Module 4B Post-Assessment
Social Trap & Groupthink
In the National Beta Club, each member has to earn points. These points can be earned via community service or other club activities. Most of the members choose to use volunteer hours that they have already completed for a different club for BETA as well. When a person does this, they satisfy the necessity of points, but at the end of the year, BETA has accomplished very little because members cared more about the diploma seal than the success of the club.
Conformity & The Asch (Line) Experiment
If you are active in BETA, you will have a seal on your high school diploma. Every year, there is always one or two seniors that decide to quit BETA club and sacrifice the diploma seal because they don't feel like earning points. Once this happens, several more seniors go along with them, even though they know that they should stick with it. In this case, most people do this to avoid seeming "nerdy". This is similar to the Asch (Line) Experiment that we studied in this module.
Authority & Zimbardo (Prison Experiment)
BETA club is run by a group of high school officers. Often in meetings, members don't stop talking just because an officer is speaking. Most of the time, nobody is quiet until the teacher who oversees the club stands up and becomes stern. Even though most of the members are respectful people, they don't think of somebody their age as being an authority figure, so they don't listen. Once a teacher, an obvious authority figure speaks, they immediately listen and behave. On a lesser scale, this is similar to the Zimbardo experiment in the aspect of the prisoners listening to the guards because they were obviously figures of authority. Also similar to the Zimbardo Experiment is that once new officers of the club are learning how to act, they base their actions on those of the other officers.
Obedience & Milgram Experiment
Often the officers tend to slack off on their duties and procrastinate until the next club meeting to get all of their "assignments" done. The supervisors told all of them that they needed to do their duties along the way instead of waiting and doing them all at once. When they still procrastinated, she decided to create mandatory officer meetings after school once a week. Because they are in the presence of their supervisor, the officers tend to get all of their duties done these meetings.
Fundamental Attribution Error
When new members are invited to join BETA, there is a formal induction ceremony. Earlier this year, when inductions were held, one of my best friends was unable to attend. The supervisor got on her for not showing up, as the induction ceremony is mandatory to become a member. The supervisor was unaware that the only reason the girl didn't show up was because there was a death in her immediate family minutes before the ceremony.
Earlier, when there was a clear issue with the new election of president of the club, the current president denied that she had done anything wrong. She didn't want it to seem like she was doing a bad job because she needed to feel like she was able to handle the club, even though that isn't the case too often.
After a discussion on how the supervisor was going to tighten the "points system" so that members couldn't earn all of their points at the last minute, people who already thought it was unfair that we have to earn points to get the seal on our diploma now feel even more strongly about that. Many have even said that they may drop out of the club.