facilitation is the phenomenon in which the presence of people facilitates or hinders individual performance. When more people are involved it hinders individual performance. As stated in Kowalski and Westen, the more people involved the more decisions people need to make. They must inventory the situation and also evaluate if other onlookers will frown upon their actions.
Therefore, social facilitation impacts the behavior of the bystander. Another concept that has been studied by social psychologist is Aggression. Their focus is on why people resort to aggressive actions. Aggression is defined as “intentional behavior aimed at causing either physical or psychological pain” (Aronson, 2009).
Social psychologist finds it useful to distinguish between hostile aggression and instrumental aggression. Hostile aggression refers to an act of aggression stemming from a feeling of anger and aimed at inflicting pain or injury.
In instrumental aggression there is an intention to hurt the other person, but the hurting takes place as a means to some goal other than causing pain. Social psychologists have found that there are many precursors that affect people’s behavior during a time of aggression. Many experiments have found a correlation between weather and aggression. It has been noted that aggressive behavior increases in the summer time when the temperature is at its highest. Other precursors that are present during aggressive episodes are pain or discomfort.
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Many times when people are feeling pain or discomfort they lash out at others in frustration of their own pain. As stated in Social Animal, “if an organism experiences pain and cannot flee the scene, it will almost invariably attack” (Aronson, 2009).
By the same token, observers have speculated that other forms of bodily discomfort, such as heat, humidity, air pollution, and offensive odors, might act to lower threshold for aggressive behavior (Aronson, 2009).
Social psychology has found that aggressive behavior can be associated with groupthink and social facilitation.
This phenomenon associated with aggression is dependent on the situation. For example, it might be influenced by groupthink if attending a sports event and the opposing team is provoking an altercation. In this case the group of bystanders will fuel the fire and promote an aggressive action. Social facilitation can also be a factor because the actions of others might influence people’s actions. In conclusion, social psychology plays a great role in understanding individuals behaviors and the reasoning behind it.
This paper has examined behaviors and the context in which they occur. It has also provided analysis of possible precursors that occur in the bystander effect and aggression. It also analyzed associated phenomenon such as social facilitation, social loafing, and groupthink. References Kowalski, R. , & Westen, D. (2011).
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Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley &Sons Aronson, E. (2009).
The Social Animal (11th ed. ).
New York, NY: Worth Publishers. Stephen , L. (2009).
Social Psychology (5th ed. ).
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