Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Are You In? Or Are You Out? (Social Psychology Seminar)

The main thing that stuck to my brain after taking Social Psychology Seminar in grad school was the concept of IN GROUP/ OUT GROUP.

Human nature predicts that we stick to "our own" and look out for those who affect "us," and everyone else is an "outsider."

While this may not seem like a theory we see it in our daily lives,
we see how people may treat one another. We watch as people say things like:

"Oh, I don't want to get to know John Doe, 
he just seems so different. 
So un-like me. 
I don't think we would have anything in common. 
And besides, 
I think he hates me. 
He looked at me weird one day.
I'm certain he purposely ignored me when I tried to say hi to him..."

This is common thinking. It is our nature to think that everyone we don't know is better off

We may feel comfortable with the same people. The same main groups that we text or call or facebook or email. And it's perfectly fine.

But it is also important to ask ourselves
Why THESE people and not THOSE people?

Us humans share an in-group/ out-group bias.
OUR GROUP IS GOOD, AND OTHER GROUPS ARE BAD (because of reasons x, y, and z).

We do this for our own safety. It is good to serve our immediate communities. Care for our households and families. Lend a hand to our friends. In nature, an outsider is an enemy. And yes, some people are dangerous in this world. But as evolved as we may believe we are, we still tend to present ourselves with BASIC and UN-EVOLVED actions.

How dangerous is it really? Is everyone with a different LABEL really a threat?

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