Social Influences on Behavior

Topics: Psychology, Social psychology, Sociology Pages: 4 (1176 words) Published: January 18, 2014
Social Influences on Behavior
On September 9th 1971 at Attica Prison, near Buffalo New York, a riot broke out. Much to the horror of Guards and officials of the facility, the inmates had taken over. Over 2200 inmates joined in the riot causing a four day hostage situation leading to the death of ten hostages and 29 inmates. 89 others were injured. The riot was believed to have been caused by “chronic overcrowding, censorship of letters and living conditions that limited the inmates to one shower per week and one roll of toilet paper each month” (This Day in History, 2013. Paragraph 2.). Upon takeover the inmates requested simple demands such as inproved living conditions, more religious freedoms and an end to mail censorship. In the end the cause of death to both inmate and hostages, although mostly resulted in gunshot wounds from the initial fire fight, were radically embellished by many spectators causing more hate and discontent to both inmates and guard causing retaliation on inmates. As a result some inmates were forced to crawl naked over broken glass and numerous other tortures. Many of the injured inmates received little to no medical treatment. In another unrelated case of brutality on March 30th 2008 six teenage girls lure an unsuspecting straight A student and cheerleader, Victoria Lindsay into coming over to a friends house. April Cooper, Britney Mayes, Kayla Hassell, Cara Murphy and Mercades Nichols are influenced by ring leader Brittini Hardcastle to viciously beat Victoria unconscious while filming the incident. Victoria blatantly is caught off guard and upon the initial beating awakens to find the six girls ready to continue the act of violence while she attempts to leave the house but is blocked in by one of the teens participating in the beating. When later question about the motives of the beating the only explanation is Victoria had been “Trash Talking” the girls on Myspace and this was their attempt to end the slander. The video was...

References: Cave, D. (2008). Eight Teenagers Charged in Internet Beating Have Their Day on the Web. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/12/us/12florida.html?_r=0
Dictionary.com. (2013). In-group. Retrieved from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/in-group
Kowalski, R., & Western, D. (2011). Psychology (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Merriam-Webster. (2013). Social Psychology. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/social%20psychology
Psychologists for Social Responsibility. (2008). What is Groupthink? Retrieved from http://www.psysr.org/about/pubs_resources/groupthink%20overview.htm
This Day in History. (2013). Riot at Attica Prison. Retrieved from http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/riot-at-attica-prison
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