A Form of Prejudice
PSY301: Social Psychology
One of the easiest ways we have become more knowledgeable is by communicating with other people. As we get older, we start to broaden and expand how we see different people. We start to understand people by watching what they do this helps us understand them by seeing them do what they are doing and why they are doing it, this is called Social Psychology. Social Psychology initiates what group of people we belong to.
Self-concept is when we try to comprehend why we behave and act the way we do as a person. “This is our idea of which we are our understanding of our self” (Mcleod, 2008). “This composes of our belief about our self, our attitude and behavior and our opinion as we are supposed to behave and how we really behave” (Feenstra, 2011). My self-concept is that I am an open book. I am not shy or embarrassed easily. My thoughts are if you don’t like me then I don’t really care I don’t have the time for drama. My husband on the other hand keeps to himself. He is quite aloof most of the time. On another note we have what is called our self-schema. “Self-schemas are knowledge structures about the self. Although sometimes the terms self-schema and self-concept are used interchangeably schemas organize and help us use the vast amounts of information within the self-concept. Because they organize and help s use information about ourselves, self-schemas affect how we view the world (Markus, 1977)”. How I see my self-schema is that I am a book worm. I love reading books that I have an interest in. Every time I see a book that I have been wanting to read I instantly want to add it to my collection. I can see my behavior and how others see me. Self-schema and self-awareness are the same therefore I am mindful of myself privately and publicly. The way we view our self while being in the public eye is called private self-awareness. Our private self-schema helps take care of our actual emotions therefore the public image is the public schema.
When we are out in public, we want to look the best and act the best we can around other people. As an example, the way we talk and perceive ourselves that we know certain things when we really don’t know much about the subject, we do this, so we can impress the person we are talking to. When we are talking to others our public schema wants us to perceive that we are smart when in reality we aren’t as smart as we are making our self to be. By thinking like this it starts to show how our self-esteem and self-efficacy and how we value our self in the world. “This is linked with our personal value of our own achievements and things that we are proud of” (David Sheslow PhD, 2008). Being a happier person helps with your self-esteem because you know you are happy and being happy means you can basically do whatever you want. Being lonely or irritated all the time makes your self-esteem low. Having a low self-esteem makes it to were you don’t like to interact with other people. By being happy is shows that we are highly motivated and determined because we have a high self-esteem. “Self-esteem and self-efficacy play an important role with our behavior and how we act and meet our goals. A high self-esteem means success and being more productive” (Cherry, 2007). By knowing our strength, we can concentrate and make sure we focus on completing our tasks using our strengths. By focusing on our strengths when doing certain activities, we can become very skilled on that subject. The saying “practice makes perfect” applies here. The more we practice on our self the better our self-esteem will be. If we don’t practice and learn from our mistakes, we will never understand why we are failing.
“Trying to understand other people’s behavior and why they are doing it or acting like it, we are making attributions. We try to make explanations of our behaviors and other people’s behaviors through attributing it to something” (Feenstra, 2011). When we talk about attributions there are two different meanings of attributes such as, internal and external. The internal attribution happens when we speculate on what we see. Meaning we should not judge a person because of the way they look, or act. We need to get to know someone and give them the benefit of the doubt before we judge them. The main reason we shouldn’t be making attributions is because we never know how someone is going to react in a certain situation. Many people react differently then they normally would because they do not want others to see how they really feel about the situation. “This is what we call a planned behavior hence planed behavior can be predicted based on three things- the attitude towards the behavior, the norms of the subject towards the behavior and lastly the possible behavior as perceived based on the person’s personality” (Feenstra, 2011). “Subjective norms involve people’s beliefs about how other people in their environment perceive their behavior” (Feenstra, 2011). One example of Subjective norm is how society looks at our teenagers. Teenagers like to go out and party, so they can take a break from teenage problems. But some teenagers do not like to go out partying they want to stay home instead. I was one of those teenagers I didn’t like going out and partying and getting into trouble. I liked to stay home or just hang out with my friend’s house. A cognitive dissonance is where you try and reason with yourself when you know you did something your going to regret, like for example I went to the store last night and spent sixty dollars more than I originally wanted to. I kept telling myself that these were all things I needed, but in reality, I didn’t need these things. Not everyone that is doing cognitive dissonance is doing it for a good benefit they are doing it to justify their wrong doings and their disgraceful behavior. In the end you need to make sure you are not judging anyone because of the race, sex, and religion. If you are you would be discriminating someone.
