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Critical and creative thinking in obedience and compliance studies

1. Have you ever changed a strongly held attitude? What caused the change for you?

2. Do you believe that you are free of prejudice? After reading this chapter, which of the many factors that cause prejudice do you think is most important to change?

3. How do Milgram's results - particularly the finding that the remoteness of the victim affected obedience - relate to some aspects of modern warfare?

4. What are some of the similarities between Zimbardo's prison study and the abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq?

5. Have you ever done something in a group that you would not have done if you were alone? What happened? How did you feel? What have you learned from this chapter that might help you avoid this behavior in the future?

6. Can you think of situations when the egotistic model of altruism seems most likely correct? What about the empathy-altruism hypothesis?

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1) It is possible to change an attitude when your opinion affects you directly. In the past, you might have learned about a specific attitude and experienced it empirically or theoretically. And then if the situation then becomes personal, you might react in a different way then you expected.

One might be abortion for example. Your attitude might be strongly pro life or against abortion. You might have your ideas and thoughts set around this attitude. However, what if you then got pregnant by accident - your attitude might change when you realize how it would affect your own life. Your firm attitude of pro life might change. It is the personal experience that could change the attitude.

Attitudinal changes might also be less dramatic then abortion - it could be perhaps simple aspects. You might have the attitude that a certain restaurant serves bad food and you might not eat there. Then perhaps a friend or a trusted news paper article might tell you that the food there is actually wonderful. Your attitude might change and you might consider eating at the place. Due to the influence of your peers or a trusted source, you might be compelled to change your attitude.

2) Unfortunately, I think it is very hard to be free of prejudice. I believe I have prejudices that are formed by no fault of my own. One might be that I do not have enough info about a group of people, so I end up making my own conclusions. As well, unfortunately in this world, there is still a lot of prejudice against people of different races, colors or religion.

I believe that the number one factor that causes prejudice and that is most important to change is ignorance. This occurs when you do not have all the facts about a group of people for example and then you form prejudices. One good way to help is by education. People need to be educated in order to understand facts and get proper information. As well, they need contact - a person who has never met ...

Solution Summary

In about 1,458 words, this solution discusses the possibility of changing an attitude when you are directly affected, if people are able to be free of prejudice and the dissociation of yourself from a victim and how this relates to obedience and warfare. Then, it discusses the similarities between Zimbardo's prison experiment and the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, as well as group mentality and egotism as well as altruism.