Story Group Pressure

If someone asked you to jump off a bridge with two of your friends, would you do it? Peer pressure is defined by social pressure from members of one’s peer group to take a certain action, adopt certain values, or otherwise conform in order to be accepted. There are many types of peer pressure; a common one is group pressure. Drunk driving is defined as operating a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol. This is often caused by stupidity or even peer pressure.

Your peers influence you a lot in a negative or positive way. In these two short stories by Rodney Stark and Theresa Conroy the characters fall under peer pressure, which leads to both a negative and positive outcome. Although these two stories are complete opposite from each other, through further analysis one can gather that you should be yourself and not follow in ones footsteps, be a leader. Group pressure affects everyone involved in the situation. Whether it’s harming or helping others, your still being affected.

In the short story Group Pressure by Rodney Stark an experiment was tested on a group of people to show visual perception done by Solomon Asch. In this experiment, Asch gathers two large decks of cards with different lengths of lines on them. One card will display the correct line while the other cards won’t have the correct length line. As being shown the crowd has to decide which card they think is the closet length to the actual card, the crowd will then shout out their answers. As this experiment was proceeding you pretend you’re one of the subjects.

Everyone in front of you is picking the same answer as you, your confidence is boosted. You now feel like you know every answer and there’s no doubt in your mind that you can possibly get one wrong. As the experiment gets harder the other subjects are calling out different answers, answers different then yours. But your 100 percent that your right, this is when your confidence and self esteem goes down. Should you just agree with everyone else? Or should you just say your answer because you know your right? So many thoughts going through ones head. In this experiment the ubject decides to stick to their answer, and your correct. Its better to be a leader than a follower. Not only can peer pressure be affected in situations like this, it can also be a cause of something much more dangerous such as drinking and driving. The short story A Drunken Ride, a Tragic Aftermath by Theresa Conroy and Christine M. Johnson is another example of peer pressure. This short story was about a group of high school boys that just graduated going to an after party that involved underage drinking. Going to this party these boys had plans on getting intoxicated but no plans on getting home.

As the party went on these four boys decided they got bored half way through and wanted something to eat, so they convinced their friend that drove to go and get food even though he had been drinking. He knew it was a bad idea but he didn’t want to let down his friends. With all the bribing that was being done by his friends he finally cave in. The outcome of this situation was these four boys didn’t make it to their destination, on their way there they got into a car accident leading to all but ones death. With all being said, you should never fall for peer pressure, if you know something is wrong why do it and get yourself into trouble?

There are always consequences that will be faced with wrong doings. Peer pressure is so complex, yet fundamental to life. Even though it can take us through the toughest times and lead one to hollow, it can also construct our character and confidence level to make better decisions. All in all, it will always exist and be a problem that should be explained. We can avoid some of the negative peer pressure if we evaluate our surroundings a lot more carefully, and turn it into positive peer pressure but ignoring others and being ourselves. Were known as individuals not a group.

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