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Following a Social Script by Austin Peterson (Blog Entry 9)

We have all been there. We are going to meet the parents of someone we are currently dating. Its a nervous time because we want to give a good first impression and dont want to do anything stupid or embarressing. For most of us the hype is far greater than reality and it goes smoothly because we just play into a social script. A social script is a culturally provided mental instructions for how to act in various situations. We know how to pass the meet the parents test and we stick to basics to just get through and not risk it.

Passing the test doesn’t go perfectly smooth for everyone though. In this clip from the TV show Friends Phoebe is going over to meet mikes parents and throughout she is trying very hard to follow the social script she thinks she needs too to impress Mike parents. It goes okay (subtitles in foreign language)

Phoebe struggles to keep with the social script. Her efforts at the start though when she just arrives is a perfect example of a social script. What she wears and how she acts is nothing like she does throughout the show but she changes what she does to try and follow what she thinks is needed in that situation. May we all learn from phoebe and see that we dont always have to follow a social script.


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Field Research by Austin Peterson (Blog Entry 1)

We have all been apart of a research project where lots of information needs to be gathered. And many times the gathering of information is not the funnest thing in the world to do so we look for an out. And often that out comes in the form of field research. Field research is research done in natural, real life settings outside the labratory. Field Research is the fun part of research when you get to go out into real life and actually see if what your studying works!

A great example of field research comes from Pepsi in the form of the Pepsi Challenge. Pepsi set out evey where and had two cups of liquid in front of the contestant and had them drink from each cup and then tell them which one was better. The field research was being done everywhere in society to help get a random sample and see if the people liked the Pepsi they had created. Here is a link from a way old school commercial involving the Pepsi Challenge.

This commercial shows the guy being told what to do and drinking each cup and then picking his favorite. This commercial show Pepsi field research they did when promoting their product. Field Research is typically the fun part of research and Pepsi found a way to make worth filming!

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Violation of a Social Norm by Austin Peterson

When searching for an idea of things that could be done to break a social norm my thoughts went to something that is the “least risky”. I had heard stories of things people had done and although many were funny. I didn’t have the desire to ruffle as many feathers as they did. So when seeking a normal situation I came across the wilk and the terrace where everyone eats lunch and decided this would be a great spot to do it. Seeing that most people sit in groups of friends I thought it would be breaking a social norm to go sit at a table with a few people on it and talk to myself out loud so they could hear.

After sitting down at the table after each bite of food I would give a recap of the bite. Things like “wow, the cucumber really showed in that bite” and many other sayings revolved around my food and how it tasted. The looks I received were not very kind as many looked and pretty much scowled at me. I was clearly breaking a social norm of keeping to myself in a group I didnt know anyone in and it was not going over well. I did this for my meal and the people left at about the same time I was finishing my meal. They didn’t say anything to me directly but the awkwardness they felt was obvious in their expressions and how they would talk to each other after I got there compared with before I got there.

It felt very weird to break a social norm. I would say the weird feelings were more in general as to what was happening rather than the specific act that I was doing. I didn’t really enjoy my time breaking the norm but it did help me realize that it is not that big of a deal to do something different. I did something I would never do by choice and if I saw someone doing I would think was very weird and no one even said a word to me. They did harmless rude things like glances and such but nothing that actually mattered. Overall it was a good experience, planning it made me nervous and anxious to see how it would play out but now that its done I realized it was no big deal. While I don’t plan on being a regular social norm breaker I now realize if I need to do it occasionally its no bigs.

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Misinformation Effect Can Damage a Life by Austin Peterson (blog entry 13)

When hanging out amongst friends many of us share stories with each other. Its a good converstaion starter and sharing funny expieriences with everyone so they can enjoy the moment too is something we often do. But we all have that friend who when he tells the story it is far better than how it actually played out in real life. In chapter 15 the misinformation effect is used to talk about the issue of people changing their stories in court and recently in the sports world their has been an amazing example of this. Misinformation effect is when someone incorporates “misinformation” into ones memory of the event after witnessing an even and received misleading information about it.

