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Analysis of Social Psychology Concepts

Introduction

Social psychology is the science of how people’s ideas, attitudes, beliefs, desires, and aspirations are formed in a social setting due to their actual or perceived encounters with others. Thus, it examines human conduct concerning people and the contexts in which interaction and feelings occur. People are frequently influenced by cultural norms, national standards, social expectations, and social functions without even realizing it. Therefore, the main focus of social psychology involves three areas: social thinking, social influence, and social relationship.

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Social Thinking

Social Beliefs and Judgment

Social psychologists presume that individual traits and the social context influence human conduct. Also, they consider that the social context has a more significant impact on conduct than the individual’s traits (Thibaut et al., 2017). The primary focus of social psychology is on how people interact with one another. Personal attributes, motivations, and emotions are unique to each individual and influence their conduct in social situations. However, daily interactions with other people have a significant impact on behaviors. It is not just people known and cared for; it is also for people seen on television or read about online. According to social psychologists, human conduct is influenced by an individual’s qualities and the social environment (Thibaut et al., 2017). Additionally, they feel that the social environment typically exerts a greater influence on conduct than its traits. Stan’s social behavior is influenced by the music he listens to in Eminem’s song. He listens to Slim’s songs whenever he is depressed, as he believes they share a similar upbringing from an oppressive house.

Attitude and Behaviour

Feelings, beliefs, and behaviors are all considered part of an individual’s attitude toward an item of interest, object, or person. Attitudes can strongly influence behavior, generally based on upbringing or experiences. The degree to which an attitude is sustained is frequently a good predictor of subsequent conduct. The more powerful the attitude, the greater likely it will influence behavior (Thibaut et al., 2017). If an attitude serves a person’s self-interest, it will be critical. As a result, an individual’s mindset will significantly impact one’s conduct. On the contrary, an attitude is irrelevant to an individual if it has no bearing on their life. For example, some people may have conflicting views regarding a person or an issue.

In the song Stan by Eminem, the character is shown to have mixed feelings towards his greatest fan, Slim. Stan explains how he listens to Slim’s songs, especially when depressed because he believes they share the same past. Stan writes several letters to Slim but unfortunately gets no response. When several months pass by, and no response comes, Stan gets mad and starts hating on Slim. Stan’s attitude towards Slim changes immediately, and he no longer considers him a fan. Stan rips off all pictures of Slim from the wall. “I hope you know I ripped all of your pictures off the wall (EminemMusic, 2009).” Stan’s behavior here is affected by his attitude toward Slim. Stan drives on a freeway at full speed while intoxicated since he is enraged for not getting replies to his letters.

Influence

Genes

The gene is the fundamental unit of genetic information storage and transmission between generations. Genetics plays a considerable role in intelligence, social attitudes, interests, and personality. All psychological characteristics are thought to be impacted by heredity in some way. (Thibaut et al., 2017) Genes do not directly dictate behavior but rather encode chemical components that create and manage the brain’s activity. A growing body of evidence suggests that social information might change the expression of genes in the brain that are associated with brain function and behavior. In the song Stan by Eminem, Stan is seen as a temperamental person. He inherited this tendency from his father since he recalls his father routinely beating up his mother. “He used to always cheat on my mom and beat her (EminemMusic, 2009).” Stan’s temper is seen when he hurls abuses and hurts his pregnant girl tying her in the trunk of his car.

Persuasion

Refers to a symbolic technique in which individuals attempt to persuade others to influence their attitudes and behaviors toward an issue by transmitting a message in an environment of free choice. Self-persuasion occurs when individuals create their personal messages in support of or opposition to something. Persuasion attempts frequently fail to have much of an influence. Perhaps the most fundamental reason is that individuals do not want to be swayed; they are motivated to oppose persuasion and manipulation. Nonetheless, not all messaging is designed to be persuasive; it can also be used for other reasons such as informing or entertaining. A common aspect of persuasion is manipulating others, and many people find this aspect of the process repulsive (Thibaut et al., 2017). Others would argue that humanity becomes chaotic if no social governance and mutual accommodation, such as that acquired through persuasion.

Eminem’s song portrays the art of persuasion through the character Stan. Stan tries to influence and get the attention of his biggest fan by writing letters to him. Stan writes how he has a tattoo of Slim’s name across his chest in one of his letters. The letter also mocks Slim to influence his position to respond to his message. Dear Mister, “I am too good to call or write my fans (EminemMusic, 2009).” Stan is confident that his messages will eventually be responded to since Slim cannot lose his biggest fan.

