Social Psychology Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 16 February 2017

Social Psychology

Now imagine that you are a social psychologist, for this assignment you must use social concepts learned in this chapter to explain some of the strange, terrible, and outrageous things that people do to each other. Read the following stories and respond to the questions with complete sentences that are free of spelling and grammatical errors.

All of the following are based on a real-life story reported in the press!!!!


     (Adapted from: Newsweek, March 2, 1992, p. 69)

     The cosmetic companies made an estimated $50 million by selling “anticellulite” creams to women. However, research by respected dermatologists show that anticellulite creams are totally worthless in eliminating cellulite, which is really little pockets of fat. With these negative findings in mind, how does the cosmetics industry persuade American women to spend $50 million a year on anticellulite creams that dermatologists claim are worthless? The cosmetics companies use very clever advertising. They show photos of beautiful women along with promises that anticellulite creams will wash away unsightly ripples, create a new you, and give you the beautiful body you always wanted.

Question1: What are the four elements of persuasion? Identify the four elements using the above scenario. 

            Persuasion, to be effective, has to possess the four elements namely: meaningful, relevant, challenging and actionable. “Anticellulite creams”, the product introduced in the market is in itself very meaningful to women in order to stay attractive. It is relevant to the need and current trend, which is reducing fats that could affect the attractiveness of a woman.

Its introduction in the market is likewise, challenging because its effectiveness is being challenged by some respected dermatologists that made it increase its publicity even more. Lastly, it is actionable because the way its being advertised has hit the weakness of the target market, women, with the use of “photos of beautiful women along with promises that anticellulite creams will wash away unsightly ripples, create a new you, and give you the beautiful body you always wanted”, a truly perfect way to catch women’s attention.

Question 2: Why do women continue to buy anticellulite creams when scientists have demonstrated that these creams are worthless?

            Despite the claims that “anticellulite” creams are worthless, they continue to attract women because the way they are being introduced in the market is very persuasive. It possessed the four major elements of persuasion. Moreover, customers are after for the concrete result. Research findings that are often expressed in figures or mere words do not create as much impact as a photo of a beautiful woman, whose face became younger and more attractive after using the product. Customers esily link the beautiful face with the product, thus making it easier to sell.


    (Adapted from: Los Angeles Times, Dec. 30, 1988, p. IV-4)

     Last summer, the Coors brewery added only two new words – Original Draft – to the labels of its best-selling beer. Regular Coors drinkers saw the new label and believed it was a new beer. They complained about the new taste and said they preferred the taste of their old Coors. Suddenly, sales slowed as drinkers refused to buy cans of beer with the two new words. But, Coors had not changed the beer. They had only changed two words on the label. However, the Coors brewery was not about to argue with its loyal customers. Coors removed the two new words from the label. Within weeks, sales rose and the drinkers were happy.

Question 1: Can you define one component of attitudes and illustrate it with an example from the beer drinkers?

            One component of attitude is cognition which refers to our beliefs, theories, expectancies, cause and effect beliefs, and perceptions relative to the focal object. In the scenario presented above, the focal object was a beer with two new words on the label. Since there was something new on the label, the beer drinkers have automatically expected something new on the product itself, which they claimed to have a different taste than the original. The two new words added on the label have influenced them to believe that there was a change in the formulation or ingredient, causing the perceived change in taste, even  if none was really altered from the original fomulation.

Question 2: Can you define a second component of attitudes and illustrate it with an example from the beer drinkers?

            A second component of attitude that can be found in this example is behavioral intentions, which refers to our goals, aspirations, and our expected responses to the attitude object. The beer drinkers in this example definitely wanted the original label, thus affecting the sales of Coors. Instead of arguing with their loyal customers, Coors resumed to its original label and the response was good because sales started to rise again.

 Question 3: Can you define a third component of attitudes and illustrate it with an example from the beer drinkers?

            A third component of attitude, which i have also seen in the example presented above is Evaluation. This is said to be the function of cognitive, affect and behavioral intentions of the object. The beer drinkers believed that the beer with a new two words in the label is different from the original best-selling beer of Coors. This belief caused them to describe its taste as different from the original. As a result, sales went down but when the label was restored to the original, even if none was changed in the formualtion, sales rose and the customers became happy again.


     (Adapted from: San Diego Tribune, July 29, 1983)

    After spending the whole day visiting the zoo, 13-year-old Diane decided to cool off in the large pool with a water fountain in the middle. She rolled up her baggy jeans and waded in up to her knees. She wasn’t paying much attention to the two older boys who had waded in and were approaching her. When they got close, they grabbed her and pulled her to the middle of the pool. They held her down against the concrete base of the fountain. As the fountain sprayed them with water, the two boys took turns raping Diane. About 35 people who were walking around the fountain heard Diane’s screams for help. Not one of them offered to help.

Question 1: Can you explain the concept that describes why none of the 35 people did anything to help Diane?

            The sad experience of Diane is attributable to what we call in social pschology as the “bystander effect”. When there is an emergency, the more bystanders there are, the less likely it is that any of them will acually help. The 35 people, though they heard the screams of Diane, did not actually offer help because they assumed that nothing was wrong because nobody else looks concerned.

Question 2: Can you explain how the diffusion of responsibility theory describes why 35 people who heard Diane’s screams did nothing to help?

            Bystanders go through a five-step process and during each of which, they can decide to do nothing. Firstly, they were probably in a hurry to notice the event, thus are unable to help. If they did notice, they assumed that as others are not acting, it is not an emergency, so again no help was offered. Next, they assumed that others will do this, since there are many people around, so no help was offered. Sometimes, bystanders simply do not know what to do out of panicky thus, unable to help & lastly, instead of acting on it and help, some worry about the danger and hassle of being involved, thus they pretend to have not known anything about it or pretend that nothing was wrong.

Free Social Psychology Essay Sample


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  • University/College: University of California

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