Bonus Reflection Paper on the Kawakami Paper

Last Updated: 27 Jan 2021
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Bonus Reflection Paper on the Kawakami Paper and Stanley Milgram’s Obedience Study Ella Price In Kerry Kawakami’s paper “Mispredicting Affective and Behavioural Response to Racism” the paradox of remarking upon how strongly overt prejudice is condemned within modern society and the acts of why blatant racism still frequency occurs were scientifically examined (Kawakami, K. , Dunn, E. , Karmali, F. , & Dovidio, F, D. , 2009).

The results of this study were truly astonishing, yet frightening as the differences between predicted responses and actual responses to racist behaviour was investigated. Given either two settings of a private or public environment, groups of non- black participants were used to basically illustrate the average racism theory, which states that individuals today who embrace egalitarian beliefs may continue to harbour nonconscious negative feelings towards outgroups, in this case, blacks (Kawakami et al. , 2009).

Groups were given a scenario to predict or literally physically show how they would feel and behave and how they actually feel and behave upon hearing a racist comment. Participants in the role of the forecaster had time to recognize the social demands dictated by widespread egalitarian norm, and therefore responded in ways they believed were socially acceptable rather than according to their true inclinations (Kawakami et al. , 2009). On the contrary, actual responses were perceived to be based on spontaneous more unconscious attitudes.

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As a result, Kawakami concluded that despite current egalitarian cultural norms, one reason why reason and discrimination remain so prevalent in society may be that when people are literally within a scenario of overt racist acts, they do not respond in the way they anticipated in terms of egalitarian norms, which promotes prejudice and racism to continue (Kawakami et al. , 2009). This study was very interesting and reflective of bizarre yet sickening modern social drawbacks. This study draws a parallel to Stanley Milgram’s Obedience study to authority figures.

It was a series of social psychology experiments which measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure of the experimenter who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal egalitarian conscience (Cherry, 2010). These experiments commenced subsequently after World War II, when people had a difficult time trying to understand how a whole country can come together in such an atrocious fashion. Milgram asked himself, “Was there a mutual sense of morality among those involved? " (Cherry, 2010).

Milgram's testing suggested that it could have been that the millions of accomplices were merely following orders, despite violating their deepest moral beliefs (Cherry, 2010). How violent can a person choose to be under the influence of an authority figure or in Kawakawi’s study, despite the social demands of egalitarian cultural norms, when and how much will people choose to slack in their response to overt acts of racism, whether it is because of feelings of guilt, embarrassment or genuine racism(Kawakami et al. , 2009).

The majority of today’s prejudice studies branched off from after WWII, to explore the human psyche and to understand and prevent racism, prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination from taking such a deep fierce hold on society (Cherry, 2010). Initially, the first minority of studies that forked off from this era, began to point fingering directly at Germans, labelling them as inherently evil people, prone to racism, discrimination and prejudice, but as the field of social psychology and prejudice research progressed we began to better understand an individual’s psych for better and for worst (Cherry, 2010).

Psychologist has discovered the dilemma of the human mind and its unstable frightening truth: We are not as nice as we would like to anticipate. In Stanley Milgram’s experiment on obedience people would act in response to an authority figure, the experimenter, who would ask them to do something which seemed inherently immoral (Cherry, 2010). Despondently, it was discovered that the powers of obedience by an authoritarian often ensnared, restrained and imprisoned common sense and humanity.

Similarly the study conducted by Kawakami, tell us that although we would like to believe that when someone did something wrong we would stand up for justice and morality but unfortunately, those who do stand up appear to be the statistical inconsistencies (Kawakami et al. , 2009). References Kawakami, K. , Dunn, E. , Karmali, F. , & Dovidio, F, D. (2009). Mispredicting affective and behavioural responses to racism. Journal of Science, 323, 276-278. Cherry, K. (2010). The Milgram Obedience Experiment: The Perils of Obedience. Retrieved March 31, 2010, from http://psychology. about. com/od/historyofpsychology /a/milgram. htm

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