Interdisciplinary skills are much different from the skills most people acquire in college.  There are both pros and cons to this.  One pro of studying interdisciplinarily is that rather than having a blind view of one discipline like in traditional degrees, an interdisciplinary studies major understands how to look at problems from many different perspectives.  Additionally, interdisciplinary studies majors study two different subject areas.  They are getting a much more well-rounded education than a traditional major as well.  A third pro of being an interdisciplinarian is that they are trained to think outside of the box and develop much more creative approaches to problem solving situations.  But where there are pros, there are also cons.  One con to being a interdisciplinary studies major is that they don’t acquire as much knowledge on their topics of study as, would say, a double major (which is what I now am!).  The BIS degree essentially combines two different minors to make up one major.  Students do not gain such a deep understanding of each topic as they would have had they chosen one major alone.  Additionally, the biggest con of the interdisciplinary studies program is that most people don’t understand what it means without having been explained to.  “I am a BIS major” doesn’t mean much to most people.  Especially to an employer sifting through resumes.  It is one thing when you are at an interview and have the opportunity to explain the degree.  But on paper, most people will skim by without a second thought.  Finally, the last con to being an interdisciplinarian is that these people often spend so much time trying to “think outside the box” that they completely overlook the problem.

Good bye, Interdisciplinary Studies program!  It’s been real.

This week, for around thirty minutes, I sat in the courtyard in front of Hayden Library and I observed.  I observed the behaviors of my peers around me with my two interdisciplinary concentrations–Psychology and Philosophy–in mind, but more specifically, I related their behaviors with some key concepts from each of my subject areas.  Relating to Psychology, the concept I chose was self-presentation.  Self-presentation is the process through which we try to control the impressions people form of us.  The main goals people try to accomplish through the process of self-presentation include being liked, being seen as competent, and being seen as having high status and power.  The second key concept I chose to observe and relate to student behavior relating to Philosophy is virtue.  Virtue is generally defined as behavior showing high moral standards, and is a common point in philosophical discussion.
In the Hayden courtyard area I could see the entire courtyard, the steps leading down to main entrance, the inside of the coffee shop, the inside of the study area behind the coffee shop, as well as the main entrance to the library.  In these spaces, students had ample opportunity to demonstrate processes of self-presentation.  The first example of this I saw was when a male student offered to buy a female student’s coffee for her.  Another thing I noticed was that (and this is a rough approximation) approximately 80% of the people passing through the main entrance alone were either talking on the phone, or appeared to be text messaging someone.  This demonstrates the principle of wanting to appear competent through showing the “trappings” of competency, or in this case, either remaining on the phone or pretending to be on the phone in order to appear popular or in-demand.  Additionally, there were many students at the library who seemed to be much more focused on their school work than their self-presentation.  The way the tables are arranged outside of the Hayden cafe, it allows those who want to socialize to do so, and also accommodates those who wish to be left alone.  They are also off to the side, as not to interfere with the people entering and exiting the library.  The window leading inside the study area showed dozens of kids sitting alone, many of them with headphones on, on the computer, reading, and studying.  Many of these people didn’t show any overt evidence of self-presentation that I noticed.  The arrangement of the courtyard ultimately allows people to self-present in subtle, everyday, extremely common kinds of ways. Additionally, self-presentation only performs subtle and personal functions in this environment.  Those socializing use self-presentation to become liked and form new relationships or maintain existing ones.  Those studying use self-presentation to appear competent, or even to just blend into the background.  Those working at the coffee show use self-presentation to appear both competent and likable in order to earn tips.  Those passing by use self-presentation simply to uphold societal norms and appear average.  There are many rules that govern behavior in a space such as the library courtyard.  For example, people recycle and throw their trash away.  One girl even cleaned trash that someone had left on a different table in addition to her own.  The people that are smoking use ash trays, they don’t throw their cigarette butts on the ground.  People passing each other do not stare at one another.  People tend to mind their own business, an unspoken rule at the Hayden Library.
There is also ample opportunity to demonstrate the concept of virtue in an area such as the library courtyard as well. People choose to recycle rather than trash bottles, cans, etc.  Customers at the coffee shop say please and thank you.  People (for the most part) will hold the door open for the person walking in or out behind them.  Smokers do not blow their smoke in the way of non-smokers.  A homeless man walked down the stairs and asked a girl next to me for a cigarette.  Whether this action was rooted in virtue or fear is probably debatable, though.  People, for the most part, were polite.  Two men dressed nicely met up and shook hands before entering the library.  As a girl was leaving, she dropped her notebook and a guy walking the opposite direction bent down, picked it up, and handed it to her.  There was also an instance of the opposite virtue, as the people at the table lose to mine began having an extremely loud and inappropriate conversation in a timid and relaxed area.  Although there were no extreme examples of virtue, my observations in the courtyard  made me realize that people my age, (again for the most part) are polite and treat each other with a considerable level of respect.  The space allows for this idea to remain consistent: there are many doors to hold open, recycle cans and ash trays to use.  There are windows to stare in, but people still refrain.  This is another unspoken rule.  For the most part, though, the unspoken rule in the library courtyard is just to behave in a polite and dignified way.  Clean up after yourself, respect the people around you, and stay out of the way!  The function of virtue is to ensure our sociality as human beings.  The more virtuous one is, the better their life will be, as it allows them many social connections and benefits.
My psychological concept of self-presentation and my philosophical concept of virtue have a much stronger relationship than I ever before realized. Virtue is a part of self-presentation for many people.  They use virtuous and kind actions to present themselves as virtuous and kind people.  Without virtue, self-presentation would take a completely different course.

