Personal Plan For Success Essay

820 words - 3 pages

Social Psychology PaperPSY201April 7, 2014Social Psychology PaperIn the psychology field, it is essential that professionals learn why people act a certain way to determine their motives. Social psychology is the study of people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In addition, social psychology studies how influences such as social cognition, social influence, and social norms affect people's behavior. What are the causes and influences that affect each person's behavior and make them different? Is it their character, their environment, or their motivations? There are several factors that determine why people behave the way they do. Some of the factors that affect everyone's behavior are attitude, conformity, social interactions, and group influence.Sarah is a young teenager and she has an opportunity to go to a party with her friends. Sarah has a curfew set by her parents and she must decide what her attitude is about breaking the curfew rule. A person's attitude is their thoughts, feelings, and actions toward a specific person, group of people, objects, or situation. A few factors contributed towards Sarah's attitude regarding her curfew. Such as her parent's expectations of her, the social factor of making new friends, and the act of trying something new. Knowing her parents expected a particular behavior from her, the response to this knowing created internal conflict. Since Sarah was making new friends and trying something new, it gave her a sense of belonging. Belonging to a group and social influence can contribute towards a person's attitude.Cognitive dissonance is the internal conflict of deciding what the correct or incorrect response. The cognitive dissonance for Sarah was whether she should ignore the imposed curfew rule and go to a party with her friends. Sarah is feeling discomfort about deciding between her personal beliefs and her parent's expectations versus becoming accepted by her peers. She can resolve the cognitive dissonance by changing her values and beliefs about her parent's expectations.Sarah chose to change her beliefs about her parent's views by conforming to her peers thoughts and actions. Conformity is changing his or her thoughts, beliefs, and feeling to resemble or mirror someone else's thoughts, beliefs, and feelings. The factors that would cause someone to conform to someone else's behavior are due to social pressure, norms, and the sense of belonging. In Sarah's case, the social pressure or peer pressure to go to...

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