When we are met with sudden bursts of emotions, what comes first: the physical or mental reaction?
Since the inception of psychology, emotions have turned into an interesting chicken or the egg phenomena. When good things happen, we smile, but does smiling make us happier?
In the world of psychology and motor neurons, these questions remain unanswered, but countless theories have arisen to explain this almost unexplainable human characteristic. These theories have tried to distinguish the specific firing point within our bodies regarding these emotions, but all of them lack an explanation broad enough that can effectively describe such a diverse human race.
Emotions are a complex mixture of our physical, cognitive, and expressive behavior, but to what extent do each of these matter? Of course, when good, positive things happen to us, we feel a gut-reaction, whether that be smiling or laughing. All of these reactions happen both beneath our skin and within our neurons while also being presented outward and physically.
What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? Philip Zimbardo, a psychologist and a professor at Stanford University posed the same exact question in 1971, thereby leading to what is known as The Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE). The experiment was originally created to uncover the truth about human nature, a more in-depth look on what our true ambitions were, what really drove us. Zimbardo began by choosing 24 volunteers, making 12 of them “guards” and the other 12 “prisoners”. They were taken to a prison simulation, a fabricated illusion to make the volunteers feel as if they were actually in prison. He began by giving the guards ultimate power and left the prisoners vulnerable. This evidently led to a distinction of power between the two groups. 45 years later, people still ponder the question that drove the experiment to its end. Was this study ethically right? The Stanford Prison Experiment was not ethically right, it stripped volunteers of emotion temporarily, forcing them to turn against each other and was physically harmful to the majority of the participants.
The overwhelming amount of commercials, advertisements, and promotional campaigns that Americans are bombarded with is astronomical, to the point it is affecting their dietary habits. As the turn from a nomadic lifestyle switched to one with steady food supplies and surplus, history of mankind derailed and took an entirely different course, one that would later involve corporations utilizing marketing communications to influence their consumers.
Crowds are often overlooked as a segment of psychology. Most people would like to say that they are independent and trail away from what others do, however, much goes unnoticed when talking about the human behaviour of an individual when placed in a large mass of others. This type of psychology becomes a unique aspect of how one may think purely based off of the interests and situation of a crowd. There are several theories and the concept itself plays a large role in several real-world situations with effective consequences.
What makes a good person do a bad thing? Why do people partake in events when they know what they are doing is contrary to their own moral beliefs?
Group mentality and conformity play major roles in human behavior. We explore the Stanford Prison Experiment, Asch Conformity Experiment, and the social roles these psychological concepts play in history and today.