Understanding Pat Using Social Psychology Research
Through social media and technology, people are more connected now than any other time is history. Human connections are powerful and results of these interactions can range from the heroes on Flight 93 to terrible atrocities like the Holocaust or Rwanda. Understanding cultural and social influence builds a foundation for understanding what makes people do what they do or do not do.
There are several theories that support social psychology. For example, attribution theory suggests that you tend to attribute the behavior of others to either disposition or external situation (Heider, 1958). Just as circumstances and disposition impact behavior, attitudes are also predictors of behaviors. Peripheral route persuasion argues that attitude changes are influenced by things, such as attractiveness or celebrity. Alternatively, central route persuasion argues that attitudes change based on scientific evidence and arguments. Central route persuasion is much more thoughtful and more likely to influence behavior. Additionally, external influences and personal attitudes influence your behavior.
For this assignment, you will choose one social psychology theory and apply it to Pat’s behavior.
To prepare for this Assignment:
- Review Module 36, “Social Thinking and Social Influence,” in the course text. Focus on attribution, social facilitation, and cognitive dissonance research.
- Select one of the following research areas:
- Social facilitation research
- Attribution research
- Cognitive dissonance research
Submit by Day 7 a paper of 2–3 pages in which you apply the research area you selected to Pat’s case study. Be specific and use examples from the case study to support your answer.
Pat’s boss: Pat is somewhat of a laidback worker. She does not seem to take her work seriously. She is late getting to work sometimes, and she takes long breaks to smoke and to be alone.
Pat’s best friend: Pat has had a rough life. She suffers from a lot of emotional stuff. She is a good person, though. She just has it tough. I have had a rough life, so I know a little of what she’s going through.
Pat’s medical doctor: Pat has always done better in groups. When she was in the hospital, she seemed to be able to complete tasks better, and she seemed to be able to make better decisions for herself. I think this was, in part, because she had other people around her who could encourage her.
Pat’s mom: I wish she would stop smoking. She used to tell me she wanted to stop smoking. She must have tried a million times. She just never could do it. After a while, she started saying that she did not want to stop smoking because “I’m going to die anyway. I like smoking. It calms me down, and we are all going to die someday.”