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Motives Understanding Of Social Influence (Essay Sample)


Answer Each Question Separately.
Question 1: Which of the five core social motives (belonging, understanding, controlling, enhancing self, trusting others) do you think best explains the psychology of evil as discussed in Dr. Philip Zimbardo's talk?
Question 2: What is your social capital? Take this quiz to find out:
How do you make sense of your results? Would you like to increase your social capital further?
Question 3: Contrary to what is stated in the text, a recent replication of the Milgram obedience paradigm was published by Burger in 2009 in American Psychologist. Read a review of this research here:
Are you surprised by the findings? Are you surprised that the Milgram obedience study has been recently replicated?


Social Influence
Question one
Susan Fiske developed the five core social motives which are useful in understanding social influence. The motives are belonging, understanding, controlling, enhancing self and trusting. In belonging element, people feel better when identified with a group where they bond together. Understanding aspect refers to where people arrive at particular social levels and thus take each other positively. Controlling motive is where people have the opportunity of competing and becoming effective in the environment. Enhancing self on the other hand, people become hopeful that the society will find them of importance and thus worth. In trusting social motive, people are exposed in an environment that makes them feel comfortable in activities participation.
Dr. Philip Zimbardo's Ted talk about the psychology of evil is best explained by belonging social motive. The motive states that people are social beings and feel happy when identified with particular groups. As interaction continues, solid relationships are formed, and the formed team tends to act in similar ways. One of the contributors of this is the motivation that makes people cooperate. Zimbardo's Ted talk explains cases where people take part in evil deeds, as they seek the belonging social motive. He says that the line between good and evil is thin, as moral people could easily get influenced to act immorally and the vice versa (Zimbardo 1995). The idea makes Zimbardo define evil as an exercise of power with the intent of psychologically or physically harming people.
Philip Zimbardo describes the case of US army reservists, who were accused of taking part in evil acts during Iraq War, where prisoners were humiliated. However, the accused soldiers committed evil, because they were kept in an environment where torturing was allowed, as the prisoners were to be humiliated so that they could offer true information during interrogation. Therefore, the guards had to commit evil, for them to fit in the interrogation group. Otherwise, they would be considered betrayers and thus rejected, making them unhelpful. The belonging type of social motive is thus destructive at times, as people tend to commit crimes for them to be identified with a certain group, considering that humans are social beings.
Question Two
From the quiz, the social capital attained is high in both online and offline interactions. There are people to consult offline, mostly during the hard times which forms strong bonds. The high offline social capital also helps in forming a sense of belonging to people as are they there for each other at all times. On the high online social capital, one becomes diverse, as they interact with people in far places, and establishes close ties with them. Even though online relations are not always helpful, ones know experiences of other people while interacting. For example, while connecti

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