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Lord of the Flies Human Psychology Presentation

Freud, Zimbardo, and Social Psychology

Mike Agostino

on 13 March 2012

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Transcript of Lord of the Flies Human Psychology Presentation

Lord of the Flies
The Bystander Effect
"a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases in which individuals do not offer any means of help to the victim in an emergency situation when other people are present."

Two major factors that influence bystanders' inaction:
social influence: people look to others for cues to act
diffusion of responsibility: someone else will act/help
Sigmund Freud's Structural
Model of the Human Psyche
the "id"
completely amoral and egocentric
contains basic desires and impulses
seeks pleasure and avoids pain
the "ego"
contains defensive, cognitive, and executive functions
tries to strike a balance between one's primitive urges and reality
allows the id's desires to be expressed when the consequences aren't serious
the "superego"
contains a person's ideals and spiritual goals
criticizes and prohibits one's primitive desires and wants
acts as our conscience and makes us feel guilty when we
act on our id's desires
"a type of thought within a deeply cohesive
in-group whose members try to minimize
conflict and reach consensus without
critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating
individual creativity and independent
thinking are often lost or discouraged
unique viewpoints and individual doubts
are ignored or cast aside
poor or hasty decisions may be made
Irving Janis's
8 Symptoms
Rationalizing warnings that might
challenge the group's assumptions
Unquestioned belief in the morality
of the group, causing members to
ignore the consequences of their actions
Stereotyping those who are opposed
to the group as weak, evil, biased,
spiteful, impotent, or stupid
Direct pressure to conform placed on
any member who questions the group
couched in terms of "disloyalty"
Self-censorship of ideas that deviate
from the apparent group consensus
Illusions of unanimity
among group members
(i.e. silence is viewed
as agreement)
Mind guards:
self-appointed members
who shield the group
from dissenting information
Obedience to Authority:
The Milgram Experiment
Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram
created and conducted an experiment to test
how willing people would be to obey an authority
figure who instructs them to perform acts that
are at odds with their personal conscience.

Milgram's experiment was inspired by the trial
of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, who was
hanged for his part in organizing the Holocaust
and had plead that he was simply following
His experiment led him to develop two theories:
a theory of conformism and agentic state theory
Theory of Conformism
Agentic State Theory
"A subject who has neither ability
nor expertise to make decisions,
especially in a crisis, will leave
decision making to the group and
its hierarchy."
"The essence of obedience consists in the fact that a person comes to view himself as the instrument for carrying out another person's wishes, and he therefore no longer sees himself as responsible for his actions. Once this critical shift in viewpoint has occurred in the person, all of the essential features of obedience follow."
IIlusions of invulnerability
creating excessive optimism
and encouraging risk taking
Type this link into your browser to see the above video, which is an example of groupthink: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bH_fCvNLCw
To see the above video, which is a re-enactment of the Milgram Experiment, type the following link into your browser: www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6GxIuljT3w
Full transcript