PSY201 Week 9: Social Psychology Paper Scenario

1.The main factor that contributed to Sarah’s attitude towards her curfew was social cognition. Partying with friends was yet a new thing to her and she had been hearing of it from her friends but had never been to it due to the restrictions put by her parents. It was her curiosity to better know and understand her society and to see the things that she had heard of which actually made her break the curfew and go to the party. Moreover, there is also an underlying optimistic bias that influenced her decision to do so where she believes that things will turn out to be well overall. So, it is her social cognition that she still does not know very well of her society and that there is more to see and know for which she takes the decision. The fear to miss the things also made her go to the party and disregard the curfew.

2.Sarah has dissonant cognitions in her mind at the time she is going to the party. On one side she has mind her parents’ instructions to follow the curfew and be back home after leaving her school. On the other side she has heard of party from her friends and wishes to be there. These two contradictory cognitions drive her to a psychological state of tension. Here she adjusts the psychological weight of t he two cognitions by paying less importance to the first and breaking the curfew. On the other side she pays higher importance to the cognition received from her friends and goes to the party. While evaluating both the cognitions she is in a state of cognitive dissonance.

3.Sarah confirmed to her per’s beliefs of being a smart, sociable girl. She agreed to their proposal of going to the party and enjoying the night. The most important reasons behind this could be her curiosity to meet and see everyone and how people of her age in her society do and behave. Moreover, there could also be a fear of being considered unsociable and not so socializing type that made Sarah do this. She starts interacting and socializing with people and comes across jack also at the party. She conforms to the social norms which she has learnt through her interaction with the peers at the party.

4.The main reason that Jack feels attracted to Sarah is because they share the same interests. At the party both come to know that they liked the same music and that they also shared a few hobbies. Moreover, Jack also felt attracted to her because she was beautiful and asked her out to a date the following week. Here, all the five factors related to attraction including proximity, association, similarity, reciprocal liking and physical attractiveness are at play. Jack lives in Sarah’s neighborhood so proximity is also a factor behind the attraction. There is association where they are meeting in a situation that they really enjoy, the party. There is also similarity in taste and hobby as well as reciprocal liking as jack can feel that Sarah also likes her. The last important factor is physical attractiveness which is evident when jack discloses to Sarah that he finds her beautiful and physically attractive.

Thus we can see all the factors of attraction at play here. 5.The kind of social interaction which is at display in the fight during the party is conflict. Conflict is generally taken to be a normal and essential part of social interaction. It is not seen as an anomaly but as an essential part of the social landscape. The fight between the two boys at night is also an example of conflict which may have happened and motivated by the pursuit of self interests. It affected others also at the party. People started leaving the party after seeing the conflict as it had influenced their mood for partying negatively. The conflict caused an unpleasant tension among the group and it is why people started leaving the party. 6.The party at night is like a venue of social interaction for Sarah. Here she learns the social norms and customs through her interaction with her peers in the group. Peer groups also act as important referents for customs and social norms as well as serve to teach the members gender roles. This has happened in the case of Sarah and Jack. Sarah is generally restricted to the environment of her home.

Now she comes across an enlarged space of social interaction and learns how popular her peers are and know each other well. She also sees a new form of social interaction in the conflict that takes place between the two boys. These things together shape and influence her behavior as well as her understanding of her society as well as her peer group. It is here through the party that she gets a better chance of socialization than she usually gets while she is restricted to her home. The party and her peer group influence her behavior through increased socialization and give her a better understanding of the group norms and gender roles as well.

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