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Sword

Most People

Posted on 2013.03.31 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114
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I recently made the statement that I was discouraged by someone allowing their moods to dictate their behavior. The reply was, "Most people do." Yet given why "most people" do what they do - because everyone else is doing it - that is not a sustainable reason to do anything. For myself at least, that is one of the poorest responses ever.

@nilofer recently shared an article from the Journal of Applied Psychology entitled Same Behavior, Different Consequences: Reactions to Men’s and Women’s Altruistic Citizenship Behavior by Madeline E. Heilman and Julie J. Chen which detailed the (perhaps not so surprising) prejudice which occurs when people who are unaware that expectation and should-statements (as well as role identity) are all indicative of cognitive distortion. While we all presumably use highly personalized measuring sticks, it would appear many simply pulled theirs from the freebie bin at the societal norm discount store at checkout. And because everyone is using the same one, it is assumed accurate despite it's manufacturing defect. The entire nation is negatively impacted.

While the below comic by The Oatmeal is timely and sadly humorous, the implication is no matter what the current event issue, society will not have learned how to think in the next 50-years. Once again we will confuse some random event with the process of critical thinking, believing it to be somehow different, or not applicable.





Comments:


Michelle1963
michelle1963 at 2013-03-31 14:34 (UTC) (Link)
And yet our mothers tried to warn us about the danger of being a follower of "most people." Teens often give this justification for doing something: "But all my friends are doing it." Our mothers typically responded: "And if all of your friends jumped off a bridge?"

We understand that teens often do stupid things due to the combination of inexperience and pushing the limits. However, we need to take that lesson into adulthood. I have heard a couple of people say, "Well everyone cheats on their taxes." I don't know about everyone, but I certainly do not. And I sure as hell wouldn't let "everyone" dictate my behavior. </p>

A person might argue that of course you wouldn't follow "everyone" in the above example, because the consequences are rather dire if you get caught. I would counter with, there are always consequences to simply following "everyone," but it is you yourself - not everyone - who must live with the consequences. It's very possible that there are times "everyone" could be right, but just as many times that they are not. One needs to dig a little deeper than just looking at what "everyone" does as a basis for behavior and decision making.

Looking forward to reading the article you cited.

ehowton
ehowton at 2013-03-31 17:01 (UTC) (Link)

"And if all of your friends jumped off a bridge?"
Michelle1963
michelle1963 at 2013-03-31 18:26 (UTC) (Link)
LOL! If a kid can use that kind of critical thinking with his mother, then I am not overly worried about him. He probably would not simply follow without thinking first.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2013-04-01 03:00 (UTC) (Link)
Why should we stop at stop signs when everybody else is stopping at stop signs? Most people agree stopping at stop signs is mutually beneficial but that's just following the crowd. Maybe we should yield at stop signs and stop at yield signs instead.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2013-04-01 03:15 (UTC) (Link)
Happy Easter. He has risen!!!
Michelle1963
michelle1963 at 2013-04-01 03:51 (UTC) (Link)


Edited at 2013-04-01 03:53 am (UTC)
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2013-04-01 03:57 (UTC) (Link)
Third time is a charm!!!
Michelle1963
michelle1963 at 2013-04-02 02:09 (UTC) (Link)
I know, right?!!!
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