How the Human Brain is a Social Tool

The human brain has been categorized many ways throughout the history of the evolution of mankind.  Notable, modern psychology, however, dictates the brain is monopolized by a more specific evolution in form of a socializing mechanism (Kassin, et al., 2017). Clearly there are a number of more specific modules of study which have led to the overall consensus that the brain is primarily concerned with its status and survival within society.  Some researchers go as far as to provide evidence and support as to the fact the human brain will even form a natural distillation of occupational types based upon the need for social survival (Milgram, 1964).

There are many mechanisms which play a large part in the overall development of social statuses, social coping, and social engineering in any community.  One famous study, sometimes known as the Stanford Project, has focused on the relationships between guards and prisoners, prisoners and prisoners, and guards and guards, within a simulated prison.  This study outlined the potential for aggression to be a large factor in determining the natural order of the communities (Haney, et al., 1973). Further studies outline the importance of interdependence within various societies, highlighting that the inter-relationships of various individuals within close-knit communities can impact overall survival and communal energy (Chadee, D., 2011).

The Human Brain: A Social Tool

            Human beings adapt through social mechanisms. It is a clear survival technique and has created one of the most dominant species on the planet. In fact, the idea that working together creates a stronger unit than working along can be traced back as far as the history of the human being.  The concept of mirroring other human beings to feel accepted is not a new concept either.  Social psychology studies this mechanism very deeply and investigates the mind’s desire to reduce embarrassment, enhance heroism, promote cooperation, and improve understanding of various social divides (Kassin, et al., 2017). How people interact in order to survive in a social setting is an extremely diverse lexicon and includes more than simply behavior and feelings, but also the study of the actions of neurotransmitters in the brain (2017).

Obedience and Aggression in Social Psychology

            Many instances throughout history have highlighted the use of obedience and aggression to obtain desired outcomes.  There are many reports from ex-Nazi soldiers following the end of the second World War that detail the use of obedience as a tool for achieving broad-spectrum goals (Milgram, 1964).  There are many studies, such as the study reviewed by Milgram (1964), that outline the assertiveness of obedience as extremely successful in obtaining desired outcomes out of participants (willingly or not).  Other experiments, such as the Stanford Project, included purposefully manipulated variables that encouraged study participants to become more aggressive with less (or virtually no) recourse for their actions (Haney, et al., 1973). The experiment included splitting participants into one of two designated roles: prisoners or guards. Guards were even given weapons and sunglasses, making eye contact between guards and prisoners an extremely discouraged action.  The ultimate idea being to encourage aggression from the guards and submission from the prisoners (1973).

Interdependence in Social Interaction

            The human being can accomplish more through proper social alignment and teamwork.  This creates an array of social problems and stresses which can result in varying conditions, behavior, and output from person to person.  Still, most people find ways to interact with other human beings in order to see mutually beneficial outcomes. There are ways to measure social interaction to determine appropriate levels of interdependence called Effective Matrices (Chadee, 2011).  These matrices ultimately determine how individuals within any relationship function, and which choices are acceptable or unacceptable.  Other ways to measure these actions and interactions may include the analysis of cost vs reward, and the idea of interactions being objective or subjective experiences (2011).

Conclusion

Social psychology is still a rather new science in the world. Still, enough history has come to print to determine there are clear patterns which dictate human interactions with other humans.  It is also obvious that the psychological environment within any given community is largely dependent upon several social factors.  Human beings are most certainly social animals and rely largely upon social interactions to survive.  Unfortunately, it has become apparent throughout many studies and experiments that some humans rely upon aggression or obedience, while others may value interdependence and social cooperation (Benjamin, et al., 2009). Regardless, the study of interpersonal interactions is a valuable study today and for many years to come.

References

Benjamin Jr., L., and Simpson, J., (January 2009). The Power of the Situation. The Impact of Milgram’s Obedience Studies on Personality and Social Psychology. American Psychologist. Vol. 64. No. 1. Pp 12-19.

Chadee, D., (2011). Interdependence in Social Interaction by Ann C. Rumble. Theories in Social Psychology. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. United Kingdom. Pp. 191-193.

Haney, C., Banks, C., and Zimbardo, P., (September 1973). A Study of Prisoners and Guards in a Simulated Prison. Naval Research Review. Stanford University. Department of the Navy. Washington D.C.. Pp. 1-2.

Kassin, S., Fein, S., Markus, H. R., (2017). Social Psychology. Tenth Edition.  Cengage Learning. Boston, MA. Pp. 5-6.

Milgram, S., (1964). Behavioral Study of Obedience. The Bobbs-Merrill Reprint Series in the Social Sciences. Yale University. College Division. Pp. 372.

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