Social Influences on Behavior

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By destinyriedel
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Running Head: SOCIAL INFLUENCES ON BEHAVIOR

Social Influences on Behavior Paper Destiny Kloepfer Psych 300 March 20, 2011 Mr. Avery Social Influences on Behavior Behaviorism, explores ways in which observable behavior is learned and shaped by the environment (McAdams, D. P., 2006). “Social influence, refers to the influence of the presence of other people on thought, feeling, and behavior” (Kowalski & Westen, 2009, p. 663). The affects of social influence from environments can have both positive and negative consequences. Each individual approaches situations with their own set of personal characteristics (McAdams, D. P., 2006); however different aspects of influence determine how an individual may modify their behaviors to react in a given situation. Let us explore two examples of socially influenced behaviors to better understand the affects they may have on an individual. Obedience The blind obedience to authority study conducted by Stanley Milgram is an example of how social influence can actually change the way an individual will behave regardless of personal belief in the presence of an authority figure in a hierarchical situation (Kowalski & Westen, 2009).
The Milgram experiment measured obedience to an authority figure through electric shocks which were given by study participants to another person upon directives given from whom the participants thought of as an authority figure (Kowalski & Westen, 2009). Milgram’s study showed how far people would go to obey orders from an authority figure.

Description Obedience is the act of carrying out commands in compliance to authority (Kowalski & Westen, 2009). Information gathered from the Web site for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (2011) tells us that in World War II, Jewish slave laborers were recruited by Nazi’s…...

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