This week, I leaned something particularly intriguing called…
Prosocial behavior, which is defined as action intended to benefit another.

My discovery of this intriguing idea occurred while studying for…
PGS350, Social Psych!

I found this idea intriguing because…
There are so many factors that influence our decisions to help one another.  Before I explain those, though, take a look at this video.

What influences our decision of whether or not to help someone in need?  In general, people will help someone else to gain genetic and material benefit, to win social status and approval, to manage self-image (that is, to make them feel better about themselves as people), to manage moods and emotions, and last but HOPEFULLY not least, to benefit another.  But how could this happen?  How could this CHILD of all things, be in such need of assistance and yet NOBODY takes it upon themselves to help!?  Well to really understand this, we must understand the 5-stage model of helping explained to me by Professor Neuberg.  Just because someone may WANT to help, he explained, does not mean they actually will.  A passerby of an incident such as what you just witnessed must take five cognitive steps in order to determine whether they will follow through with helping or not: notice, interpret as a problem, assume responsibility, decide what to do, and then help.  First and foremost, a person must notice that a “need situation” potentially exists.  Second, they must interpret the situation to determine whether or not aid is required.  So according to this model so far, those passers-by must have noticed the bloody smashed body lying on the concrete (something you can tell many of them are trying to act like they didn’t do), as well as acknowledge that this young girl is in need of help, which she obviously is.  The third step is where a lot of people are lost: they must then assume responsibility.  Here is where we were introduced to a phenomena titled diffusion of responsibility.  The most universally recognized instance of this phenomena was in the case of Kitty Genovese, the woman who, in 1964, was slaughtered on the street next to her apartment building as dozens of people watched from the comfort of their own apartments.  Not one of those people called the police.  Not one of those people did a thing to help.  But why?  Are they cold-hearted sadistic individuals?  Or, did they think one of the other 25 people they saw witnessing this murder would call the police, and therefore they didn’t need to.  Here is diffusion of responsibility: the more bystanders that are present during something such as this, the most likely it is that no single person will help.  Perhaps this occurred in the video above.  Maybe as they were walking by this girl, the people thought to themselves, “Someone surely must have already seen this, I’m sure help is on the way!”  But then again, maybe not.  Had one of those 18 individuals assumed responsibility, they would then decide what to do–probably call the Chinese equivalent of 9-1-1?  And then they would actually DO it.

