Social Influences on Behaviour Social Influences on Essay

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Social Influences on Behaviour

Social Influences on Behavior



People differ in their views and actions when they are responsible for them and when not. Particularly speaking in the context of society and group, people tend to adopt the most favorable behavior so that they are cherished for success and not blamed for failure. The psychological behavior changes from situation to situation.

Social Influences on Behavior

There is a famous saying man is a social animal. This saying is as true today as it was decades ago. This saying depicts complete psychological pattern of human being that they want to mix up with their fellow beings. They enjoy the company of their fellow beings and tend to learn from each other.

There is another famous saying birds of a feather flock together. This proverb shows another characteristic of human beings' psychology that they enjoy the company of those human beings who match their perceptions and interests. It is because; they do not need to explain many things to the ones who have similar thoughts and views like them. People feel at home when interacting with people who match their interests. It reduces conflicts of interests and conflict of opinion among them. It gives birth to friendly atmosphere among them and they share their feelings with them.

The concept of sharing is another characteristic that describes human beings' personality. People feel relaxed after sharing their joys and sorrows with them. It is said that joys are doubled when they are shared and sorrows are halved. It is not only the proverb but a fact of life which can be observed most commonly in daily lives. From the concept of human psychology, it is important to mention that there are many aspects of social life which discriminate it from individual life.

This paper casts light upon the changes which occur in human behavior as social conditions vary. The paper elaborates various perceptions that lead to altogether different interpretation when the same action is performed in social setting or individual life. The concepts are explained using the behavioral description of free-riding and groupthink.

Free-riding is defined as social behavior in which individuals are connected to each other in the form of group or community and they have been assigned a particular task, which they tend to ignore assuming that other person must be performing it. This behavior is most commonly seen in any type of formal and informal groups. When observed as individuals, all of them may be highly responsible but when it comes to group performance, they become free-riders. They subconsciously consider the other one responsible and assume that he will be performing the job and they all will take the credit.

The precursor of this behavior is related to responsibility shift. As the whole group or community is responsible for the particular task, they assume that every other body should work. As in group performance, no individual is rewarded or punished for completion or non-completion of the task, the lack of factor of accountability leads them to adopt this behavior.

The consequence of this behavior varies depending upon the final outcome of the task. It is quite possible that no group or community member has performed the task; hence the net outcome is zero. In this situation, blame game starts. All the members blame each other for irresponsible attitude and none of them considers him as responsible or accountable for the failure.

This situation expresses another aspect of social psychology that people tend to shift the responsibility of failure to others. It is known as demotion prevention strategy (Martin, 2005, p.107). People never want to accept that the failure is because of their carelessness.

There can be another consequence of free-riding behavior. Majority of group or community members may tend to ignore responsibility while there are few who are worried about group performance as they are part of it. They do not….....

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