Social Psychology What It Means Essay

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Social Psychology What it Means: Examples
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Social Psychology What it Means: Examples Social psychology looks at how human behavior is influenced by others and the social context in which it occurs or understanding individual behavior within the social context (McLeod, 2007). It is a hybrid discipline merging other aspects of psychology into one; a melding of Sociology and psychology, therefore known as social psychology (Social psychology, 2012). Social psychology takes into account the fact that human behavior has many aspects and while people would like to think they are who they are and nothing can ever change that, in most instances; they would be incorrect in their thinking. Social psychologists show that people tend to change based on the situation they are in or the people they are around at the moment as well as how our thoughts, feelings and beliefs affect our interactions with others. Group think occurs when two or more people come to the same consensus even if one member may disagree. Such as when Brandon Teena, a female to male transgendered person, was raped and murdered in Humboldt, Nebraska on December 31, 1993 by two men simply so they could avoid prosecution for attacking Brandon earlier. Society saw Brandon as a female although he had lived as a male for years, in fact when Brandon had reported the earlier attack the police basically laughed it off because they thought Brandon was just another ‘freak’ trying to get attention. Brandon was born Teena Brandon but had known for a long time that he was a male trapped in a female body. He knew many people did not and would not ever accept him in his hometown so he moved to another town and lived solely as a man. He fell in love with a girl and it was her friends who ended up killing Brandon as well as two others, who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The two young men who killed Brandon and the two others did it because they were afraid; afraid of Brandon and the way he had fit into their little group so well and in their minds he should not fit in anywhere. They also did it because they felt insecure in their own masculinity and wondered deep down if by hanging out with Brandon the gay had rubbed off, not realizing Brandon was not gay, he was transgendered, all they knew was they could not deal with someone who was different. Once they found out ‘he’ was a ‘she’ they could not deal with what they felt was weird. In their minds, Brandon was not ‘normal’ and therefore had no right to live the life he wanted. A few weeks before the murders the young men had found out that Brandon was actually female and in their minds, ‘she’ needed to be taught a lesson; a lesson that as a female she needed to act like a female in all respects. Although one of the young men says he did not agree with the other guy’s plan to attack and rape Brandon, (or Teena as they decided to call ‘her’) he went along with it because he was convinced that due to ‘her’ being different she deserved whatever she got and they ‘showed her’ what sex with a man was like and thought that with a ‘freak’ like that they did not really have anything to worry about. They were wrong. Brandon went to the police and filed a report, this did little good however because the police in this small town at the time felt the same way as the two young men had. They did not understand the reality of Brandon’s lifestyle and they had no wish to understand it. Societal norms have changed over the years and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered behavior is much more socially acceptable in the current climate than it was at the time of the murder. There are of course still elements in society that are not willing to accept anyone who is different from them in any way, whether it is due to race, religion or sexual preference. Laws have