I would label this “intriguing idea” as a theory, concept, method, or other…
I would label this “intriguing idea” as a method.  Prosocial behavior is a method through which humans maintain their status as social beings.  Dr. Neuberg said it best, “If we weren’t prosocial, we could not be social.”

I can think of at least three ways I can apply this intriguing idea…
1.  Most importantly, knowing the cognitive processes that occur to individuals while deciding whether or not to help will assist me if I am ever in a similar situation.  I can now skip from “notice, interpret, assume…” straight to HELP!  Additionally, never again will I take part in the diffusion of responsibility.  I learned the Kitty Genovese case many, many years ago, and upon initially learning about this completely ridiculous situation, I promised myself I would never be one of those people.  Since then, whenever I see a car accident, I call the police.  Whenever I see something on fire, I call 9-1-1.  These principles have ALREADY made a difference in my life before I even learned them.
2.  Now I can evaluate others’ helping to see whether it was done altruistically (solely to benefit another) or through selfish motivations of the helper.  This is somewhat less important–I’m sure that little girl would not have been too concerned with whether the person helping her was doing it for the right reasons or not.  But still.
3.  In the section on prosocial behavior, we also learned about how to use such behavior to impact moods and emotions.  For instance, giving while your in a bad mood can play a role in uplifting that mood.  Here’s another one I’ve already applied: after a bad exam, I attended Burger King in the MU.  The woman at the register asked, “Would you like to donate a dollar to support our troops?” We get these questions all the time, and usually my automated response is “No, that’s okay.”  But on this particular day, I said yes.  I donated my dollar and, low and behold, it helped me feel a little better about myself as an individual.  People WANT to see themselves as competent, generous, and caring, hence what motivates prosocial behavior in the first place!

This intriguing idea is surprisingly similar to something I learned in another class, which was…
My Philosophy class is titled “Intro to Ethics.” More than anything, we evaluate different philosophers and their ideas about the right way to live life.  For example, Lao Tzu places much importance on virtue, and states “The man of the highest virtue does not keep to virtue and that is why he has virtue.”  Through this statement, Tzu implies that to TRULY have virtue, one must do so without even trying.  Confucius also talks a lot about virtue and its importance in living a truly satisfying life.  While he disagrees with Tzu’s idea that if you try to have virtue, all is already lost, Confucius explains the value of being right and good, even for the wrong reasons.  Helping people is highly important in our interaction as social animals, even if we do it through our own selfish motivations.  I found this to be an extreme commonality between Social Psychology and Ethics.

If this idea were a song, it would be…
Ahhh, hippie music. MY FAVORITE!

If this idea were a food, it would be…
A big bowl of trail mix at a party. Put there to share. To help satisfy the hunger of all its needy snackers TOGETHER!

If someone wanted to learn more about this idea, they could read any of the following books or articles…
Learn about Kitty Genovese, Diffusion of Responsibility

Kenrick, Douglas, Steven Neuberg, and Robert Cialdini. Social Psychology Goals in Interaction. 5th. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2010. 117. Print.

 

Neuberg, Steven . “Prosocial Behavior.” 2011. Print.

This week, I leaned something particularly intriguing called…
Functional Projection

My discovery of this intriguing idea occurred while studying for…
Social Psych-PGS350

I found this idea intriguing because…
Functional projection essentially explains that, when people have certain desires, it leads them to see things that are relevant to those desires.  We learned about this particular theory during our chapter regarding love and romantic relationships, and more specifically, the section regarding sexual satisfaction.  The idea of functional projection came up when discussing the mechanisms of flirting between men and women.  Compared to women, men rend to perceive more sexuality in heterosexual interactions.  A man and woman can have an interaction with each other, and often, the man will perceive the interaction as overtly sexual while the woman will see the interaction as simply friendly and platonic.  The reasoning behind this is functional projection: men have a relatively low threshold for sexual interaction.  The idea that men constantly have sex on the brain has a solid scientific basis, and because of this fact, they perceive nonsexual interactions as sexual solely because of the sexual desires that exist within them. Ultimately, the thing about this that I find the most interesting is that our desires CHANGE what we see and how we see it!  Human psychology is amazing.

