The chapter introduces terms such as norms or rules that tell us how we should behave. If we behave, then we get rewards. If we don’t adhere to such norms, then we get punished for the consequences. Another term explained in the chapter is social role which is the person’s role (what part you play) in society.
Next, the chapter talks about the Obedience Study conducted in 1960 that showed people conforming and obeying other individuals surrounding them and authorities overpowering them. Unexpectedly, the people conforming, and obeying went along with the inclinations that they felt were not right or unethical. The experiment expressed that the behavior of these people was heavily accounted on the individuals in their environment rather than what the people believed were right or wrong. The other study called the Stanford Prison experiment performed the perceived power of officers over the prisoners and showed the relationship of the role of power over the behavior of people. Both of these studies explain why people obey: entrapment, the punishments received if disobey orders, the rewards received when obeying.
The chapter then discusses what causes people to behave how they do, or otherwise known as attribution theory. The behavior can either be based on the environment or the beliefs and personality of that individual. The chapter also talks about phrases such as the validity effect (what people believe leads them to repeat that belief) and familiarity effect (inclining to be positive towards familiar concepts and individuals). Our behavior and beliefs also affect us when we are in groups. In modern society, we feel inclined to be in a group rather than be left alone. This idea is contradicted with the concept called groupthink. Groupthink is where people have or share similar ideas and dissent different ideas from people.
The last parts of the chapter converses about prejudices and stereotypes. For example, when different people talk to different people, then they try to find distinctions that they either share or not share. The causes for this prejudice include: economic, cultural, psychological and social. Also, when people engage in conversation with similar people, then it can lead to prejudice of people and stereotyping of people. The prejudice includes disliking individuals for no apparent reason. The stereotyping can include overstated differences between groups that can be selected as a broad generalization.