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Evil and Power, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

The physical surroundings have a great impact on the attribution errors within the film.  Many people are forced by other individuals or by the environment to perform evil behaviors in order to survive.  A person is not killing another in Congo because he enjoys it, he does it because he must in order to take that person’s belongings and food to survive.  Because of this, people engage in self-justification to warrant their behaviors.  They understand that what is done may be wrong, but their circumstances and the benefits they obtain from their evil actions are necessary.  The person never once believes that he or she is evil; they only believe that the surroundings or other people are evil and they do what must be done to survive.  People mistakenly use representative heuristics to predict what will occur in an event by comparing it to a previous event that is similar.  For instance, the actions within the Congo are often compared to that of Hitler’s Nazis where genocide and murder were regular occurrences.  While the behaviors of the guards at Stanford could be used to predict their attitudes towards the job, the prisoners, etc. the attitudes of evil men like Jeffrey Dahmer are clearly representative of their personal actions and behaviors.  Both examples can be used to predict behavioral patterns.

The four goals of science are description, prediction, explanation and control.  The steps of the scientific method are ask a question, do background research, construct a hypothesis, test the hypothesis by doing an experiment, analyze the data, draw a conclusion and then communicate the results.  The goals of science are clearly intertwined within the steps of the scientific method.  Science must describe the issues that are being discussed and experimented as well as the results of the experiments for other scientific professionals to utilize in the field.  Science must also make predictions on a small and large scale, similar to that of the hypotheses within the scientific method.  Scientists must explain the methods and use controls to specifically target the desired results.  All of these goals are directly achieved within the scientific method.

“Perceived self-efficacy is defined as people’s beliefs about their capabilities to produce designated levels of performance that exercise influence over events that affect their lives” (Bandura par. 2). A person with high self-efficacy is likely to pursue advanced goals and achievements. This person is probably goal-oriented and always has high aspirations because they have a positive view of their personal capabilities.  On the other hand, a person with low self-efficacy is likely to remain dormant in personal aspirations and activities. They likely will let others pursue their aspirations while not usually taking steps to pursue their own goals, if they have any.  These individuals are less likely to make advancements in the future because they have a negative or limited view of their own capabilities.

References

Bandura, Albert. “Self-efficacy Defined.” Division of Educational Studies, Emory. Web. 10 Mar. 2010. <http://www.des.emory.edu/mfp/BanEncy.html>.

“Fundamental Attribution Error.” Changing Minds and Persuasion — How We Change What Others Think, Believe, Feel and Do. Web. 10 Mar. 2010. <http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/fundamental_attribution_error.htm>.

“Goals of Science and Ethical Conduct.” University of Oregon. Web. 10 Mar. 2010. <http://www.uoregon.edu/~sdhodges/mth99p1.htm>.

“Steps of the Scientific Method.” Science Fair Project Ideas, Answers, & Tools. Web. 10 Mar. 2010. <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_scientific_method.shtml>.

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