I would label this “intriguing idea” as a theory, concept, method, or other…
I would label this “intriguing idea” as a theory.  As defined by dictionary.com, a theory is a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and a prediction for a class of phenomena.  The concept of functional projection follows this format.

I can think of at least three ways I can apply this intriguing idea…
(1) First and foremost, knowledge of this idea will allow me to alter my interactions with men to fall in line with what I now know they perceive. Steven Neuberg, my PGS350 professor, explained to us that psychologically, for women, no doesn’t always mean no while, for men, no means no and yes means yes.  Our sexual differences are psychologically based, and now I can change my behaviors to become consistent with how others are going to perceive those behaviors.
(2) I have always been a fan of the Buddhist goal of ridding yourself of possessions and desires in order to achieve nirvana and enlightenment. Philosophically, it makes perfect sense. Although I don’t plan on surrendering my iPhone to anybody any time soon, I think it is important for me to understand these principles in the way I live my life. Possessions are a distraction, and the more I understand this, the more enlightened it will be!
(3) This idea of functional projection is a theory that applies to the human race universally. This allows me to understand human desires and behaviors as a whole, applying it to whatever I may need to in the future.

This intriguing idea is surprisingly similar to something I learned in another class, which was…
In philosophy, a couple weeks ago we discussed the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism.  They are as follows:
1.  Suffering exists.
2.  The origin of suffering is our desires.
3.  The way to end suffering is to eliminate all desires.
4.  You will eliminate these desires through the Eightfold Path.
Desires and pleasure are both things that are frequently brought up in philosophical discussion.  Buddhists in particular see that desires serve as a distraction: they skew your perception of the world.  This falls in line with the idea of functional projection.  This idea that human perception and experience change based on our desires is based both philosophically and psychologically.

If this idea were a song, it would be…
It’s true, you can’t always get what you want.  But perhaps we should not WANT anything in the first place…

If this idea were a food, it would be…
If functional projection were a food, it would be ice cream because, when you eat ice cream, it makes you cold. This idea of having one thing on your mind–or in your hand–influencing what you see or how you feel falls in line with functional projection.

If someone wanted to learn more about this idea, they could read any of the following books or articles…
Freudian Projection Explained, The Four Noble Truths

This week, I leaned something particularly intriguing called…
Reciprocity

My discovery of this intriguing idea occurred while studying for…
PGS350- Social Psychology

I found this idea intriguing because…
Reciprocity is a social norm that obligates people to give back the type of behavior they have received (Neuberg).  This idea is embedded into basic human psychology based on our evolutionary history as a people.  In the past, reciprocity was applicable to the exchange of food, water, tools, basic things that people needed to survive.  As humans have developed society to make these things much easier to acquire, this idea has remained embedded in our psychology.  So, while in the past the idea was “if you help me survive, I will help you survive,” it has evolved into “if you do me a favor today, you have the right to expect a favor from me tomorrow.”  This psychological principle has been evaluated through many studies.  One example is a study in which participants were unknowingly offered a Coke from a “fellow participant” of the study (really a confederate).  The generous individual leaves the room for a couple of minutes and returns with two bottles of Coke, claiming one for himself and offering up the other to the individual who is actually being studied.  After the experiment (as far as the first participant knows) is over, the confederate approaches them in the hallway, asking them to buy raffle tickets to support their charity.  As it turns out, those participants that were offered the Coke, even when they didn’t particularly want it, were much more likely to buy the raffle tickets from the confederate.  When we receive an act of kindness, a favor, or a service, we feel psychologically obligated to reciprocate the act of kindness in some way.  A second example of this is when a homeless person approaches you on the street.  You are much more likely to offer up your change to an individual that offers you, say, a flower, than to an individual who simply asks for money.  “Anyone who violates the norm by taking without giving in return invites social disapproval and risks the relationship” (Neuberg).  The principle of reciprocity generally works to everyone’s advantage, and is therefore instilled in members of societies from early childhood.

