Friday, April 30, 2010

Sexy Theories and Theorists?

By far the sexiest theory I can think of is Cognitive Dissonance Theory. This theory basically states that individuals strive to have their behavior and their attitudes link up. However, when a person's behavior is not consistent with their attitude, they will begin to feel psychological arousal in a not so good way :/. Instead of having dissonance the individual will change their attitude so that they feel as if they are remaining consistent (Festinger 1957).  I think this theory is sexy because it can encompasses so many things that we, as individuals, do on a daily basis. People do things that go against their attitudes to conform, to be polite at social events, to seem easily pleased on a first date, and in doing so they begin to alter their attitudes. AMAZING.
Another sexy theory is Terror Management Theory. What this basically states is that people cope with the fear of death by creating worldviews the help boost and preserve their self esteem (Greenberg et al. 1997).. Basically, it's sexy because it explains the need for faith. People have never really been keen to death, but in order to make death less "doom-y," religion was incorporated. Heaven, the place where dead people go to live eternal awesomeness. All that is explained through this theory... love it.  
Affective Forcasting! Just became one of my top 5 sexiest because I got to use it as a joke while studying for my make-up test to boost my communal friend Stef's moral in a not-so-bueno time. This theory basically says that although people believe they will be able to predict how they will feel following a negative event or a positive event in their life, they usually overestimate the time that it will take them to get back to normal (Gilbert et al. 1998). Stef's temporary cripple-ass may still be walking like a baby dinosaur with her retro racing walker in two months, but the good news is her psychological coping mechanism will kick in and help cushion the blow from the accident! YAY! 
Distraction-conflict theory is also mighty sexy in my opinion because it just makes sense. Recently as crunch time has fallen upon us, I have been a victim of this said distraction, so to have a theory to justify my actions that night makes it all better. Distraction-conflict theory basically says that when other people are around who are distracting or creating attentional conflict social facilitation will kick in (Baron 1986). Social facilitation is basically the idea that the presence of others makes easy tasks easier and hard tasks harder (Zajonc 1965). Last Wednesday I was up working on my book project in the majestic halls of Olin with a friend who I'll call Bagel. Bagel and I were knocking the projects outta-the-park when dear old drunken  Cupcake walked in attempted to help us complete our projects while completely intoxicated. Bad Idea, needless to say my project completion was delayed at least an hour, when I finally made the executive decision to kick her out. She was distracting.... and because I have not completed a book project at SU I was performing poorly already... kicking her out was necessary.
I think that the triangular theory of love is pretty sexy just because "love" is so typically defined as being undefinable and this theory provides subtypes and all kinds of sexy magic. This theory says that there are three basic components of love: intimacy, passion, and commitment. When you mix and match those three things pairing them up in every which way possible you can get 8 possible love outcomes: Romantic love, Liking, Companionate Love, Empty Love, Fatuous Love, Infatuation, Consummate Love, and Non-Love (Sternberg 1986). 

Top 5 Sexy Social Psychologists:
1. Norman Triplett. I think it's pretty sexy that he was the founder of my favorite class this semester. Kudos to you, Norm. His first study was also pretty awesome seeing as how he absolutely nothing to research or start from. 
2. Leon Festinger. As I made clear up top, I'm hot for cognitive dissonance theory. He rocked my world a few time this semester. First with social comparison theory, then cognitive dissonance.... damn. 
3. Phil Zimbardo. If this was a Sexiness contest based solely on looks, he would of been at the top stop. The way he just oozes cheese and tool bag really get my gears-a-turnin', but that prison study got him on this list today. It was awesome, even though horribly unethical. lol
4. Robert Merton. That self-fulfilling prophecy really rocked my socks off if you know what I mean. 
5. Gordon Allport. Well, my blog is named after him. He was thinking ahead way back in the thirty's about apply psychology to social constructs. I think that makes him a BAMF.  

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