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Critical Analysis of Basic Issues in Social Psychology

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Chapter one: Social Representations through stereotypes

Social representations are essential for the world. They are a society’s shared beliefs, ideas, values and assumptions and they help bring sense to the world and understanding it (Myers& Twenge, 2018 p.9). However, these representations can be harmful. For example, on the image above, the woman is a Muslim and here in American society their belief towards Muslims is that their all terrorists. It’s a very widely shared belief within America and as a result Muslims are now seen as terrorists and associated them with ISIS. This is due to the terrorist attacks on 9/11 where many lost their lives. Even within the picture above the woman says that ISIS doesn’t not represent her, the religion and the other people who follow it as such. The reason why their social representations is terrorist is before they had no impact in society, and people really didn’t have a label yet. Once the terrorist attacks came it was nothing that was ever seen in America. They needed something for it to represent, to make sense and understand why which is when it was found out that Muslims were responsible. As such their social representations became terrorists.

  • Myers, David & Twenge, Jean. (2018). Selected Material from Social Psychology, 13th Ed.,
  • McGraw Hill. (2015, December 22). US Muslim leaders organize in response to bias, harassment. Retrieved from

Chapter Two: Self Esteem and body image

Everyone has self-esteem weather it be low or high, it affects how we interact with each other and our overall mood. Self-esteem can be summed up to our overall worth and how confident we are (Myers& Twenge, 2018 p.39). But with self-esteem comes difficulties such as body image, body image is how we view our body and if its positive or negative. It’s a huge factor as society deems men attractive if their muscular and woman thin and sexy. Because of this we as individuals always have low self-esteem as our bodies aren’t deemed what we find attractive. This then can be problematic as if we don’t have high self-esteem we are bound to not do well in relationships or other things like academics, work etc. In the image above the woman seems thin but she see her body image is negative as she views herself as overweight and unattractive due to unrealistic standards of beauty.

  • (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • Myers, David & Twenge, Jean. (2018). Selected Material from Social Psychology, 13th Ed., McGraw Hill

Chapter Three: overconfidence phenomenon and Trump

You ever look in the mirror and think “Man I look good” or going to school and thinking “I am going to ace this test”. That is confidence and its basically a feeling of trust to one’s own abilities and just feeling good. While it’s good to build confidence, too much is never a good thing and may be harmful instead. This brings in the overconfidence phenomenon, it’s when your are confident but your more confident then you are correct, essentially you overestimate the accuracy of whatever the belief is (Myers& Twenge, 2018 p.66, p.SI-7). This is very relevant to our president currently, Donald Trump. He has made many remarks without fact-checking and in the article below it’s a good example of the overconfidence phenomenon. Essentially, he claims that the coronavirus was created in a lab in china while scientists have said that it originates in a wet market. He’s confident in his claim and has no evidence to back it up which brings back to being more confident then correct. He overestimates this belief that virus was a bio-weapon created in a lab and refuses to admit that it may be wrong.

  • Holland, S., & Alper, A. (2020, April 30). Trump is confident that coronavirus may have originated in Chinese lab. (S. Maler & P. Cooney, Eds.) The New York Times. Retrieved from
  • Myers, David & Twenge, Jean. (2018). Selected Material from Social Psychology, 13th Ed., McGraw Hill.

Chapter Four: Roles and teenage ad

Being a teenager can be one of the best moments of your life but at the same time the worst. There are many roles a teen has to play. What is a role? A role in psychology is best defined as a person acting in occurrence to what social position, they are in. (Myers& Twenge, 2018 p103). Whether it be work, school or home. The ad above showcases this very well. For teenagers, they are in the halfway point in being old enough to do certain actives but at the same time too young as well. The ad above discusses how your teen isn’t a baby anymore and its time to treat them according to their age. The role they are originally assigned is being your child, however now just as the ad says they’re not merely your child, but a person who has roles of their own to fulfill. Therefore, they should not just be treated in the role of a child but also as a student, an adult, an older sibling and so on. The ad above is a great example for roles as teens shouldn’t be in their role of a young child because they have important decisions to make, such as sex, as mentioned in the ad.

