One process that sheds light on the behavior of individuals in groups is deindividuation, which occurs when being part of a group reduces personal identity and erodes the sense of personal responsibility. An example of the effects of deindividuation is the wild street celbrations that errupt after a team's victory in the World Series or Super Bowl.
One explanation for the effects of deindividuation is that groups give us anonymity. When we are part of a group, we may act in an uninhibited wayb because we believe that no one will be able to identify us. The Ku Klux Klan demonstrates a variety of ways that human beings can deindividuate: acting in groups, often under cover of darkness, and wearing white hoods to conceal identity.
The American dream as described by University of Pittsburgh honors student, Micah Larson, may not really be as glorious as it's made out to be. The dream is to go to college, live it up, get a good job, get married, have a family, and make a lot of money. The root of our countricom problems realistically come from selfishness. What's interesting is that Larson uses the word selfish when defining the American Dream. It's primary focus is "what's going to be best for me and only me?" The selfish dream however, does not fulfill. There's always more, we always want better, and nothing is ever good enough. If a man who makes $30,000 a year has a goal to make $40,000 (the national average per household), once he gets there, he still won't be satisfied, he will want to be making 50. The chain is never ending. This constant desto bee be doing better holds people captive to an impossible perfect world.
Unlike China, the American people are very exposed to the world around them. In the states, you have influences coming at you from every direction, both from the media and the great diversity of other people. China on the other hand is very closed from community. "When I lived in China, I never even knew my own neighbor." Before coming to American Wenzhou Liu had the interpretation that the US is stuck up, that we think we are better and more important than anyone else. After living here for several months now he has actually changed his opinion, deciding that Americans are not so much stuck up, but ignorant to the rest of the world is like.
Psychologist encourages conscious fight against idealized body image Duke Chronicle “This is a perfect model of that [mission] that takes ideas from social psychology.” Prevention is a crucial element of treating eating disorders that continues to...
One of the biggest life lessons I learned in Chile was to tell time. My first week her, I quickly learned that American time and Chilean time are two very different things. An American hour is about four Chilean hours. Being early is being rude, and being a little late is being a little too early. Life here is not such a busy rushed through life. If you're going to be late for a meeting because you woke up late, you might as while go shower, eat a good breakfast, drink your tea or coffee, then leave because any way you slice it, you're going to be late. I learned not to wear a watch or always have an eye on the clock because they can't count the moments. You can't plan your life that's already been determined. You've just got to live it out, and make the most of it. Although it's corny and even a little played-out, Y.O.L.O. says it best.
Shawn Ramsay's insight:
Taken from online interview with Alyson McAtee and student fom Pittsburgh PA living and studying in Santiago Chile.
To begin, I think that the American identity is defined by work, work, and more work! When we are asked who we are, we respond by what we do, where we work, and things of that nature. We don't know how to relax and do nothing; and it took me coming to Chile to figure that out. We see idleness as a negative, unproductive thing instead of an opportune time to reflect, pray, meditate, or even to just plain ol' think. As the author of "Eat, Pray, Love", Elizabeth Gilbert pointed out; the American media is filled with advertisements trying to convince the American people that we deserve a treat or a break. Take Kit Kat's, Snickers, Twix, and just about every beer commercial as examples. In other countries, at least not Chile for example, it won't work because they already value breaks, rest, and lead balanced lives.
I do believe the United States has a huge focus on making a lot of money instead of doing what you love. However, I think that in the US there is a lot less criticism on people that watn to do something besides becoming a doctor or an engineer. Jobs like artist, clothing designer, a singer, and a gardener are virtually nonexistent.
About being consumed by sex and material things... These things are not only American traits; they are more like generational traits. Although the people are so affectionate, ;loving, and passionate, many people tell me that
chile and many other South American countries were once more sexually conservative. I think this proves to be true with the US too.
As a society, we have created a mentality that "EVERYTHING is okay". The one thing that is not considered acceptable is to dissagree. All that matters is that everybody be happy with themselves, and nothing else. Even as far as the church, its become all about doing whatever you want as long as it makes you happy. Christianity is not a do whatever you want religion though. Why do we volunteer or give to charity? Reallistically it;s usually because it makes us feel good about ourselves. The church was designed by Jesus for selfless people to lay down their lives for one another. Not a happy everything is okay center.
Shawn Ramsay's insight:
Taken from interview with Church Leader Micah Larson
Even though they are very close geographically, society in the US differs greatly than that of Mexico. In Mexico family means everything, everything is focused and family, and they live to support each other. In the States however the focus is more on self, how we can support ourselves and get ahead individually. "It seems like people in the states see what they want, and then they go for it, in Mexico we see what we need and work for it." Said Roberto Guzman, a student at Virginia Tech from Mexico. Guzman also commented that the US also focuses more on material items. An example would be Christmas. In Mexico Christmas is about nothing other than the birth of Christ, not even children receive presents, while in the United States Christ has almost been forgotten as we treat the Holidays as a time of silly fun and gift giving.
by Alice G. Walton But when it comes to online interaction, we’re assaulted with the annoying highlights of the lives of every Tom, Dick, and Harry we’ve clicked a button to accept into our lives – whether they’re actual friends, or people we’ve...
Joe Henrich, Steven Heine and Ara Norenzayan are shaking up psychology and economics with their view of how culture shapes human thought and behavior. (Fascinating piece re cultural differences & social science findings.
This, however, is no more than an illusion; everyday we are influenced by what others think and do, looking for clues on how to behave in ambiguous situations or changing our behavior in order it to be tuned to how others behave.
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