I would label this “intriguing idea” as a theoryconceptmethod, or other…
I would label this “intriguing idea” as a theory.  As defined by dictionary.com, a theory is a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and a prediction for a class of phenomena.  This idea of reciprocity was presented to me as a principle and would also fit the criteria of a theory.

I can think of at least three ways I can apply this intriguing idea…
As a basic psychological principle, this idea is already embedded into my mind and used on a daily basis both consciously and unconsciously.  However, knowing the studies that have been done and the manipulative tactics people use that go along with this principle–window washers, homeless people with flowers, charities that send me a nickel and ask me for a dollar in return–will allow me to be more conscious of my choices in who I actually DO want to support and help out.  Rather than being manipulated in my decision, I can donate my time, energy, and money to the people and charities that I feel are ACTUALLY important.  Additionally, being educated on this principle will help me to do the socially acceptable thing.  If someone helps me out and lets me borrow their notes, I’ll do the same when they need it.  If someone spots me for a meal, I will spot them back, both because it’s the right thing to do, and the socially and psychologically acceptable thing to do.  Finally, if I ever for some reason need to spange money from passers-by, I now know the most effective way to do this successfully!  Talk about an important life lesson…

This intriguing idea is surprisingly similar to something I learned in another class, which was…
In my philosophy class (PHI105) we recently learned a quote by Confucius.  Similar to Christianity’s “Golden Rule,” Confucius states “Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.”  This idea is, in some ways, parallel to the idea of reciprocity.  While Confucius is saying do no harm to others, especially that which you wish others would refrain from doing to you, reciprocity is almost the opposite.  It states that psychologically, if we do a favor for someone, that person should expect that they owe us something in return.  While these ideas explore different ends of the situation, they are still very similar thought processes.

If this idea were a song, it would be…
90’s flashback!  We’ve got the dreamer’s disease.

If this idea were a food, it would be…
If this idea was a food, it would be fondue.  It’s something that is generally shared between two or more people.  I dip my bread in your cheese, you dip your strawberry in my chocolate.  Fondue is all about reciprocity!

If someone wanted to learn more about this idea, they could read any of the following books or articles…
My PGS350 Textbook, a blog post about reciprocity, an article influnced by Professor Cialdini.

Kenrick, Douglas, Steven Neuberg, and Robert Cialdini. Social Psychology Goals in Interaction. 5th. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2010. 117. Print.

Neuberg, Steven . “Social Influence: Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience.” 2011. Print.

This week, I leaned something particularly intriguing called…
The most interesting and useful information that I learned this week is regarding the “Social Media Revolution” that is currently taking place in our society.**

My discovery of this intriguing idea occurred while studying for…
I learned about the Social Media Revolution in my BIS301 class.  It occurred through a presentation by a guest we had in our class named Bryan Holladay.

I found this idea intriguing because…
In college, social media, Facebook in particular, is a huge part of students’ everyday lives.  I, along with the vast majority of my peers at ASU, on average log onto Facebook many times every day.  It is an extremely efficient way for me to stay in touch with classmates regarding assignments, friends from my high school, family from Akron, Ohio where I’m from, as well as anybody else I meet and connect with.  However, there are so many other kinds of social media that, until this presentation, I never realized the usefulness of.  Mr. Holladay taught me about the importance of self-branding through social media, how to use LinkedIn to begin building a network that I will use and maintain throughout the rest of my life, as well as how to connect all different kinds of social media to create an image for myself.  I admit that upon entering BIS301, I was appalled at the fact that I was going to be required to use Twitter, WordPress, Google+, and LinkedIn in order to successfully complete the course.  However, this presentation completely put these requirements into perspective for me and made me understand the reasoning behind them.  Mr. Holladay opened my eyes to how important social media’s role is today on establishing success.  I sincerely feel that his presentation is going to benefit me in more ways than anything else I have learned in any other class I’m taking this semester.

