When it comes to both personal development and community building, understand certain theories that psychologists have developed has come in quite handy. I mentioned this to a friend recently who confessed that he had tried wading into reading about such studies a few times but he stepped right back out because it was just all too much.
Confession: I agree! There is **so much** out there that I often get lost myself. This is why I particularly enjoy posts like the one featured this week: a round-up of some essential studies, many of which most of us have at least heard about. It barely makes a dent into the entire body of texts available to us, but it definitely helps us acquire a broader vision of the patterns of behaviour guiding community building activities.
The author of the post in question introduces the ten studies as follow:
“I have been primarily interested in how and why ordinary people do unusual things, things that seem alien to their natures. Why do good people sometimes act evil? Why do smart people sometimes do dumb or irrational things?” –Philip Zimbardo
Like eminent social psychologist Professor Philip Zimbardo (author of The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil), I’m also obsessed with why we do dumb or irrational things.
The answer quite often is because of other people – something social psychologists have comprehensively shown.
Over the past few months I’ve been describing 10 of the most influential social psychology experiments.
Each one tells a unique, insightful story relevant to all our lives, every day.
Some of these studies are really scary to be honest; I caught myself quite a few times wondering: ‘Do I also do this?’ But with awareness comes the insight to do something about these patterns of behaviour. When combine with empowerment, surely we can change the way we function as a group. Hopefully in 100-200 years, psychologists will look back at these studies and wonder how humanity could ever have done such things in the first place.
The post can be found here.