Brian Banks is a man who was an up and coming football star in California. However his life got rattled by a rape conviction that got put against him. This case has become an example of the misinformation effect as his girlfriend who pressed the charges and made statemenets in court has retracted her statemenents. Here is a quote from her in the article attached: “Gibson said that they were just playing around, being curious about sexuality, and that the adults got involved and blew it all out of proportion,” according to legal documents. “She said the adults ‘put stuff in [her] head.'”  She received misleading information and made statements that changed Brain Banks life.

At this point this story has become a happy one as Brian Banks get the shot at life he always deserved. But his life hit a huge road block and surprising twist when his girlfriend suffered from the misinformation effect. This can happen and there can be some very serious consequence from it. Mis remembering stuff happens all the time to everyone in the world, but stories like Brian Banks show us how dangerous of a thing it can be.

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Depressive Realism by Austin Peterson (Blog Entry 12)

Unfortunanetly in todays world many people would consider themselves depressed. But they do and within depression many things happen. One thing that happens that is pretty interesting is when people have a depressive realism which is the tendancy of mildly depressed people to make accurate rather than self serving judgements, attributions, and predictions.

We see this happen a lot just after someone tries out for a sports team and gets  cut or just after a young relationship ends. They are bummed out and depressed that things didnt work out as they hoped but in the end realize maybe they werent that good at the sport or activity or the relationship was not that great and there will be better out there.

I think a great example of this is my sister. She is a pheonominal soccer player and always has been but when she was younger she always did all the sports that she could. In her sophmore year her basketball tryout didnt go as she had hoped and she was bummed, but after talking it over with people and thinking about it rather than continuing to believe she was great at everything and have self serving judgements of her play she realized soccer was what she excelled and decided to focus on that. Since then she has done awesome and been able to put in more time and effort as she focused her actions. But it took a negative event to bum her out to make her thing a little more accuarately about the whole situation.

Becoming depressed is not a good thing but in the case of only mild depression if you have a moment of depressive realism it can allow you to have some accurate thinking moments that could really help you out in the long run. In no way shape or form is depression a good thing but a tiny positive could be this moment of depressive realism we all expierience in our moments of weakness.

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Proximity Effect on Friendships by Austin Peterson (Blog Entry 11)

Many things affect friendships but maybe the biggest factor is Proximity. Proximity is the geographical nearness or more functionaly distance. When thinking about our friends the only trait most of all of them have in common is theirproximityto us. We become freinds with those we grow up with in school and see around town just by being around them relationships get developed.

One of the great friendships of all time in the Tv world comes from Friends and its Chandler and Joey. They live together and are best friends. In season 2 however things get bad and Joey decides to move out, this is temporary solution but after a bit they realize that since their proximity to each other has greatly changed, the ability to hang out and have the same relationship is much much harder. Here is a video clip when they both expierience things and are starting to realize how much they miss not having the other around.

This video shows them missing each other and really shows the impact of Joey moving out has because the proximity to each other is not the same. Proximity to our friends has a huge impact on how well we are able to stay friends with people and let the relationships continue. We all have friends from high school or other situations that the relationship has faded and the only reason is the change of proximity to each other. Many things affect our frienships but no question one of the biggest isproximity.

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Examples of Empathy by Austin Peterson (Blog Entry 10)

Natural disasters happen all over the world and often when these occur many feel very strong empathy for those involved. Empathy is the vicarious experience of another feelings or putting oneself in another shoes. Empathy is a great thing and the more that feel it the better. The book has a good quote by Michelle Obama where she said “When people ask me how Im doing, I say Im only as good as my most sad child.” A great example of empathy on her part.

The greatest thing empathy can do is motivate. Below is a video of a service project done by a ward to help the relief efforts in Haiti.

Although many of these people are not going through exactly what the people of Haiti are going through there empathy  is motivating them to act. The help they can provide is not going to change the world back to what it used to be but each effort can help and do more than if it wasnt done at all.

Empathy is something we all feel for others when we see them in a tough situation. Parents will often be the ones who feel empathy the most and their example can lead to great actions from the rest of us. The books points out that in humans empathy comes naturally and as well all use this natural ability for the greater good we can help make the world a better place!

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