Psych journal 1

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The Powers and Perils of Intuition
Conformity and Group Behaviour

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Psych journal 1

  1. 1. SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, BUILDING AND DESIGN FOUNDATION IN NATURAL AND BUILT ENVIRONMENTS NAME: KIMBERLEY EE SZE ANN STUDENT ID NO: 0315319 SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY (PSYC0103) LECTURER: MS CHIA YEE PANG
  2. 2. The Powers and Perils of Intuition Intuition is an immediate form of knowledge in which the knower is directly acquainted with the object of knowledge. In psychology, intuition can encompass the ability to know valid solutions to problems and decision making, (Sciencedaily.com , 2013). However, we should always be aware that our intuition is not always correct. Although our intuition guides is in making many life decisions, it is not always reliable and can often lead us down the wrong path. In this lecture we learnt that there are two types of thinking, one being controlled thinking and the other being automatic thinking. Controlled thinking is reflective, deliberate and conscious whereas automatic thinking is impulsive, effortless and unconscious. Automatic thinking is second nature to us and the actions involved are usually unconscious, such as buying a house. Next, we also explored the topic of overestimating. Overestimating in this context refers to planning fallacy where we often overestimate the time and resources we have. Based on personal observation, I feel that many people fall victim to overestimating as they tend to view things in their favour and in vision a future where everything plays out smoothly. For example, I myself find that I often overestimate the time I have to submit my assignments and often end up procrastinating before rushing to complete everything before the deadline. Lastly, we also had a short group discussion where we were asked to agree or disagree with this statement “Memory can be likened to a storage chest in the brain into which we deposit material and from which we can withdraw it later if needed. Occasionally, something is lost from the ‘chest’ and then we say we have forgotten.” My immediate response after reading the statement was to disagree. I myself find that although I am able recall memories from the past, they have been marred by time and are no longer accurate. Furthermore, I find that memories that were unpleasant to me are vague and distant whereas fond memories are more vivid. Also, I feel that we are never completely able to forget a memory. Although we may be unable to recall a memory at will, that memory never really dies.
  3. 3. Conformity and Group Behaviour Conformity is a type of social influence involving a change in belief or behaviour in order to fit in with a group, (Mcleod, 2013). This definition is really interesting to me as it means that we are constantly changing ourselves in order to better suite with others. I too acknowledge that I have often fallen victim to conformity, it is always difficult to be the odd one out and for me it is no different. In this lecture, we learnt that conformity is influenced by the group size to a point or group unanimity. This means, that we are more likely to conform to the beliefs of a large group rather than an individual. When a person goes against conformity, they are labelled as a dissenter. Furthermore, another form of conformity that we were able to explore in this lecture was yielding to others. We learnt that most people are willing to do things that they would normally judge as immoral when instructed to do so by an authority figure. The reason for this is because they are conforming to their social roles in the situation and are unwilling to become dissenters by disobeying orders. Still, it is hard to believe that a person would go so far as to injure a fellow man just because he is instructed to do so by a person of power. So the question is, what breeds obedience? The emotional distance of the victim and the closeness and legitimacy of the authority is the answer. When a person is unable to experience the distress of the victim first hand, it is easier for him to obey the instructions of an authority figure who he believes is legitimate and is constantly giving him stress. Lastly, we also learnt about behaviour in groups for example, the bystander effect. This effect shows that people are less likely to help when they are in groups than when alone. The reason for this is diffusion of responsibility, where each person believes that the other will take appropriate action and therefore does nothing at all.
  4. 4. References 1. Sciencedaily.com (2013). Intuition (knowledge). [online] Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedaily.com/articles/i/intuition_%28knowledge%29.htm [Accessed: 16 Dec 2013]. 2. Mcleod, S. (2013). What is Conformity? - Simply Psychology. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.simplypsychology.org/conformity.html [Accessed: 16 Dec 2013].

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