Why do people behave in ways that harm themselves and others? In addressing this question, you should draw on psychological research covered in at least TWO blocks of your module
Psychologists believe that the manner an individual behaves has a close correlation to the environment one was brought up in, the biological factors, as well as different social influences they are surrounded with. All these forces contribute to the outright behavior a person adopts. This paper uses a theoretical approach to provide answers to the question of why certain people behave in ways that cause harm and negativity to themselves and other people. The author argues that Milgam’s social psychology, Bowlby’s developmental theory, Realistic Conflict Theory, and biological reasons such as depression and self-harm are some of the reasons that could be blamed for this convoluted behavior, as well as common societal twists such as prejudice.
As evidenced by Milgram, social psychology refers to a study that analyzes the dynamic relationships existing between a person and the individuals around them. The theorem suggests that people behave in manners that harm themselves and others out of the social influence surrounding them (Miller, 2016). Every person is different with unique individual characteristics such as desires, motivations, traits, desires, and emotions with a significant effect on social behavior. However, human behavior is profoundly influenced by the people and forces they interact with on a daily basis. These people may be friends, family or relatives that push one into partaking an action that was not desirable. This is attributed to the ideology that social situation is commonly a stronger behavioral influence than individual characteristics (Miller, 2016).
In his developmental attachment theory, Bowlby suggests that parent-child interactions emerge and affect the subsequent development of a child (Stern et al., 2018). The behavioral theory in relation to attachment outlines that a child easily attaches to the behavior of the mother because it is she that feeds and cares for the infant. Thus, this creates a lasting emotional and psychological connectedness between the two. The attachment is majorly characterized by particular characters in children, for instance, looking for proximity to an attachment figure when threated or upset about something and has an impact on the emotional, social and cognitive development of the child (Stern et al., 2018). Therefore, some people behave in ways that cause harm to themselves and others because they were attached to the wrong forces in their journey of growth, or their parents attracted negative forces of violence, murder issues, and lack of respect, among others.
Biologically, the ultimate point of depression is self-harm, especially for people who do not find enough counseling and therapies regarding a situation (Stern et al., 2018). Depression pushes one into taking actions that may compromise the wellbeing of themselves and others. Groupthink theory suggests that a group setting can facilitate a faulty decision making as a result of the negative force that unites the involved persons. A person ends up incompetently considering the options so as to enhance accord and poor assessment of decision objectives that might cause harm. Moreover, some act out of prejudice leading to harm (Miller, 2016). Mostly, it occurs when a person falls for a preconceived opinion without basing it on actual experience and reason that pushes one into making a bad decision.
The realistic conflict theory affirms that harm can also be as a result of intergroup hostility. The issue of competition over scarce resources and conflicting goals can cause feelings of discrimination and prejudice towards a person that accompanies the intergroup hostility. In this regard, the resultant anger and frustration are the driving forces for one to do harm as an ultimate comeback.
In conclusion, theoretically, the reasons why people harm others are multifactorial because they are cultivated by a wide variety of forces. Some actions are out of prejudice, social influence from the human surrounding, biologically through depression as well as intergroup conflicts due to conflicting opinions, and competition.
Miller, A. G. (Ed.). (2016). The social psychology of good and evil. Guilford Publications.
Stern, J. A., Fraley, R. C., Jones, J. D., Gross, J. T., Shaver, P. R., & Cassidy, J. (2018). Developmental processes across the first two years of parenthood: Stability and change in adult attachment style.