Commitment and Consistency

The Issue: The social pressures individuals feel to carry through/ carry out commitments for the sake of the accolade of being a consistent human being.

Major Strengths: As always Cialdini does a great job of showing us how big pictures theories are relevant in our everyday encounters. Charities social tactics seem to be very telling of human behaviour and it was interesting to me that once we are asked if we are well from a charity representative that because of our emotional well being we are usually guilted and then committed into helping someone else. A major strength of Cialdinis is noting the emphasis and importance we today put on the idea of someone being ‘consistent’. This term is brought up in many job reviews and is used a huge plus when describing someones work ethic, we place an extreme pressure on someone being consistent that people tend to go along with commitments they may not want to purely so they can be see as someone who is consistent.

Major Weakness: I felt that the examples of the hazing within colleges and the tribe examples did not necessarily fit with the ideas of the chapter. I personally think that the psychology behind hazing can go much deeper and it can be studied in it’s own right, I understand that the person who is enduring all of these tasks are honouring a commitment to accept these punishments and become a part of the fraternity, however I feel that, that it a different kind of commitment and consistency in comparison to the other examples.

Underlying Assumption: Everyone feels a sense of commitment on a regular basis, ones which we may not want to take a part in. However many people have a desire to be seen as a consistent person, Cialdini makes confusing points of just needing to find the balance between what is appropriate for you.

Provocative Questions:

Why is hazing considered a commitment? I understand that I am from a country where it does not exist, however I am completely aware of what goes on behind those doors and all of the situations people endure to prove themselves. However psychologically I would like to understand better why these individuals agree to that commitment, is it to feel part of a ‘brotherhood’ forever more? (A brotherhood that tortures you, no doubt!).

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