The Power of the Situation
· Social psychologists look at all the ways people are influenced by other people
· In the 1930’s, the world witnessed the horrors of fascism by creating a social political culture. Social psychologists began to wonder how dictatorships could transform rational individuals to become mindless followers.
· Kurt Lewin was fascinated by how dictators were able to mold individuals. In 1930, him and his team set up a unique experiment to see how different leadership styles affected groups. This was done with little boys.
· Under the experiment, democratic leadership had seemed to be the most effective leadership style.
· Manipulating the social environment can bring out the best and worst of human behavior.
· Solomon Asch created an experiment about conformity to see how people may conform in groups. People who did not conform felt uncomfortable for not going along with the group.
· Stanley Milgram created an experiment demonstrating obedience and whether anyone had the capacity of evil if the situation was powerful enough. He wanted to see how far people would to carry out orders.
· 2/3 of the subjects delivered 450 volts to the “learner”, although many did protest.
· The fundamental attribution error is when one relates someone else’s behavior to internal conflict rather than situational conflict.