Практическое пособие для студентов IV курса специальности «Психология», страница 20

Persuasion In late October 1980, presidential candidate Ronald Reagan trailed incumbent Jimmy Carter by 8 percentage points in a Gallup poll. On November 4, after a 2-week media blitz and a presidential debate, Reagan, "the great communicator," emerged victorious by a stunning 10 percentage points. The Reagan landslide caused many people to wonder what qualities made Ronald Reagan so persuasive and his audience so persuadable.

Group Influence Buoyed by a string of successful space shuttle launches, the NASA management team approached the 1985 Challenger mission brimming with confidence, though frustrated by launch delays. When the engineers who designed the rocket booster opposed the launch because of dangers posed by freezing temperatures, group pressures to go ahead effectively silenced their warnings. Unless the engineers could prove that the rocket seals would not hold, the management group would not agree to another delay. Moreover, the NASA executive who made the final "go" decision was never informed of the warnings. Assuming, therefore, that there was unanimous support for a launch, he sent the space shuttle off on its one-way flight to annihilation.

But let us consider the extent to which people are aware of the power of social influences.

We generally explain people’s behavior by attributing it either to internal dispositions or to external situations. In accounting for others’ actions, we tend to underestimate the influence of the situation, thus committing the fundamental attribution error. When we explain our behavior, however, we more often point to the situation and not to ourselves.

You, too, have probably committed the fundamental  attribution error. In judging, say, whether your  psychology instructor or shy or outgoing, you perhaps inferred from your experience in class that he or she has an outgoing personality. But you know your instructor only from the classroom, the situations that demands outgoing behavior. The instructor, on the other hand, observes his or her own behavior in many different situations: in the classroom, in meetings at home, and the like. We commit  the fundamental attribution error by disregarding the situation and leaping to unwarranted conclusions about others’ personality traits. When talking about ourselves, we generally use words that describe our actions and reactions (I get upset when..., I feel good when...); when talking about others, we more often use words that describe what a person is (He is irritable..., she is demanding...). We shouldn’t be egoistic and have to take into consideration all the factors that have made a person to behave in this or that way.

Words and expressions to remember :

a)  suggestibility – внушаемость

airplane hijacking – угон самолёта


Inspire – вдохновлять, воодушевлять; внушать, вселять (чувство); тайно внушать

The bizarre – чудаки, эксцентрики

Contagious – заразительный

Bartender – AE бармен

Role playing – ролевая игра

Randomly – случайно, наугад

Designate – 1) предназначать, 2) задумывать, замышлять

Devise – задумывать, придумывать, изобретать

Resigned – покорный, безропотный, смирившийся

Junta – хунта (полит)

Indoctrination – внушение идей, идеологическая обработка

Persuasion – убеждение

Trail – отставать, идти сзади

Incumbent – лидирующий

Stunning – оглушающий, ошеломляющий, сногсшибательный

Landslide – резкое изменение в распределении голосов между партиями, внушительная победа (на выборах)

Buoyed – подбодрённый, воодушевлённый

Launch - запуск

Attribute – приписывать

Disposition – предрасположение, склонность; характер, нрав

Underestimate – недооценивать

Outgoing  - дружелюбный, общительный

Leap – перепрыгивать

Unwarranted – 1) негарантированный, 2) недозволенный, незаконный

b)  copycat actions – в точности скопированные действия

canned laughter – смех, записанный на магнитофонную плёнку