Psychology on the Boy Scouts

Rules Are Meant To be followed

When the boys go out to camps over the summer, there are always councilors for merit badges the boys have to follow and obey. when put in a group of boys you don't know, and told to follow the councilor, you do, you all conform because that is what the rest of the boys are doing, and that is what is expected.
The different situation comes when the councilors make a odd decision concerning the group of boys. Like the Asch Experiment, you tend to get the boys who do it just because the authority asks you to, then you get the rest of the boys to follow, because, that is what the majority is doing, even if it is a questionable decision.

Follow Me Boys

I remember a time I went on a hike with my troop. The path we followed traced the bank of a river and followed the river all the way up to a dam, then doubled back through to the woods back to the beginning.
The small group I was with mistook the path and ended up on the other side of the dam on a service road. This happened after following the authority figure up a rock outcropping, the situation became worse after the leader decided to keep following the road.
This is comparable to Milgram's experiment. The authority figure got us to do something, even told us to do things and we obeyed, even against our best judgement.
Both the Fundamental Attribution Error and the Self-serving Bias is present in this situation.
Fundamental Attribution Error - We thought the leader went up the rock because we drew attention to them by saying they looked cool and asking if we could go up them to get a better look. He probably though more along the lines of, "that is a weird place to continue the path, oh well, guess we need to keep going"

Self-serving Bias - It was our leaders fault because he didn't know what he was doing. In reality, we were also to blame because we did not correct him.

"Your Turn To Lead"

Often in our troop we are asked to help plan things from meals on campouts to a twenty mile hike. These times tend to get interesting.As an example, I'll refer to our most current backpacking trip.
When we planned this trip, the boys were separated into groups of about five boys. Each group was in charge of planning a meal, either Dinner, Breakfast, or Trail Snacks. Very soon after we separated into our Trail Snacks group, ideas like fruit roll-ups to bacon flew out of the mouths of the group. It's a good thing we had a leader in the room, otherwise, that might have been what the group decided on bringing. The leader reigned the ideas back in and got us thinking right again, we got some good planning done in that group.
This example can relate to Zimbardo's experiment because in the group, certain people were appointed to take control of the groups discussion, this was the individual who started the flow of the crazy ideas partially because he knew he was in charge.
Through this example we can also see instances of Groupthink and Group Polarization.
Groupthink became apparent after the ideas came out of the mouths of other participants, we all started sprouting ideas that went along with the groups current line of reasoning.
Group Polarization became apparent when we heard the more crazy ideas thrown out, like bacon and fruit roll-ups. The group, not having anything to hold them back from their current mode of thinking, came up with crazier, more absurd ideas.