Wednesday, October 13, 2010
The pressure exerted by the surroundings
The pressure exerted by the environment has a huge effect on us all. Have you ever known a teacher or a friend who had a positive and profound influence on you? He probably influenced your values, which subsequently affected your lifestyle and the image you project.
A study of the 1960s shows that we can not ignore the powerful influence of social pressure. Stanley Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University conducted experiments to try to prove the immense power of influence exerted by social pressure and authority.
"Despite the fact that they violate ethical standards of today, the experiments revealed a darker side of human nature: many subjects were willing to obey authority, even though such obedience was to inflict severe pain to another person.
"While the experiments themselves have been simulated (and in fact, electric shocks that subjects" administered "to the victims are not real, and" victims "were pretending to feel pain), many subjects been heavily traumatized to discover that they had in them the ability to obey authority and social pressure to inflict such torture. "
This experience illustrates that we are not always aware of the real influence that others have on us. Even if the people who influence us are not "authorities", they may still have a huge effect on us.
In response to the influences of others, we forge an image that we believe attractive and desirable by our fellows, we tend to want to "put us in the ranks" because of our desire for social integration. Self-images created with the aim to please others is not reliable. It is a vain and disappointing test because the opinion of others is unstable and fleeting acceptance.