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Week 9 Essay

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By abeatrez82
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Sarah has been an honest, humble person, which wants nothing but the best for herself and her friends. She is young and does not understand the impact that her choices effect numerous people. For example the fact that she did not leave to go home because of curfew indicates that she is thinking that it is alright for her to forego curfew and the wishes of her family. Instead she gave into the peer pressure that was administered by her new friends. There are additional factors that contribute to Sarah’s attitude and reasons why she did what she did. First it was apparent that Sarah suffered from a case of Normative social influence, which defined as a need to conform due to social pressures. Due to the fact that she was new to the school and the group that she was hanging out with did not want her to do, it made her make a choice of going to the party. Second is a combination of items, unanimous group of people, giving her response in front of everyone, and she had a high level of admiration for her new friends. The feeling of acceptance and knowing that you “fit in” with a group of people is one of the most important things for a fifteen year old female. She needs to have the reassurance that comes along with it. Finally, Sarah suffered for parts of the evening from cognitive dissonance, which is defined as 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 similar to the illustrations that are available in cartoons or comic strips, where there is an Angel on one shoulder and a Devil on the opposite. In the reading there were indications of Sarah feeling this way. For example in the reading it gave the following “while she knew that she should be at home, obeying her curfew and was worried that she was going to get caught,” within that quoted sentence it give us the example that she is torn between obeying her parents and their curfew, or is it best to stay at the party and have a wonderful time there without her parents’ permission or knowledge. There could be many reasons why Jack found Sarah attractive the night they meet at the party. First, the two live in very close proximity to each other, and studies show that two people are more likely to date or spend time together merely because they live in the same neighborhood. Second, Jack found Sarah beautiful, which fulfills another element of the Factors in Attraction. The simple fact that Jack was initially physically attracted to Sarah is what made the two initially start talking. If Sarah was not an attractive girl in Jack’s eyes the conversation probably would not have ever happened. Most men will initiate a conversation on the simple fact that a woman is attractive, if there is anything in common, then that is a bonus for him. Third and final example of Factors in Attraction for this example is that Sarah, and Jack have a few different things in common and they are as follows: they have similar friends, both attend the same high school, lastly both share and interest in the same music. These examples are all very important to Sarah and Jack’s meeting. For example if they did not have similar friends one of the two would not be in attendance at the party, and the chances of them meeting would be greatly reduced. Prior to the two individuals starting a fight outside of the house at the party, it is safe to assume that people were have a good time with their friends and acquaintances. But, as soon as the interruption of the fight broke out there seemed to be a sense of awkwardness to each other. They altercation ruined the vibe of the group. The people who were at the party seemed to develop a for a Group polarization while in attendance. Group polarization is defined as the likelihood that the attitudes of members of a team will become more similar over time. Now I understand that the scenario does not fit the definition exactly in the sense that the definition talks about a team, and we are talking about people at a party enjoying themselves. But, the thing that makes me believe that Group polarization is valid in this example is by the way the document stated that people decided to leave after the fight, with little to no discussion it seems. The above are the reasons that indicate that Sarah was indeed confused about the peer pressure that she experienced from her new friends. What Sarah needs to do is find the justification for breaking her parents’ wishes by not being home in time for curfew, rather her decision to go to a party where she meet a boy and other new friends. The fact with this example does not come down to whether it was right or wrong of Sarah to do what she did. The fact is that she was wrong doing it, but I can see how she would justify it as being a good decision, and would probably do it again.

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