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Is It Worth It or Not?

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Is It Worth It Or Not?

Social Psychology Paper Scenario

March 23, 2014
University of Phoenix

PSY/201 FOUNDATIONS OF PSYCHOLOGY

Is it Worth it or Not?

In the scenario of 15 year old Sarah it is evident that Sarah made some poor choices that were out of character for her. As we see in the reading Sarah is a A student, is for the most part responsible and obedient. Sarah begins school and meets a new set of friends and is exploring her rule boundaries. As Sarah begins to hang out with this new crowd she begins to test those boundaries and goes to a party that she knows she should not have gone to and breaks her parents strict curfew. While this is out of character for Sarah it is not uncommon for teenagers to push boundaries in an effort to develope and test their independence. There were several factors that contributed to Sarah’s uncharacteristic behavior such as her having new friends and wanting to fit in, the fact that she had never been to a party before, and her desire to continue being invited out by these new friends. Sarah’s friends peer pressured her into going to this party by telling her how much fun it was going to be, and how much she would be missing if she didn’t go to the party. This was the biggest reason Sarah broke curfew, because she wanted to fit in with the new crowd and might have been afraid that they wouldn’t invite her again if she didn’t go and it would affect her social life.

Sarah displays cognitive dissonance, which is the excessive mental stress and discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time. This is evident in the fact that Sarah knows she should be at home not breaking her curfew and fears being caught, but at the same time she really wants to go to this party and thinks it is worth the risk to go.

Sarah conforms to the beliefs of her peers by believing that it is worth getting in trouble to go to this party. The friends convenance Sarah that what she would be missing by not going is more important than the fact they she will get in trouble if she goes.

While at the party Sarah meets Jack, an older boy in her school that lives in her neighbor hood. Sarah and Jack share some interests including the same kinds of music. Jack tells Sarah she is beautiful and asks her out on a date. Jack most likely was attracted to Sarah because he found her aesthetically appealing judging her by appearance and first impression of her personality. The Attraction Theory according to The Nature of Human Attraction states that Personal Appearance, Proximity, Similarity, and Complementarity are the main forces behind interpersonal attraction. Personal appearance plays a role in that people tend to have a want to be surrounded by others who are physically attractive, which is believed to come from the idea that attractive people are healthy and are more likely to have healthy children, even if we don't take this into consideration it is said that we do on a subconscious level.The idea behind proximity is that people tend to make bonds with those who surround them, be that at work or the place they live, mainly just people whom they see on a regular basis. When people can relate to each other's experiences, backgrounds, interests, etc... it makes them feel more comfortable and familiar, effectively making it easier to strike up conversation and to continue the process of getting to know each other. It is said that people who are very similar make each other feel better about themselves, this is supportive of similarity.

The social interaction that occurred when the fight broke out at the party is conflict. Conflict is according to merrium webster dictionary is a struggle for power,property etc., a difference that prevents agreement : disagreement between ideas, feelings, or strong disagreement between people, groups,that results in often angry argument. While the conflict that erupted at the party was the reason everyone started leaving and was the reason Sarah and her friends left the party, Sarah still questioned if her decision was worth it or not. The reason this is, is because while conflict is often negative there are benefits to conflict as well. For instance conflict often has significant benefits for group cohesion. It can help to construct group boundaries by helping individuals recognize their common interest, and conflict can help an individual construct their own identities. Sarah and her friends chose to leave the party when the fight broke out showing that they were aware that the party was now not a place they should be and they chose to go home and not be caught up in the conflict.

Sarah’s behaviors were influenced by others behaviors through out the night. She was convinced to break rules and go to the party, she went against her better judgment even at the expense of getting into trouble, she was influenced by Jack and his saying she was beautiful, and when a fight broke out she was influenced by the conflict to go home where she should have been all along when her friends and others left the party.

This was learning experience for Sarah, and she now has the opportunity to reflect on the events of the night and decide for herself if she should continue to hang out with this group of friends, continue to test boundaries, and continue to see Jack. Sarah is now faced with many decisions that she will have to look within herself to determine what the best course of action for herself would be. Is it or is it not worth the risk of getting into trouble in order to hang out with this group of peers?

References:

The Nature Of Human Attraction
This topic submitted by Maggie Perrino, Adam Naylor, Zoe Brickley, and Lena Jasper http://jrscience.wcp.muohio.edu/nsfall01/FinalArticles/TheNatureOfHumanAttractio.html Norman, Jan. – The Evolutionary Theory of Attraction” The Human Sexuality Web 21 April 1998. 8 Oct. 2001.

Article by Samual Frenning Group Research Project : Attraction Theory http://samuelfrenning.efoliomn.com/attraction Brahm, Eric. ( Jun 2013)."Benifits of Conflict." Beyond Intractability. Retrieved March 23, 2014 from .
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