Social Psychology: Why Do We Interact The Way We Do?

Decent Essays
Why do we humans interact the way that we do? Why do we act a certain way in one situation, but differently in another? Why are some capable of committing heinous crimes while others are not? These questions can only be answered by social psychology. According to Science Daily, social psychology is defined as the study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. The psychology of social interactions has explained various situations as to why we humans interact the way that we do. From the Holocaust to today’s politics, social psychology has not only played a part in major world events, but in our everyday lives. Furthermore, three psychologists conducted three experiments…show more content…
Psychologist Solomon Asch replicated fellow psychologist Muzafer Sherif’s 1935 conformity experiment because he felt that there was no correct answer or conclusion that came from it. Therefore, he conducted his own to find the answer to his question, “Why do Americans want to be like each other?” There were 50 male students at Swarthmore College chosen to partake in this experiment, which they assumed was a vision test. One participant was placed in a room with seven “confederates”, or men who were in on the experiment. The participant was not aware they these confederates weren’t participants like themselves. Three lines were presented to the confederates and the participant, and they were all asked which one was the longest (Line A, Line B, or Line C). This is where the jobs of the confederates came in; they all declared the obviously wrong line. At this point, it was up to the participant whether he would conform with the group and declare the wrong line as well, or go against the group and choose the correct line. This experiment consisted of 18 trials, 12 trials in which confederates declared the wrong answer. Lastly, there was a control group in which had no confederates, only real participants. In the results, Asch discovered that an average of 1/3 of the participants conformed to the majority. During the 12 critical trials, 75% of participants…show more content…
Professor Philip Zimbardo conducted an experiment to figure out whether the brutal tendencies of prison guards were due to their personalities, or simply their environment. In this experiment, Zimbardo converted the SU basement into a replica of a prison. Following this, he advertised the experiment asking for students to participates in the “prisoner and guard” scenario. About 75 students responded to the ad, and were tested and interviewed in order to checked for psychological disorders or any other disorder which would interfere with the experiment and its results. Out of the 75, 25 students were chosen to participate and were each given $15 a day for their troubles. They were then randomly assigned to one of two roles: prisoner or prison guard. The prisoners and guards were all in groups of three; prisoners in the “cells”, and the prison guards doing their jobs as guards. The prison experience was intended to be as real as possible, prisoners were treated as such. They were arrested, fingerprinted, stripped, and blindfolded. Their personal possessions were confiscated, they were to wear uniforms, and they were referred to by their “ID numbers”. As for the guards, they were all dressed in khaki uniforms, they carried a whistle and a billy club. They were to wear sunglasses to prevent eye contact with the prisoners and were instructed to do whatever
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