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Social Pressure and Perception

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Social Pressure and Perception Introduction Picture yourself in the following scenarios, you've answered an advert in the local paper to take part in an experiment for psychology purposes, you arrive along with others but not realising that you are the only true volunteer. You are all placed in a darkened room and the only thing you can see is a pin point of light which tends to move (The Autokinetic Effect). Then later your all asked how much the pin points of light moved and then compared the answers collected from the other volunteers (Stooges). As an individual you give your answer which is different from your group answer. Another experiment involves two cards, one contains a single vertical line and the other card contains three different lengths of vertical lines. The end result in both of these experiments shows how we conform to others. I'm going to explain in two ways in depth how we "Conform" to others, the "Self Concept" and "Obedience". At the end of this essay you will see that I've noted how important it is that we meet the BPS ethical guidelines when experiments like these are done. ...read more.


As we grow and develop our self into the unique human we are today we see ourselves through others. Charles Horton Cooley proposed the theory "Looking Glass Self" the process of developing a self-image on the basis of the messages we get from others, as we understand them. There are three components to the looking glass self: 1. We imagine how we appear to others. 2. We imagine what their judgement of that appearance must be. 3. We develop some self-feeling such as pride or mortification, as a result of our imagining others judgement. 4. Charles Cooley basically tells us that we use others as a mirror and that is how we think others see us. In 1969 Michael Argyle described four main factors that affect the way an individuals self concept develops and is maintained in day to day living. These factors are: 1. Other peoples reactions for instance if we are talking to another person and they seem to look at something else or seem to be "in another place" we feel that we are dull and boring the other person or don't seem interesting enough for the other person to want to pay full attention. ...read more.


Ultimately 65% of all the "teachers" punished the "learners" to the maximum 450 volts. No subject stopped before reaching 300 volts. Based on the BPS Ethical Guidelines, Milgrams experiment has been criticized previously because the following BPS Ethical Guidelines had not been met: 1. Consent: The students had not been correctly informed about the experiment and the true details of the experiment had been withheld. 2. Deception: Throughout Milgrams experiment deceit has played a big part as the students were not informed that the "Learner" was in fact a stooge and that no shocks had actually been administered. 3. Withdrawal from the investigation: The students were informed that they could withdraw from the experiment at any time but they were made to feel that what they were doing was permitted and that they should carry on with the experiment. Conclusion My conclusion is that it is very important that we, us, "I" look and use others to shape our own personalities and to attempt to become the better person than the next. Having the BPS Ethical Guidelines in place enables experiments like Asch and Sherif to take place in a safe and assured environment but at the same time getting the results intended. ...read more.

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