Option B essay question
Examine and assess the influence of other people on human behaviour and performance.
This essay will examine and assess the influence of other people on human behaviour and performance, starting with Adorno et al (1950)'s large-scale study on the authoritarian personality with it's focus on the parental and family influence as well as alternative explanations, including evidence that multiple factors influence the formation of authoritarianism. It will then go on to examine the influence of peers in friendship choices and the significance of cultural differences as explored by Gonzalez et al (2004) in today's technologically advanced society. Finally, the essay will use the research done by Loftus and
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However,the parental influence is often upheld within the new peer relationships 'owing to friendships typically being formed between people of similar backgrounds' (Brownlow, 2010, p241) which will support these values and reinforce positive behaviour. On the other hand, peer influence is often blamed by parents for negatively influencing children's behaviour. McLeod et al (2008) conducted a study focussing on peer influence on smoking as a behaviour taken up by adolescents through interviewing 14 pairs of twins and studying their reasons for choosing to smoke or not, based on the friendship groups they were in. This study drew out the subtle intricacies and multiple levels that are involved in assessing the influence of others on human behaviour. The smokers claimed their behaviour was not due to direct pressure by their peers but rather , indirectly they felt smoking gave them a sense of group identity and confirmed their social status within it. (The non-smokers were similar in choosing friendship circles which had a predominantly non-smoking image). The implication of these findings Brownlow (2010, p 257) quotes 'point towards a complex