I would label this “intriguing idea” as a theoryconceptmethod, or other…
I would label this “intriguing idea” as a method.  Social media is just that: a method of promoting yourself and spreading your ideas, abilities, and successes to anyone who is interested.  LinkedIn is a method of establishing a solid network.  Twitter is a method of categorizing and organizing conversations and ideas between users.  WordPress is a method of sharing thoughts and excerpts with interested readers.  My favorite social media site that Mr. Holladay revealed to me was About.Me.  This site is a method of establishing my online identity as “Abbey Williams.”  This site allows me to catalogue all my forms of social media in one, easy to access place.  Mr. Holladay expressed an idea that I thought to be completely genius.  He suggested that we put a QR code on a business card liking to our About.Me. pages which ideally would link potential employers to our online profiles including resumes, networks, etc.  Scan this with your iPhone!
qrcode

I can think of at least three ways I can apply this intriguing idea…
Networking is probably one of the most important things to acquire during my college years.  News of the Social Media Revolution has taught me how to do this in the easiest and most effective–not to mention far-reaching–manner.  Establishing my network now through LinkedIn is going to help me accomplish so many things later on in life.  My network will assist me in acquiring jobs in the future, as well as allow me to use my connections to help others acquire the jobs they yearn for.  About.Me will allow me to secure my online identity!  It will allow me to represent myself in the way I want to be represented, as well as make it extremely easy for potential employers to see who I am, what I desire, and how I will go about accomplishing my goals.  Knowing the usefulness of social media NOW will help me in numerous ways LATER.  I can use social media to my advantage throughout everything I do in and beyond college in order to maintain a competitive edge, as social media knowledge is becoming increasingly important in EVERYTHING we see, hear, and do.  Want an example?  See how the Google Guy used social media to promote himself!**

This intriguing idea is surprisingly similar to something I learned in another class, which was…
My PGS350 Social Psychology class evaluates the idea that humans are social beings.  We thrive off of interaction with one another. The entire class is devoted to understanding the interactions we make with each other and WHY it is we do the things we do.  I find it interesting to compare the importance of social interaction with the developing importance of social media interaction.  The concepts seem like parallels, but I feel as though they are merging with each other more and more every day.  Perhaps social psychologists will begin to study the evolution of social media as an integral aspect of humans social lives and social behavior.

If this idea were a song, it would be…
(I wish this question were “If this idea were a movie it would be…” so I could citeThe Social Network!)
If this idea were a song, it would be Revolution by The Beatles.  The revolution is happening!  We need to embrace it or be left behind…

If this idea were a food, it would be…
If this idea were a food it would be spaghetti!  All the noodles are either touching each other directly or touching each other through some degree of separation.  They are interlocked and intertwined with each other.  This is what social media does for us as people. It allows us to all be intertwined and interconnected on a network, on a much smaller scale than we ever have been before.  Social media really puts the theory of “six degrees of separation” into perspective.

If someone wanted to learn more about this idea, they could read any of the following books or articles…
First, I would recommend checking out that video at the top of page if you haven’t yet.
Socialnomics.com is also an excellent source for all information social media related, specifically this article.
Learn about the application of social media in the business world here.

 

**”Social Media Revolution 2″ video and “Google Guy” taken from a presentation by Bryan Holladay.

As a BIS major, I have two concentration areas including philosophy and psychology. The BIS program focuses on integrating two disciplines in the most effective manner.  The disciplinary map is intended to compare and contrast my two concentration areas to emphasize their disciplinary perspectives.

This week, I leaned something particularly intriguing called…
This week, in my Social Psychology class (PGS350) I leaned about something called Ingratiation.  Ingratiation is defined as “an attempt to get others to like us.”  In studying this idea, I am learning about the various psychological verbal and non-verbal behaviors people express when they are in the presence of someone they want to like them.  The one specific fact I found to be most intriguing was that people unconsciously express their liking for others through nonverbal imitation.  For example, when in the presence of someone you want to like you for whatever reason–be it they could assist you in reaching some kind of goal, offer you a higher position of status, or that they are a possible love/mating interest–you are psychologically programmed to repeat their movements.  If they cross their legs, you want to cross your legs.  If they put their hand in front of their face or mouth, you will want to do the same.  The reason I found this idea to be particularly interesting is that upon learning about this idea, I have caught myself doing it on more than a few occasions.