  • Myers, David & Twenge, Jean. (2018). Selected Material from Social Psychology, 13th Ed., McGraw Hill.
  • (2012, October 4). Retrieved from

Chapter Five: Norms and Masks

When you’re on the bus and a pregnant person or elderly is on it’s a norm to offer your seat. Norms are part of our lives and what bring order to the world, their are everywhere not only in the United States but in other countries. But what are norms? And what defines them? Norms as defend by Myers (2018) is a set of standards on what is socially accepted behaviors in a particular society (p.125). Now with the current situation of the pandemic its now required to wear masks. In this news article for instance the governor of New York now requires everyone to wear masks to avoid further spread. Now with the order passed masks are now part of the norm. If one is seen without a mask their breaking a norm, people will see you as an outcast and deviating away from the norm. However, those seen with masks will not be questioned, even within the article if seen without a make’s others will try to enforce it to maintain the norm.

  • Lyons, B. J. (2020, April 15). Cuomo orders New Yorkers to wear masks to stem coronavirus. Times-Union . Retrieved from
  • Myers, David & Twenge, Jean. (2018). Selected Material from Social Psychology, 13th Ed.,
  • McGraw Hill.

Chapter Six: Mass Hysteria and Toilet Paper

Humans can sometimes make questionable decisions when under panic. In medieval times there was an instance of hysteria where one person stepped out in the streets and started to dance nonstop. Soon a whole group of people joined in and kept dancing for many days without any breaks, many people tried to stop them, but it was pointless. The carton represents what mass hysteria is in the 21st century. But first mass hysteria must be defined to better understand the connection between the two. Mass hysteria is a type of phenomenon also known as group hysteria is a problem that spreads from one person to a larger group and causes the affected people to have irrational behaviors or beliefs (Myers & Twenge, 2018, pp.158-159, p. SI-11). Now in the cartoon it represents the current situation of panic buying. As a result, one person buying a lot of toilet paper and as a result many people are buying more toilet paper then needed and keep doing so over and over. This as the image shows is irrational behavior and will not cure the virus.

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  • Myers, David & Twenge, Jean. (2018). Selected Material from Social Psychology, 13th Ed., McGraw Hill.
  • Summers, D. (2020, March 16). Retrieved from

Chapter Seven: Persuasion and Beauty

We as humans may deem ourselves strong-minded however were always easily persuaded by marketing, ads and each other even. While persuasion can be good it also at the same time be bad and harmful. For example, this particular story in this Woman’s Health Magazine about skincare and trying to look younger. Many of humans have a desire to look younger and this story is a great example of persuasion. But its important to know what persuasion is. Essentially Persuasion is a process in where the particular person attitudes along with their behavior are influenced by a particular message (Myers & Twenge, 2018, pp.214-217, p. SI-11). In this magazine its persuading woman, in particular, to use these methods to look not only younger but more beautiful, after all who wouldn’t want that. The person in discussion is an actress named Gwen Stefani and she claims a good waterproof foundation helped beat aging and tiredness. Additionally, staying out of the sun, encouraging a vegetarian diet and so forth. While any regular person could have told you this the fact that it comes from a famous person persuades your more to try these tips and buy the concealer to avoid aging and look young

  • Paolercio, J. (2020, April 25). 5 Skincare tips Gwen Stefani follows to make 50 looks 30. Women's Health. Retrieved from
  • Myers, David & Twenge, Jean. (2018). Selected Material from Social Psychology, 13th Ed., McGraw Hill.

Chapter Eight: Social Loafing and Group Projects

There will always be people who will contribute to nothing and yet somehow reap the benefits without lifting a finger. Those who do this fall under Social Loafing, its defined as a tendency in which people will put less effort when in a group than when their on own(Myers & Twenge, 2018, pp.224-225, p. SI-11). The cartoon above represents what an individual who practices social loafing is like. The girl is angry that she has done all the work and her partner has done nothing or gave any effort for their project. While I am sure he would put more effort, he was alone he believes he doesn’t need to do as much, as the other person will make up for it. As such social loafing is best used within this cartoon as he puts less effort in the group project.

