Cults

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Cults

What aspects of social psychology discussed in your textbook might help explain why someone might become attracted to a harmful cult or terrorist group?

  • After watching the video, pretend you have been given a job with the United Nations and you have been asked to work on addressing the conditions conducive to the rise of harmful cults and spread of terrorism.  Given what you now know about the relevant social psychological mechanisms at play, what might be some of the steps you would want to take?Chapter 12 SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY

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    Figure 12.1

    Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot to death at the hands of George Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watchman, in 2012. Was his death the result of self-defense or racial bias? That question drew hundreds of people to rally on each side of this heated debate. (credit “signs”: modification of work by David Shankbone; credit “walk”: modification of work by “Fibonacci Blue”/Flickr)

    Figure 12.2

    Social psychology deals with all kinds of interactions between people, spanning a wide range of how we connect: from moments of confrontation to moments of working together and helping others, as shown here. (credit: Sgt. Derec Pierson, U.S. Army)

    Figure 12.3

    In the quizmaster study, people tended to disregard the influence of the situation and wrongly concluded that a questioner’s knowledge was greater than their own. (credit: Steve Jurvetson)

    Figure 12.4

    People from collectivistic cultures, such as some Asian cultures, are more likely to emphasize relationships with others than to focus primarily on the individual. Activities such as (a) preparing a meal, (b) hanging out, and (c) playing a game engage people in a group. (credit a: modification of work by Arian Zwegers; credit b: modification of work by “conbon33″/Flickr; credit c: modification of work by Anja Disseldorp)

    Figure 12.5

    Actor-observer bias is evident when subjects explain their own reasons for liking a girlfriend versus their impressions of others’ reasons for liking a girlfriend.

    Figure 12.6

    We tend to believe that our team wins because it’s better, but loses for reasons it cannot control (Roesch & Amirkham, 1997). (credit: “TheAHL”/Flickr)

    Figure 12.7

    People who hold just-world beliefs tend to blame the people in poverty for their circumstances, ignoring situational and cultural causes of poverty. (credit: Adrian Miles)

    Figure 12.8

    Being a student is just one of the many social roles you have. (credit: “University of Michigan MSIS”/Flickr)

    Figure 12.9

    Young people struggle to become independent at the same time they are desperately trying to fit in with their peers. (credit: Monica Arellano-Ongpin)

    Figure 12.10

    Iraqi prisoners of war were abused by their American captors in Abu Ghraib prison, during the second Iraq war. (credit: United States Department of Defense)

    Figure 12.11

    Cognitive dissonance is aroused by inconsistent beliefs and behaviors. Believing cigarettes are bad for your health, but smoking cigarettes anyway, can cause cognitive dissonance. To reduce cognitive dissonance, individuals can change their behavior, as in quitting smoking, or change their belief, such as discounting the evidence that smoking is harmful. (credit “cigarettes”: modification of work by CDC/Debora Cartagena; “patch”: modification of “RegBarc”/Wikimedia Commons; “smoking”: modification of work by Tim Parkinson)

    Figure 12.12

    A person who has chosen a difficult path must deal with cognitive dissonance in addition to many other discomforts. (credit: Tyler J. Bolken)

    Figure 12.13

    Justification of effort has a distinct effect on a person liking a group. Students in the difficult initiation condition liked the group more than students in other conditions due to the justification of effort.

    Figure 12.14

    We encounter attempts at persuasion attempts everywhere. Persuasion is not limited to formal advertising; we are confronted with it throughout our everyday world. (credit: Robert Couse-Baker)

    Figure 12.15

    Persuasion can take one of two paths, and the durability of the end result depends on the path.

    Figure 12.16

    With the foot-in-the-door technique, a small request such as

    wearing a campaign button can turn into a large request, such as