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For this unit, write essays that demonstrate your ability to do the following:


1. Give an example from personal experience of the fundamental attribution error.  What are the problems resulting from this bias?


2.  When do attitudes influence behavior?  How are attitudes formed?  What is the basis for ‘brainwashing’? Give an example from personal experience of an attitude you changed or formed as a result of cognitive dissonance. 


3. Describe the Asch conformity study .  Give an example from personal experience of conformity, and describe the factors promoting conformity in general and in this situation. 


4. Describe the Milgram obedience experiment.  What factors increased obedience in the experiment?  Do you think you would obey orders in the experiment, or similar situation – why or why not?


5.  Give examples of social facilitation, social loafing, deindividuation, group polarization , and groupthink.  What are the differences and similarities between these phenomena?


6. Give examples of prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination.  What factors increase prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination, and what sorts of programs or interventions would reduce prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination?


7.  What are the physical and psychological factors that increase aggression?  Given an understanding of these factors, what should be done to reduce aggression?


8.  What factors make people like each other, and which of these factors are not what most people believe does so?  What are the different types of love and what factors create satisfactory love relationships?


9. Why do people not help others in an emergency?  Given the factors affecting helping, if you needed help in an emergency, what would you do?


10.  How do groups in conflicts view each other, and how can conflicts between groups be overcome?  Provide an example of an inter-group conflict and how it would be overcome.  Why is competition destructive to society?


*11. Describe an action that you did because of situational influence which was not consistent with your personality or beliefs, and which may have surprised or shocked you at the time.  For this action, indicate the situational influences that lead you to act as you did (e.g., conformity, obedience, group polarization, deindividuation, social facilitation, role-playing, etc.).  Also, indicate if you experienced ‘cognitive dissonance’, and if you changed your attitude toward this activity, or your performance of this activity afterward to reduce dissonance.  If you did not experience dissonance, explain why.  Describe how you think other people explained what you did?  Were they accurate, or did they commit an attribution error (if so, indicate the error)?

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