These influences shape our personalities and have an impact on our behavior as we grow into adulthood. A stage, players. Entrances, All the world’s And all the men and women merely They have their exits and their And one man in his time plays many parts, (Shakespeare. As PU like it) The many parts that people play are acted out as part off group. That group could be a crowd at a football match, a union, a workforce or a number of other collective bodies. Depending on the makeup of these bodies, they can have both positive and negative influences on a person’s fife, the groups in which we belong to make up our social identity.Order now
In groups the pressure from our peers play a role in our influences. These can often lead someone to do something that is out of character for them. This essay will show the positive and negative influences and the different roles that are played out, In turn influencing people?s lives. An experiment Vass carried out by Phillip Zimmerman (1971) cited in Spoors et al (2011) in which showing how a role that was given to someone can influence the way that person behaves. Zimmerman along with some colleagues set up an experiment within a prison environment.
A group Of male participants were randomly selected to take part. These participants were put into two groups, ‘guard’ and ‘prisoner. The experiment was scheduled to last NON weeks, after just six days it was cancelled. This was due to the roles being taken too seriously, the ‘guard’ had become to brutal and abusive and the ‘prisoner’ showed signs of emotional disturbance. This example shows how negatively groups can influence people as individuals and that the role and behavior changes according to the groups that the participants were assigned to.
Jail itself is not a positive experience, the norm is that people are sent there as a form of punishment. The ‘guards’ and ‘prisoners’ may have been influenced as to the group norms by such things as films, T. V programs and stories as told by friends and family. Being part to a group can give an individual a feeling of belonging, a sense of identity and raise self esteem, helping that person define who they are. Evidence to this can be found in an experiment conducted by Muzzier as read in Spoors et al (2011). Muzzier divided a boys camp into two groups.
At the start the two groups where cohesive with one another showing norms of behavior such as joke telling a forming secret codes, highlighting the positive effects that are created by in- group mentality. The experimenters then set up a competition within the two groups in the form of a tournament. With this generated bad sportsmanship, name calling, group hostility, aggression and prejudice towards the members of the opposite groups were shown. However within the group itself, loyalty, solidarity and cooperation Where are at a high.
Page 3 Many people have been part of a group in some way or another whether that is wrought work or a social club. An individual may feel that they have to conform their ways just to fit in with a group. An experiment performed by Cash (1955) as cited in Spoors et al (2011) showed evidence on how a person can be pressured into conformity. For this Cash placed six participants seated at a table. All six where shown a picture of a vertical line, they where then given another picture with three more different sized lines on it. Each person in turn where then asked to pick out the line equal to the original picture.
The entire group except one was n league with the experimenter who all in turn gave the wrong answer. This was done to see whether the one participant would conform to the groups answer. The need to feel accepted by the group may have influenced that one person to conform to their standard in turn giving the wrong answer even though the correct answer was obvious. Not all groups have negative influences on a person’s life; they are those that play a vital role in shaping of a personality these are the influences that could change someone for the better.
A great example of this is told by Japanese/American women by the name of Doreen Condo (1990). An extract, cited in Spoors et al (2011) that was taken from Condo’s book describes how she spent 26 months in Japan, Staying with a Japanese family while she was researching their culture. Condo explains how at first she finds the whole experience both challenging and disturbing and how she was being trained in the ways of their behavior and routine. During her stay Condo did her very best to conform to What she believed the expectation Of her should be, Those such as a guest, daughter, housewife, young women and prodigal Japanese.
The social expectations that she felt surrounded her included being observing to the male,’head of household during mealtimes. These involved them being served first and receiving the finest delicacies. This way of practice, Condo mentions how no matter how she tried, she could never get use to it. She also found that the obligations of those from a Japanese social life became increasingly important to her and in turn felt bound by these obligations giving her a positive feeling of belonging. In conclusion this essay explains how by being a part off group can lead to have a powerful influence on a person’s thinking and their behavior.
The positive memberships give an individual the sense of belonging and inverse that person’s self esteem. However, becoming part of a group can also influence in a negative way. This is because within a group, the expectations be high and with that an individual could feel pressured to conform to the group standard that are expected This gives a feel of group identity which can turn into competitiveness which can then escalate into conflict and discrimination. Word count: 1019 Reference List Spoors, P. Dyer, E. And r-inlet, L (2011). Starting with psychology. Milton Keynes. The Open University.