  • Hobbes, C. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • Myers, David & Twenge, Jean. (2018). Selected Material from Social Psychology, 13th Ed., McGraw Hill.

Chapter Nine: Prejudice and Asian Americans

Prejudice, a negative judgment that is preconceived towards a certain group or individual (Myers & Twenge, 2018, p. 256). Prejudice has existed since the dawn of time, no matter how far we advance we always seem to never put an end to it. Even now its existence is very prevalent now as the ones that are at the receiving end are Asian Americans. In the news article below its been reported that Asian Americans are being harassed due to the coronavirus surfacing in China. As a result, some Americans have this preconceived notion that all people who are from china or look “Chinese” are carrying the disease and as such deserve to be punished. One woman who immigrated from China to America five years ago was spat on and yelled at by a fellow American. She’s not the first to receives such harsh treatment as many other Asian Americas are treading the same way. As such this is a great example of prejudice being utilized as the notion is the virus came from china, everyone of Chinese or Asian decent has it.

  • Tavernise, S., & Oppel Jr., R. A. (2020, April 10). Spit On, Yelled At, Attacked: Chinese-Americans Fear for Their Safety. The New York Times. Retrieved from
  • Myers, David & Twenge, Jean. (2018). Selected Material from Social Psychology, 13th Ed., McGraw Hill.

Chapter Ten: Social Learning Theory and the kind of driver being raised

As a child we always look up to our parents for guidance and learn what’s right, wrong and how to go through life. The ad above shows just how much a child can be influenced by their parent through social learning. Just like we can learn aggression from others we can also learn other types of behaviors by others (Myers & Twenge, 2018, p. 306). Now the preference of social learning theory is best defined as learning social behavior through imitation along with observations from others (Myers & Twenge, 2018, p.SI-11). In the ad above its showing the mother using her phone while driving as such her child behind her observes this behaviors and keeps a note of it in her mind. Soon after she begins imitating her mother by using a phone while the car. It’s inferred that later when she’s behind the wheel she will use her phone just as her mother did. As such the ad is a good example of social learning theory in that the child will observe and imitate whatever her mother is doing behind the wheel and do the same now and later when she receives her very own license.

  • Myers, David & Twenge, Jean. (2018). Selected Material from Social Psychology, 13th Ed., McGraw Hill.
  • (2019, April 9). Retrieved from

Chapter Eleven: Physical-attractiveness stereotype and beauty ads

Everyone desires to be beautiful, beauty in America is everything, your are treated well and are given more opportunities. This type of treatment is a result of a concept called physical-attractiveness stereotype, it means that whoever is considered beautiful is good and has desirable traits, while ugly is bad (Myers & Twenge, 2018, p.346). The ad above is a great example of this, as it shows that the before photo is ugly, undesirable and bad. People may consider she has undesirable traits and is inferior. The next photo shows a beautiful woman, in the ad its shows that she’s desirable, and has good traits. When people see this ad they’ll aromatically show a preference for the after photo and will have a distaste for the before photo.

  • (2012, April 24). Retrieved from
  • Myers, David & Twenge, Jean. (2018). Selected Material from Social Psychology, 13th Ed., McGraw Hill

Chapter Twelve: Social-Responsibility and Zakat

Everyone has a responsibility they need to uptake, whether it be work, school or family. However, when it comes to helping others for majority of people, it may not be on the top of their priorities. The reason why is they may have other things to take care of. However, For Muslims its different as it is a requirement for Muslims to give zakat. This is where Social-Responsibility comes in as it’s a responsibility to help others in need without getting anything back (Myers & Twenge, 2018, p.382, p.SI-11). The image above shows how zakat saves lives and its an obligation. What Zakat is giving at least 25% from your earnings to those in need, there are no strings attached. And the Muslims that do so gain nothing back in terms of physical things. Its obligatory as the image above lists and states that when doing this your are able to help children not be hungry and help them in other relief crises.

  • Myers, David & Twenge, Jean. (2018). Selected Material from Social Psychology, 13th Ed., McGraw Hill.
  • Ramadan donation. (2018, May 17). Retrieved from
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