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Relationship

Aggression: Hurting Others

Aggression is defined as conduct meant to cause harm to another person who does not desire to be hurt. However, intentional harm is more severe than accidental injury, even when the effects are equivalent. Physical aggressiveness is aggression that results in physical harm to another person—for example, by striking, beating, stabbing, or killing them. Nonphysical violence is aggression that does not result in physical harm. Intense emotions, notably wrath, are often present when someone engages in hostile behavior. The purpose is to cause harm to the other individual. Instrumental aggressiveness is simply a way to achieve the desired result. Harming another person is done to achieve a different purpose, such as money. According to research, various elements contribute to hostility, including biological characteristics such as testosterone and contextual factors like social learning (Thibaut et al., 2017). In addition, frustration and other immediate situational elements, such as anger, are essential in provoking aggressive responses.

Stan’s father was abusive to his wife, as described by Eminem in his song. In addition, she suffered physical trauma from her husband, who beat her on occasion. These are all manifestations of Stan’s family’s childhood frustrations. Again, aggression is highlighted in the song when Stan hurts his pregnant girlfriend and ties her in the trunk. Stan’s behavior and aggressiveness eventually made him kill himself and the girlfriend while driving when drunk.

Attraction and Intimacy: Liking and Loving Others

Researchers in social psychology have typically referred to this connection between friends and love partners as an attraction. People who have a long-term connection with each other are at least partially attracted by the same things that initially drew them together (Thibaut et al., 2017). It is also more satisfying and likely to last if the two people in the relationship develop and maintain comparable interests and opinions throughout time (Thibaut et al., 2017). The song shows how Matthew and Stan are attached to Slim and would risk anything to prove their love. Stan and his six-year-old brother wait for hours in the cold to see Slim. “We waited in the blistering cold for you for four hours, and you just said no (EminemMusic, 2009).” Stan is also attracted to Slim as he confesses his love for him. Stan feels sad since he is not getting the love he expects back. He likened his situation to a guy who failed to save another guy from drowning. Stan decides to use some pills and drink five bottles of vodka as he drives through the freeway.

Conclusion

Psychology involves studying how people’s beliefs, behaviors, and emotions are influenced by one another. It encompasses exploring social thinking, including how the self is determined and how individuals perceive the world. Additionally, it entails the analysis of social power, such as how to convince others and other stereotype dynamics. Finally, it entails the examination of social behaviors such as cooperation, hostility, and love relationships. These topics of social psychology have applications in several contexts. Ultimately, interactions with other people and cultures affect a person’s behavior, thinking processes, and emotions.

References

Thibaut, J. W., & Kelley, H. H. (2017). The social psychology of groups. Routledge.

EminemMusic. (2009). Eminem – Stan (Long Version) ft. Dido [Video]. YouTube. Web.

Lyrics of Stan by Eminem ft Dido

My tea’s gone cold I’m wondering why I

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Got out of bed at all

The morning rain clouds up my window

And I can’t see at all

And even if I could it’ll all be gray

Put your picture on my wall

It reminds me, that it’s not so bad

It’s not so bad

My tea’s gone cold I’m wondering why I

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Got out of bed at all

The morning rain clouds up my window

And I can’t see at all

And even if I could it’ll all be gray

Put your picture on my wall

It reminds me, that it’s not so bad

It’s not so bad

Dear Slim, I wrote you but still ain’t callin’

I left my cell, my pager, and my home phone at the bottom

I sent two letters back in autumn, you must not-a got ’em

There probably was a problem at the post office or somethin’

Sometimes I scribble addresses too sloppy when I jot ’em

But anyways, fuck it, what’s been up? Man how’s your daughter?

My girlfriend’s pregnant too, I’m ’bout to be a father

If I have a daughter, guess what I’m a call her?

I’m a name her Bonnie

I read about your Uncle Ronnie too I’m sorry

I had a friend kill himself over some bitch who didn’t want him

I know you probably hear this everyday, but I’m your biggest fan

I even got the underground shit that you did with Skam

I got a room full of your posters and your pictures man

I like the shit you did with Rawkus too, that shit was fat

Anyways, I hope you get this man, hit me back,

Just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan

This is Stan

My tea’s gone cold I’m wondering why I

Got out of bed at all

The morning rain clouds up my window

And I can’t see at all

And even if I could it’ll all be gray

Put your picture on my wall

It reminds me, that it’s not so bad

It’s not so bad

Dear Slim, you still ain’t called or wrote, I hope you have a chance

I ain’t mad, I just think it’s fucked up you don’t answer fans

If you didn’t wanna talk to me outside your concert

You didn’t have to, but you coulda signed an autograph for Matthew

That’s my little brother man, he’s only six years old

We waited in the blistering cold for you

For four hours and you just said, “No.”