The most frequent prejudice would be racial prejudice. It started in the 1900’s and we still see racial discrimination today. An example would be interracial marriage, some people think it is wrong and shouldn’t be allowed. I have experienced this on a person level. My husband is white, and I am half white and half Mexican. I was told by a really hateful woman that I shouldn’t be taking a white man as my husband and I needed to stick to my race. It was definitely hurtful, but my amazing husband just laughed it off and told the lady to mind her own business. Since then I haven’t let the comments get to me. But I have seen so much encouragement from people that I don’t even know.
Not knowing the unknown is okay and there is nothing wrong with it but when we start hating other people because they are different than us is not okay. Everyone has feelings and is fearful of the unknown. “Prejudice is defined as the unexplainable or irrational hatred that we feel towards an individual or a certain group of people or race” (Pediatrics, 2007). For example, we may judge people subconsciously because we know about that person’s history. We tend to forget about how we express our attitude towards people. “There are negative and positive effect of being a prejudice person but often times, the result of this behavior is negative because we end to treat the said person unfairly and biased” (Pediatrics, 2007). Prejudice can mean many things, but discrimination is one of the worst things we can imagine. They are the same because they both obviously have a negative attitude against other people according to the “Conflict Research Consortium”. By having this kind of attitude, it can tear people apart and not bring them together. Parents are a huge part of a child’s life. So, when they see you discriminating against a person that is different than you then they will start to pick up on that and discriminate against what they don’t know. “There are some children who become prejudicial to other children because they see it on other people like what they see and experience in their school or from church” (Pediatrics, 2007). Children do not understand what discrimination is, they only act the way they do because they were taught to act a certain way. We tend to obey our parents more than anyone else no matter how wrong they are.
When we think about obedience, we often connect it to authority. We tend to obey others who are older like our parents, siblings, teachers and other leaders who have authority over us. We often tend to idolize a friend and look at them as someone who has authority. “Authority seems to play a big role when testing obedience” (Feenstra, 2011). Most people feel subordinate with their superior, so they tend to do what they are told to do.
Conformity is were people tend to blend into a group, so they feel like they are accepted and seem like they are smart. Conformity is another social behavior that we all face at one point in our life time. A conformist can be a perceived as a teacher’s pet. Conformist usually try to do everything, so they don’t feel lonely. Today I watched some people at the park where I take my kids to. They were just some teenagers walking home from school. I observed their behaviors to see how one acts and how the others react to their behavior. A couple of the boys that I saw threw trash on the ground and laughed about it when one of the girls asked him if he was going to pick up the trash. He told her no he doesn’t care if he litters or not. Everyone else walked over their piece of trash while the girl picked it up and threw it in the garbage. I sat their amazed at the way she handled the situation. She didn’t get upset at him or put him down because of his decision she said okay and picked it up herself.
Social psychology is explained by the was we behave or act. This direction helps us find the answer for the question “why”. We should try not to connect it to the other assumptions in psychology. For example, behavioral and evolution theories. The importance of explaining the social behavior is so you can be aware of other people background’s, so you can inform them with actual scientific facts. Social theory is not found in just knowledge and common cents. It should be explained with actual proof of the social behavior you are describing.
In conclusion, being prejudice can affect your life and others. Discriminating against race, sex, and religion is not only wrong but unethical. If we can identify certain behaviors, we can attempt to stop discrimination against others. There are many behaviors that we can try to understand because of the way people were raise and treated themselves. But even if you have been discriminated against you shouldn’t judge others because of the way they look. It will get you know where in life. At least no where good. There are many choices we can make as a person we just need to make sure it is not a violation as a job and a person.
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