For this discussion forum, you will be referencing material in Chapters 7 and 10, as well as information from these two videos. Before you begin, read the chapters, complete the REVEL homework, and watch the videos.
Cognitive Psychology is related to thinking, memory, and decision-making, and often includes our perceptions of what we “think” is going on, regardless of whether or not that is true. Social Influence is how others or situations influence our thoughts, feelings, and behavior and how we influence others. Compliance and obedience have to do with getting people to do what we (or the authorities) want. In psychology, there is a field called Social Cognition that combines these two related fields of study.
Watch the following videos: TED Talk featuring Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist and cognitive psychologist. Are we in control of our decisions?
Robert Cialdini’s Principles of Social Influence
Cialdini: Principles of Social Influence
After viewing the videos, reflect on the examples discussed in Ariely’s TED Talk and Cialdini’s video.
Discuss at least one example from Ariely’s TED Talk that illustrates a cognitive illusion or decision-making obstacle and how it ties in with material covered in your text and other resources on how decisions are made (e.g., heuristics) and barriers to decision-making and problem-solving (e.g., heuristics, confirmation bias, functional fixedness, perceptual sets; convergent thinking, etc). After reading about the different social influence techniques in Chapter 10 and watching Cialdini’s video, discuss a personal example of one of the techniques that was used to “influence” you to behave in a certain way. From a psychological point, why was that technique effective in influencing your behavior? Knowing what you know now, do you think you would act differently in the future? (Hint: probably not, but maybe). Why is that?
How are the example you wrote about from the Ariely TED Talk and your personal example of social influence related?
*Note: the illustrations at the beginning of the TED Talk are optical illusions, not cognitive illusions. They are not the focus of the talk; please do not make these the focus of your discussion. If you write about these as one of your examples, you will not get credit for this Discussion Forum. Your discussion should focus on the content related to cognitive illusions and decision-making.