That’s pretty shitty man, you’re like his fuckin’ idol

He wants to be just like you man, he likes you more than I do

I ain’t that mad though, I just don’t like bein’ lied to

Remember when we met in Denver, you said if I’d write you you would write back

See I’m just like you in a way

I never knew my father neither

He used to always cheat on my mom and beat her

I can relate to what you’re saying in your songs

So when I have a shitty day, I drift away and put ’em on

‘Cause I don’t really got shit else so that shit helps when I’m depressed

I even got a tattoo of your name across the chest

Sometimes I even cut myself to see how much it bleeds

It’s like adrenaline, the pain is such a sudden rush for me

See everything you say is real, and I respect you ’cause you tell it

My girlfriend’s jealous ’cause I talk about you 24/7

But she don’t know you like I know you Slim, no one does

She don’t know what it was like for people like us growin’ up, you gotta call me man

I’ll be the biggest fan you’ll ever lose

Sincerely yours, Stan

P.S. we should be together too

My tea’s gone cold I’m wondering why I

Got out of bed at all

The morning rain clouds up my window

And I can’t see at all

And even if I could it’ll all be gray

Put your picture on my wall

It reminds me, that it’s not so bad

It’s not so bad

Dear Mister “I’m Too Good To Call Or Write My Fans”

This will be the last package I ever send your ass

It’s been six months and still no word, I don’t deserve it?

I know you got my last two letters, I wrote the addresses on ’em perfect

So this is my cassette I’m sending you, I hope you hear it

I’m in the car right now, I’m doing 90 on the freeway

Hey Slim, I drank a fifth of vodka

You dare me to drive?

You know the song by Phil Collins, “In the Air of the Night”

About that guy who could a saved that other guy from drowning

But didn’t, then Phil saw it all, then at a a show he found him?

That’s kinda how this is, you could a rescued me from drowning

Now it’s too late, I’m on a thousand downers now, I’m drowsy

And all I wanted was a lousy letter or a call

I hope you know I ripped all of your pictures off the wall

I love you Slim, we coulda been together, think about it

You ruined it now, I hope you can’t sleep and you dream about it

And when you dream I hope you can’t sleep and you scream about it

I hope your conscience eats at you and you can’t breathe without me

See Slim, shut up bitch! I’m tryin’ to talk!

Hey Slim, that’s my girlfriend screamin’ in the trunk

But I didn’t slit her throat, I just tied her up, see I ain’t like you

‘Cause if she suffocates she’ll suffer more, and then she’ll die too

Well, gotta go, I’m almost at the bridge now

Oh shit, I forgot, how am I supposed to send this shit out?

My tea’s gone cold I’m wondering why I

Got out of bed at all

The morning rain clouds up my window

And I can’t see at all

And even if I could it’ll all be gray

Put your picture on my wall

It reminds me, that it’s not so bad

It’s not so bad

Dear Stan, I meant to write you sooner but I just been busy

You said your girlfriend’s pregnant now, how far along is she?

Look, I’m really flattered you would call your daughter that

And here’s an autograph for your brother

I wrote it on the Starter cap

I’m sorry I didn’t see you at the show, I must of missed you

Don’t think I did that shit intentionally just to diss you

But what’s this shit you said about you like to cut your wrists too?

I say that shit just clownin’ dog, come on, how fucked up is you?

You got some issues Stan, I think you need some counseling

To help your ass from bouncing off the walls when you get down some

And what’s this shit about us meant to be together?

That type of shit will make me not want us to meet each other

I really think you and your girlfriend need each other

Or maybe you just need to treat her better

I hope you get to read this letter, I just hope it reaches you in time

Before you hurt yourself, I think that you’ll be doin’ just fine

If you relax a little, I’m glad I inspire you but Stan

Why are you so mad? Try to understand, that I do want you as a fan

I just don’t want you to do some crazy shit

I seen this one shit on the news a couple weeks ago that made me sick

Some dude was drunk and drove his car over a bridge

And had his girlfriend in the trunk, and she was pregnant with his kid

And in the car they found a tape, but they didn’t say who it was to

Come to think about, his name was, it was you

Damn!

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Analysis of Social Psychology Concepts." December 4, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/analysis-of-social-psychology-concepts/.

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