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The Asch And Milgram Experiments Assignment

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A just and fair decision always reflects an objective process, however, not all decisions are fair and just because they have influences and impacts that is actually either conformity or deviance from what majority wants. There are decisions that are pertaining to an individual and his own space only while there are some decisions that require social acceptance and for those decisions there is a perceived pressure to have conformity with the opinions of others according to Asch phenomenon. These opinions may be objective leading to the decisions following the objective path.

There is a concept of normative social influence which in general reflects the decisions whether personal or social in nature. This implies that there are many times influences of other people that lead an individual to conform so as to be liked and accepted by those people. An individual needs to be socially accepted and this is his own social need and desire that he fulfils by being susceptible to group’s norms. For example, a student would sometimes follow other fellow students to get acceptance as their group member. A student shows obedience behaviour in front of his teacher and performs the way his teacher asks him to as teacher is the authority as confirmed by Milgram Obedience experiment. This may not necessarily be a private acceptance though, but a kind of public acceptance that a susceptible person needs. But when the individual is privately asked to take a decision then he does not show his susceptibility, he takes his own decision that may be showing conformity or deviance from the group norms.

Situational factors influencing others are the following:

     Physical environment and surroundings such as location, aromas, ambience, sound, lighting and other factors of the space where the decision has to occur.

     Social surroundings including interactions and characteristics of others who are present at the time of decision making.

     Time dimension influencing decision

     Reason behind decision making

     Moods and conditions of decision maker and people surrounding him/her at the time of ideation of decision or decision making process

     Knowledge, education, cultural background etc. of decision maker

These factors can lengthen, shorten or terminate the decision to be taken. In case of children, attitudes and behaviours can be changed by observing others whereas in case of adults, behaviour generally follows from held attitudes but in order to have a social acceptance; adults change their behaviour according to the social norms.

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