1. Describe how being in a crowd can lead people to engage in destructive behaviors
When people join a large crowd, often they find themselves losing their individuality. Some people may feel a strong desire to conform to fit into the crowd (Changing Minds, 2013). People in crowds may undergo deindividuation, which is a loss of individual identity to gain the social identity of the group. This can result in a loss of the normal constraints that a person may have to guard against deviant behavior (Kassin, Fein, & Markus, 2010). This behavior results from the feelings of arousal, anonymity, and a reduction of individual responsibilities. People may feel that in a group their less responsible for actions and behaviors. This can allow people to participate in destructive behaviors without feelings of moral and ethical responsibilities one may have when alone.
Throughout history, destructive behaviors through deindividuation can be seen. For example, during World War II people participated in acts that were morally wrong as a group that they would not have felt was acceptable individually. Deindividuation consists of two environmental cues which are accountability and attentional cues (Kassin et al, 2010). Accountability cues affect the calculation of costs and rewards of behaviors. In a large crowd, accountability may be low making people feel that they are less likely to be caught and punished for behaviors. This can cause them to participate in deviant behaviors. Attentional cues takes the focus of people’s attention off of themselves. When a person is less focused on themselves, they are less likely to use internal standard of behaviors, react more to immediate situations, and may be less sensitive to the long-term consequences of those behaviors.
2. Define the prisoner’s dilemma and the resource dilemma. How can we solve these dilemmas and how might solutions differ between cultures?
The prisoner’s dilemma is a social dilemma that offers two choices for a person. The first choice is a cooperative move in regards to another person, while the second choice is a competitive move (Kassin et al, 2010). In this dilemma, the competitive move is designed to appear to be in the person’s best interest. However, when both people chose to make the competitive move, both suffer more than if they had taken the cooperative move. For example, two suspects being questioned for a crime may be offered a deal for confessing before the other person. This causes the two suspects to have a choice of competing with one another for the deal or cooperating with each other avoiding any deal. To the suspect being questioned, the competitive choice for taking a deal may appear to be in their best interest. However, if both choose to try and take the deal, they will both be punished for the crime. If they choose the cooperative move, the evidence may not have been sufficient to punish either suspect.
The resource dilemma is when two or more people are sharing a limited...