People Make Decisions To Blend In

1659 words - 7 pages

As people we experience many different situations that make an impact on our lives in one way or another. Think about a situation that has required someone to make a decision. Now think of all the factors that came into play when that person made their final decision. For example, you go to the store and pick one shirt out of ten other shirts to buy. Why? Were friends there encouraging the fact that the shirt looked great on? Was an adult telling you the shirt was the most appropriate to get? Maybe even a store clerk told you the shirt was on sale. Every choice we can make in life comes with certain pressures. Every situation has peer, situational, or authority pressure. If we know these pressures exist then why do we fall susceptible to them? Why do we let choices like smoking cigarettes be influenced by these pressures? The reason people smoke is for many different reasons including peer, situational, and authoritative pressures.
When people are out at the bars or clubs it is not uncommon for them to be drinking. While these people are drinking they will also smoke. However, these people do not smoke when they are not drinking. If a person only smokes because they are drinking it is situational pressure. The article, “What makes good people do bad things?” supports situational pressures. According to Philip G. Zimbardo, who is retired psychology professor at Stanford University and the former APA president, “I argue situational forces dominate most of us at various times in our lives." If situational forces control us at times in our lives it is not hard to understand why people only smoke when they drink. The Stanford Prison Experiment confirms this idea. At the start of the experiment Guard A was quoted saying, “As I am a pacifist and nonaggressive individual I cannot see a time when I might guard and/or maltreat other living things.” Only five days into the experiment Guard A force fed an inmate sausages. Since Guard A was put into a position of control and power he began to act a certain way. When a person is in a situation it is not clear what they will do until they are actually involved and experiencing the condition. If situational pressure causes a person to transform their beliefs not to harm other people then smoking when a person drinks is a less extreme version of situational pressure. However, there are more likely reasons a person smokes like smoking breaks at work.
A majority of people know how hard work can often be. People who smoke get smoking breaks at work. From my personal experience at my job it is two fifteen minute breaks for every six hours you work. The people who do not smoke do not get to take those breaks. Some people at my work have picked up the smoking habit simply because it will give them two more additional breaks in their work day. If a person’s work is stressful, overbearing, or the person is just plain lazy they may reach out to smoking just for the opportunity to get more breaks in their work day....

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