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Social Psychology: An In-depth Evaluation of Four Cultural Aspects in the United States

Section I

Depending on the character and nature, life changes may help people either to stroke the existing problems or create new ones instead. Judging by the highest standards, everything hinges on the way individuals approach these changes. When human beings develop a certain degree of savoir-faire, sang-froid, Savoir-Vivre, and a soupcon of kindness necessary to dovetail into the higher social milieus, they usually start caring about their health more. Naturally, a soignée woman who dines off a recherché meal in an elegant restaurant rife with a marvelous mélange of flavors is healthier than the one who belongs to the demimonde.

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However, it is not a categorical imperative that social status determines a person’s health. This means that if a person strives to be healthy no matter what happens in their life, any life changes cannot be a raison d'être behind this person’s gaining some unhealthy avoirdupois. On the other hand, stresses, tensions, and other negative experiences may prevail upon low-morale people to resort to pernicious habits. To make such a remarkable volte-face on one’s healthy lifestyle is a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, the thumping majority of pernicious habits gradually fall into desuetude, figuratively speaking. Natural calamities that result in the loss of homes and other movable and immovable property merits special attention as they deprive many people of the means to practice personal hygiene, let alone affect the mental health of the people.

To make an attribution is to try and guess the causes of particular events and behaviors. People make attributions to understand their experiences. In stark juxtaposition to the locus of control, attribution style is concerned with attribution for the past. Those individuals who tend to attribute negative outcomes to the global, stable, and internal causes have the highest chances of succumbing to various forms of depression, provided that they encounter any difficulties. Clinical depression may be diagnosed only in case of negative events transpire in conjunction with attribution style. Unfortunately, the tremendously disadvantageous effects of attribution style upon human health remain a recondite fact for the overwhelming majority of people.

Stresses are often associated with a shortage of time or financial resources, as well as strained relations with the surrounding people. These and other sources of stress are mediated by social support or a lack of it. The willingness of parents, siblings, spouses, friends, colleagues, and coreligionists to lend a helping hand with the same alacrity as ever has a colossally salubrious impact on the patient’s health. It is important to remember that social conditions like marital status and affiliation to a certain group correlate with the lethality figures. Vehement social support may be conducive to the convalescence of a patient in several cases. A decent degree of social support guarantees a more rapid recovery, decreases the risk of complications during pregnancy, diminishes the likelihood of strokes and heart attacks, improves the level of control over diabetes, etc.

Section II

Mistaken eyewitness identification is one of the biggest causes of incorrect and unlawful convictions. The problem is that misidentifications are often shored up by a lack of physical evidence or any other corroboration. When police try to pin the blame on a suspect, eyewitnesses are often stimulated by the allegedly inadvertent verbal and body clues on the part of investigators. The latter fall back on a plethora of nefarious techniques to sway an eyewitness to pick the scapegoat out. Overzealous attempts of the prosecution to steer eyewitnesses in the right direction cannot but warp their judgment. Subsequently, attestors cannot but buckle under pressure. Once an eyewitness makes a choice, they become extremely wedded to this initial decision because of the fear of being molested. Social psychology would call it a cognitive bias. Moreover, a line-up problem usually runs cheek by jowl with a complex of other injustices like an inadequate legal defense. There is a drastic need to overhaul the eyewitness identification systems for identification procedures are both morally and scientifically unsound. The same goes for eyewitness testimony. In a last-ditch attempt to solve a crime, investigators may attempt to compound with eyewitnesses for a “more persuasive testimony”. Thus, the police often bear down upon eyewitnesses to retard the course of justice, be it using fabricating eyewitness identification or eyewitness testimony.

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A polygraph is a machine that works on the supposition that the human body reacts unintentionally to the stress of lying. Polygraph examination can be a source of tremendous anxiety even for those individuals who do not have anything to be worried about.

The most daunting problem of polygraphy is that it is a forensic science in its infancy. Time and time again results produced by the polygraph examination have been proved to be incorrect and misleading. Polygraphers often aspire to inculcate the feeling of fear in an angst-ridden interviewee, because it is believed that a lie detector can descry if a subject is afraid, which increases the chances of their being caught. To this end, polygraphers beguile an interviewee into a false sense of the polygraph machine’s omnipotence saying that it works with pinpoint accuracy. Consequently, the physiological reactions of people on the test are more obvious than those of the calm interviewees who act with absolute certitude and aplomb. By and large, a polygraph examination is a subtle, though complex, stratagem employed by the investigators to dupe an interviewee into admitting something. The polygrapher may try to hold an extended post-test interview claiming that they know the results already and that these results are against an interviewee. Oftentimes, this is just another shenanigan inflicted upon an interviewee.

Repressive methods employed by the law enforcement officers to elicit a confession from a suspect run the gamut of violence from arbitrary detentions to browbeating and to other vile acts that are hard to pigeonhole. Turning oneself in is the most efficacious action that enables the police to instigate criminal proceedings, solve crimes, as well as convict and sentence innocent citizens. Nearly 95% of confessions are made under duress and are corroborated by fragile evidence if any. Literally, the police often beat out confessions of the suspects, as both physical and psychological pressure is being put on them.

Section III

It is a matter of conventional wisdom that harmonic human interaction and social bonds have a positive effect on the happiness of people, no matter if they communicate within their own social groups or hobnob with the highest echelons of society. The mere process of confabulating or having a delightful tête-à-tête with other people adds a feeling of insouciance in their lives.

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