This Is Probably The Funniest, Most Effective Way To Deal With People Who Ignore Science Facts Ever
“If You’ve Ever Felt Not Quite Good Enough, You Might Appreciate This”
“Some would argue that comparing ourselves to others drives us to innovate and break barriers. But at what cost?
Balance is essential. Finding ways to tip the scales of our lives toward fulfillment may help us see the world in a way that also drives us to innovate and break barriers.”
Woooohooo some Christmas FUN!
And of course you know when I say fun, I mean make FUN of. 🙂
So if I started with whats wrong with Christmas, the blog would never end. The consumerism is just astounding and the discourse on gift giving gives ME an allergic reaction. I love short sweet sentiments, non expensive yet priceless gifts, and any excuse used to justify spending time with family and friends. I just wish people would focus on that instead of… you know, buying EVERYTHING that advertisers are telling them to.
Exhibit A: Sexy Christmas costumes. Men, women, children… something for everyone. Need I say more?
Exhibit B: Some #s and $ spent and how through conditioning we become slaves.
“The thrust of this consumerist message is that the holiday is most fully realized through the acquisition of “things.” Advertisements bombard us with images of bountiful Christmas scenes in which beautiful packages surround the tree, and “happiness” is achieved upon the receipt of this or that consumer product. Credit card issuers alone (those most interested in seeing you spend what you don’t have) spend more than $150 million on holiday advertising and promotions. Evidence that these messages work is found in the fact that more than 50 percent of Christmas shoppers will spend well over what they planned to and go further into debt, according to famed financial guru Dave Ramsey.
As to the severity of this debt, Ramsey points out that “more than $70 billion, over half of what was charged last year, ended up as revolving debt and the interest on last year’s gifts are still being paid today.” On average, “two-thirds (65 percent) of shoppers overspent their budget by $100–$500 and 75 percent overspent by $50–$100.”
Exhibit C: Gender roles are reinforced by Christmas and that is annoying. Really annoying.
So…. presents are one thing. Pink barbies for girls, blue toy trucks for boys. “Barbies for girls, cars for boys? Let toys be toys and get them gender neutral presents this Christmas” is an interesting article that really brings up the main issues. The author asks an important question, “Seven days and counting. Are little Jack’s Transformers all wrapped and ready to go? Are you excited about the look on Emily’s face when she opens her Barbie Dream House play set? Or are you of the new and growing band of parents who this Christmas said: ‘Sod it, my child is a child and not a gender stereotype’?
She goes over the gendering of boys as aggressive through the types of toys they are socialized to like, toy guns and other weapons. What we have learned about aggressive stimuli states that, well parents, this is just a plain old BAD idea. Girls, Barbie, and a negative body image…. also hand in hand with little girls Christmas toys. Socialization starts early and has long lasting influences on attitudes, behaviors, self esteem, but also how children relate to “things” and what is to be valued and how/when to ascribe value to objects and events.
What about the adults? Take a look!Well this is funny because of the famous gender role reversal tactic towards exposing and aiming to change attitudes and behaviors…. It wouldn’t be funny if the schemas were not so strongly entrenched in all of our minds that when the are reversed in this way, what results is hilarity and absurdity.
Now, what I will write next will be expected yet unexpected. I think you all know by now I am anything but trusting when it comes to political and religious figures. ALL of them are suspect. Yes I will work with them to support attitude and behavior change, and exploit that informational and normative social influence, but that in no way means I will TRUST them for at any moment they can change the direction and use their power of social influence for evil. BUT, and I can’t believe I am saying this, I am going to say something NICE about a catholic pope. He has been pretty famous this year for being the most progressive and empathetic pope the catholic church has maybe EVER seen. Really, take a look at some of the cute and sweet and EMPATHETIC things he has done this year, modeling prosocial behavior. Oh yeah, and of course another golden moment is when he said this: “Let us ask the Lord to help us see through the superficial glitter of this season, and to discover behind it the child in the stable in Bethlehem, so as to find true joy and true light”.
HERE is where he won my heart and he won it good. As you know, I work with refugees. Here is what he had to say about this group, that is usually used as the scapegoat for any and every hardship a nation state faces:
“Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more. A change of attitude towards migrants and refugees is needed on the part of everyone, moving away from attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalization – all typical of a throwaway culture – towards attitudes based on a culture of encounter, the only culture capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world.”
And THEN, he gave them Christmas presents 🙂 instead of blame 😦 and prejudice 😦 and discrimination 😦
“Each gift package contained a Christmas card signed by Pope Francis, postal stamps, a pre-paid international calling card and a free day-pass for the metro in Rome. The packages were sent to allow them to write letters and call their loved ones overseas during the holiday.”
Back to us ordinary folk, take a look at my office decorations. It is made up of small and meaningful acts of kindness and remembrance, little inexpensive yet PRICELESS gifts. There was a new addition today, but I didn’t get a chance to take a new photo yet.
So HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all and I hope we spend at least a little bit of that time reflecting on the power of social influence and how it effects us at this time of year. Don’t even get me started on the discourse of New Years because then really, I wont be able to stop complaining and critiquing. Think about how we can use social influence for good, for social change whether it be small acts of kindness or big campaigns aimed at changing attitudes. That is social psychology’s gift to you. You’re welcome!
So, its a very sad time. Nelson Mandela has died at the ripe old age of 95. In my opinion, people like him shouldn’t be allowed to die. Ever. Never ever. Because we haven’t learned from history, haven’t learned our lesson, and we need constant reminders that we need to make this world a better place, in any and every way we can. Nelson Mandela is not superhuman, he is what Zimbardo called an “everyday hero”. He is just a man, who has made mistakes, but he also made so many choices to DO GOOD, to BE GOOD, to be BETTER than he was yesterday. Social psychology is a field that has mostly formed from the miseries of human existence. Rarely has any kind of real contribution to the field arisen from genuine, unmotivated, non instigated introspection or outrospection. The legacy we want social psychology to leave is that one of a field that does what it can to make the world better.
What does this all have to do with Nelson Mandela? First of all, many of you might know who he is, but now you will. AUC also wrote a tribute for him as well. He was a lot of things, but he was also a social psychologist. Not really, not in training, but in spirit and thought. He was a social psychologist in disguise. Its hard to forget that he was a flesh in blood man, not a superhero, and that he still put so many social movements into action, in South Africa and all over the world. But no, he was an ordinary man, a critical empathetic and charismatic man, a man who understood the power of social influence. He spent his life exposing how the power of social influence led to prejudice, discrimination, injustice, and then when the tides turned, he used social influence to try to overturn all of the systems and use the power of social influence for good. He was a model for prosocial behavior, when he could have been anything but forgiving, understanding, empathetic, he had every reason not to be. But he used controlled thinking, and utilized so many aspects of South African morals, beliefs, and attitudes to create CHANGE. This is not to say everything is perfect in South Africa, prejudice and discrimination are still rampant, but the status quo being interrupted set off the spark for long term, sustainable attitude change.
People always wonder HOW HE DID IT?!?!?Well, he didn’t do it alone number one. What social psychology teaches us about minority influence, is how amazingly powerful it can be in certain circumstances. Mandela had the qualities of being the kind of leader that could create the kind of group cohesiveness that would lead to consistency and agreement between members on the BASIC ISSUES. He was able to instill trust and avoid what could have been the inevitable backlash of having a cohesive group, that they would turn on the “out group” who were once the oppressors now that Mandela had the power to do so. He focused on trying to have a fair and peaceful transition process, and succeeded in many ways and failed in others. But he DID emphasize that to move forward we need to empathize with and understand the perpetrators of all of that violence and the bystanders who did nothing.
He wasn’t always the emblem of peaceful protest, he supported resistance in its many forms. For a while, a long while and until very recently, he was considered a “terrorist” while simultaneously being glorified for being a peaceful otherworldly altruist. He suffered the consequences of NOT conforming, as he felt the price of conforming was too high to bear.
Terrorist VS Inspiration
He did not only speak out about the injustices in South Africa, but EVERYWHERE. Take a look. 7 Nelson Mandela Quotes You Probably Won’t See In The U.S. Media. Here is my favorite: “The UN took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system. But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
I could go on and on and on, showing how much of a social psychologist he was in his fight against prejudice, but I will leave some things up to you to find out and figure out. SO, comment on the post with some information on how he used social psychological principles to end prejudice and discrimination in South Africa and all over the world. He wasn’t perfect, but he was more often than not a positive model for prosocial behavior, leading by lived example. One that we all should follow.
Follow the hyperlinks to find resources about various initiatives within Egypt that have been done to try to combat sexual harassment.
Take a look at this PSA created by UN Women. Even from the title you can tell which strategy towards attitude change, “Put Yourself in Her Shoes”….. Do I even need to elaborate???
How successful do you think this PSA is? What routes is it taking? Take a look at some of the comments as well.
The below video is also AMAZING. Apparently this aired on TV but I had no idea of its existence to be honest. Its a show called Awel el Kheit, the beginning of the thread. They talk to young men about harassment, and oh my, LISTEN TO THEIR RESPONSES. Think about theories of and kinds of aggression, how it started what sustains it and maintains it…
Also, there is an awesome tactic used, the woman being harassed is…… SURPRISE! You will have to watch to find out.
I have my own theories on how sexual harassment has not been adequately addressed by NGO’s, popular youth movements, and other “invested” parties, but I would LOVE to know what you all think. Since its out in the open and being talked about and there are so many trials to MAKE IT STOP, why hasn’t it even dwindled? In fact, many people see that the opposite has happened and that it has INCREASED.
Waiting to hear what you think… as always 🙂