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Psychology_and_your_Life_Ch12

Psychology_and_your_Life_Ch12 - chapter 12 chapter outline...

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464 12 chapter chapter outline module 39 Attitudes and Social Cognition Persuasion: Changing Attitudes Social Cognition: Understanding Others Exploring Diversity: Attributions in a Cultural Context: How Fundamental Is the Fundamental Attribution Error? module 40 Social Infl uence and Groups Conformity: Following What Others Do Compliance: Submitting to Direct Social Pressure Obedience: Following Direct Orders module 41 Prejudice and Discrimination The Foundations of Prejudice Measuring Prejudice and Discrimination: The Implicit Personality Test Reducing the Consequences of Prejudice and Discrimination module 42 Positive and Negative Social Behavior Liking and Loving: Interpersonal Attraction and the Development of Relationships Aggression and Prosocial Behavior: Hurting and Helping Others Try It! Understand Your Relationship Style module 43 Stress and Coping Stress: Reacting to Threat and Challenge The Nature of Stressors: My Stress Is Your Pleasure Coping with Stress Becoming an Informed Consumer of Psychology: Effective Coping Strategies Psychology on the Web The Case of . . . John Buckingham, the New Guy on the Job Full Circle: Social Psychology
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465 John Kluth approached people outside banks, churches, casinos, libraries, and the federal courthouse. He’d walk up with a look of sur- prised recognition and greet people as if he knew them. “You know me!” he’d say. “I’m the guy who drives around the neighborhood in the white truck.” Or: “You know my mother. She lives up the hill and walks the dog on your street.” Then Kluth would lay out his story, police say. He was driving to Boston on Interstate 95 with hundreds of pounds of lobsters when his truck broke down. He needs several hundred dollars to get it fixed. He has a check, but it hasn’t cleared yet. If he doesn’t get the cash, the lobsters will die and spoil. He’ll pay you back tomorrow at your home. And, to show his appreciation, he’ll drop off a few lobsters, too. Asked for $70, Bob Fricker, a hard-eyed antiques auctioneer, gave Kluth $80. “It was like we’d known each other sometime, some- place. I was just very comfortable with him. It’s hard to express. I’d probably do it again tomorrow. He was that good.” (Hampson, 2007, p. 2A) A Gift of Life John Kluth’s story was just that: a story. Kluth was a successful con artist who made his living duping innocent victims. What made John Kluth such a successful con artist? Why would anyone at all fall for his ploy, much less the prominent public figures and business leaders he generally targeted? The answer is that Kluth made use of a number of psychological principles: He presented himself in a familiar, likable way that made people feel as if they knew him. He took advantage of biases in the way that people make decisions about others’ behavior that led him to be viewed favorably. He used effective compliance tactics to get people to do his bidding willingly. And he capitalized on people’s willingness to help out a friend in distress. What made Kluth a successful con artist, then, was his uncanny instinctive knowledge of social psychology.
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