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Social Influences on Behavior

Essay by   •  March 26, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  1,062 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,858 Views

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Social Influences on Behavior

Social influences occur when a person's behavior, emotions, or opinions are affected by other people, groups, or social classes. Social influences can take on any form. It is diagnosed in socialization, obedience, peer pressuring, or any other situation that involves a social setting. Social influence may affect a person's thoughts, actions, or attitudes. Social influences can affect friendships, conversations, a person's point of view, or opinions. In this paper, I will explain and describe two behaviors in relation to social influences. The two examples I will be using is social drug use and bullying. I will describe the consequences and precursors of social drug use and bullying behaviors, and discuss any therapeutic intervention necessary for treatment of these behaviors.

Social Drug Use

The first behavior I want to discuss is social drug use, also known as recreational drug use. The year is 1994 and I am a senior in high school. My classmates and I get invited to our first college party. I arrive late and observe several of my classmates smoking marijuana, drinking, and using other drugs. It shocks me because I never saw any of them exhibit this type of behavior. None of them used drugs at any of our past parties, but because they are in an environment in which drug use and drinking is acceptable, the behavior is influential. I looked around the room and noticed different people from different backgrounds enjoying the social environment in which social drug use was acceptable. It brings up the question, why are drugs a part of some people's everyday life? People use drugs for different reasons. Some use it to escape from the reality of life and his or her problems, to be accepted, for adventure, just for the fun of it, or to conform to a social scene. "Conformity is the process by which people change their attitudes or behavior to accommodate the standards of peers or groups. Asch's studies demonstrated that a substantial number of people will conform when confronted by a group with a consensus opinion, even if the opinion is manifestly wrong" (Kowalski & Western, 2005, p. 692). Why do we partake in drug use when we receive warning of the possible effects, the dangers, the health risk, physical, and psychological problems that occur from this behavior? The answer to this question is mostly influenced by a person's social influences. This is took place at the party. My classmates wanted to fit in and allowed his or her behavior to be influenced by the environment and the several college student using drugs.

Necessary Therapy of Social Drug Use

As with any type of drug use, treatment is apparent for a social drug user because he or she has a higher risk of becoming an addict. The more he or she parties in this type of environment, the more susceptible he or she will become to drugs. The cognitive behavioral therapy is helpful in this kind of treatment. "Cognitive behavioral Therapy attempts to help patients recognize, avoid, and cope. That is, recognized the situation in which he or she is most likely to use drugs and how to avoid these situations" (T., 2008, p. 2). The main focus is educating a person on new ways to fit in and deal with the situations that promote drug use.

Bullying

Another behavior affected by social influences

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