There are many interesting areas in the field of social psychology, so I had to come up with an activity to focus us in on just a handful of the many fascinating concepts related to the social dynamics of human interaction. I have settled on Attribution theory and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
1. First, we need to become familiar with the concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy. You will find this topic mentioned on pages 563-564 of the 11th edition of the Myers in Modules textbook. I have also prepared a pdf from the Psychology Today website which provides additional clarification of the social dynamics which create the self-fulfilling prophecy.
View the article here: Using Self-Fulfilling Prophecies to your Advantage (Psychology Today)
2. Next, view the 15-minute video I’ve prepared which overviews the concepts of attribution theory, the fundamental attribution error, and the self-fulfilling prophecy. (the link should open; I’ll also add the links for this assignment to the Assignment area in our Blackboard).
3. You are also advised to view the Power of the Situation video. (The link should open if you click here; you will also find the link in our Course Resources area in Blackboard.)
For your assignment, I want you to reflect upon your own experience with attributions and the self-fulfilling prophecy by writing a 1-page narrative demonstrating your understanding of one or both of these concepts, and providing specific examples of both the positive as well as negative effects of our expectations about others, or what they believe about us. You can discuss how you have developed certain attitudes or beliefs about various groups of people (some might call these stereotypes) which influence how you react to these persons, treat them, etc. What effect might your treatment of them have on their own attitudes and behavior? You may also discuss how you have been the recipient of someone else’s attitudes toward you (for good or bad) which has affected you in some way. The goal is for you to explore the social aspects of human interaction, and reflect upon how our social experiences affect how we feel about ourselves, how we act in social situations, advantages and disadvantages we’ve received as a result, and so on. You may want to read the short articles I‘ve attached with this assignment and included here:
· Good Looking Longer Life(1).pdf
You might also want to include a brief discussion of what we as perceivers of others can do to AVOID creating negative self-fulfilling prophecies, as well as what we as targets of others perceptions can do to avoid negative self-fulfilling prophecies. Sometimes it’s important to take a look at ourselves to see why others may be reacting to or treating us in ways we may not understand at first. This assignment is simply an attempt to open our eyes a bit and see how we are both creators of our social reality as well as the recipients of it.
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