My discovery of this intriguing idea occurred while studying for…
My PGS 350, Social Psychology class!  I would have to say this is my most interesting class this semester.  You know, the kind you don’t have to go to but you do anyway.

I found this idea intriguing because…
The ways in which humans are so similar on a psychological level completely astounds me!  Aside from nonverbal imitation, ingratiation can be displayed through many other methods .  One of these methods demonstrates that the idiom “flattery will get you nowhere” is, on a psychological level, entirely untrue.  Flattery is, in fact, an effective way through which people get others to like them (Kenrick, Neuberg, and Cialdini 117).  In addition to flattery, ingratiation explains how useful a simple smile is in gaining approval and liking from others.  There are so many subtle conscious and unconscious things humans do to acquire the liking of others!

I would label this “intriguing idea” as a theoryconceptmethod, or other…
I would label this “intriguing idea” as a theory.  According to Google dictionary, a theory is a set of principles on which the practice of an activity is based.  As this idea is based on a more than common demonstration of specific behaviors, I would consider it to be a theory.

This intriguing idea originated with…
I’m not sure that I truly understand how to answer this leg of the prompt, but that’s not going to stop me!
While I was in lecture learning about ingratiation, me and my classmate Jeremy and I whispered about various things the professor explained.  As he elaborated on the nonverbal imitation method, Jeremy and I looked at each other, both leaning to the left side of our chairs with our right hand in front of our mouths. Well, what do you know?  I guess they’re really not making this stuff up…

I can think of at least three ways I can apply this intriguing idea…
There are going to be WAY more than three situations in my life when I will need to acquire somebody’s liking!  Becoming aware of the methods through which people subconsciously ingratiate, I am able to consciously control the impressions I give off more effectively.  I am now somewhat more educated on how to impress an interviewer, or a love interest, or a new friend.  Being aware of this practice will also allow me to be aware of other people and their interactions with me:  I can more accurately interpret liking, disliking, annoying, approval, etc.  Additionally, knowing the subtle cues of certain practices allows me to more accurately identify the practices of false flattery and false liking as well.

This intriguing idea is surprisingly similar to something I learned in another class, which was…
Okay, I’m going to generalize this idea a bit, so work with me.  Ingratiation explains one of the hundreds and thousands of things that humans have in common on a psychological and biological basis.  This collectivism of humans all thinking and operating in the same ways is the idea that has me so interested in Psychology…and Philosophy!  Philosophy, however, focuses more on the common ideological needs that people have.  For example, the need to ponder and investigate the meaning of life, the purpose of existence, the existence/lack of existence of a greater being and an objectified purpose.  As humans, it is in our ideological programming to desire an answer to the meaning of life, as well as what occurs beyond life…

If this idea were a song, it would be…
Okay, back to the psychological perspective for the song connection.  Let’s go with a classic:
I Want You to Want Me – Cheap Trick

If this idea were a food, it would be…
A pizza!  Consider the human race as a pizza.  Every slice has the same foundation, the crust!  The cheese, the toppings, the seasonings, they’re all evenly disbursed across the pizza.  Let’s relate this to our psychological needs and operations.  While every slice has a certain amount of cheese, toppings, seasoning, no two pieces are EXACTLY the same, just as no two humans are the same in every way.

If someone wanted to learn more about this idea, they could read any of the following books or articles…
Well, I first I would refer to the textbook for my PGS350 class: Social Psychology: Goals in Interaction.  It’s already cited down there.
Or just click me to learn more about ingratiation, or click on me to learn how to apply it!

Kenrick, Douglas, Steven Neuberg, and Robert Cialdini. Social Psychology Goals in Interaction. 5th. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2010. 117. Print.