How decisions reveal our identity

Introduction

Decision-making is an important aspect in human life since it enables people to focus on the way forward. Social psychologists posit that through decision-making, we are able to study how people perceive the world around them, their feelings, emotions as well as behaviors and actions. Scholars of psychology reveal that human actions come at play due to mental states and the immediate social conditions.

Whatever an individual expresses in form of a thought, consist of long-term experiences. Decisions are manifestations of culture, which vary from one society to another. Rarely does a person come up with a new idea without having learned or acquired it. It is not surprising to observe that various groups tend to behave differently because they hold diverse believes and share something in common which is usually historical.

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Decisions are made to solve certain problems. Furthermore, problems differ from places to places. Africans face problems that are different from those of other races. Equally, Europeans have different problems that call for specific decisions to solve them. Each decision maker has some considerations when coming up with solutions. The solutions made tend to tell the race or ethnic group of the maker. This paper analyzes how our decisions can reveal our ethnic or racial grouping.

Intrapersonal phenomena

Intrapersonal communication refers to the process by which an individual evaluates him/her self before coming up with an idea. It refers to thought process where a person engages his/her wits in decision-making. The process determines the kind of attitude possessed by an individual. An attitude is defined as a learned, worldwide assessment of an individual, object, place or issue that determines thought process or behavior.

They are what an individual likes or dislikes. People from particular regions are known to be having certain attitudes, which are different from those of others. For instance, in an interview, Africans prefer not to have eye contacts with interviewers as it shows rudeness to the seniors. Americans on the other hand believe that avoidance of eye contact shows some aspects of criminality in an individual (Jarrett, Mbalia, and Lee 238).

Attitudes have strong influence to the life of an individual since if not handled, can lead to bias. Individuals attempt to evaluate other people’s decisions using their culture as yardstick. Some attitudes are intrinsic meaning that they are inborn in an individual. People from a particular environment tend to portray same attitudes that affect their decision-making processes. Attitudes are acquired through the process of socialization.

This implies that a child learns how to solve problems right away from childhood. For instance, Africans are usually taught how to deal with situations without consulting extensively. This explains why there are many despots and oligarchs in the African continent. It has to do with traditional African culture, which discourages consultation.

Persuasion is another feature of intrapersonal trend that determines an individual’s decision-making process. It guides an individual towards acceptance of a particular attitude, thought and action through a rational technique. Persuasion is a concept that is reliant on appeals as opposed to force. Persuasion varies from one person to another. Some races or ethnic groups are easily persuaded as opposed to others.

The white race is highly opinionated since it always wants to dominate any argument. In this case, it has a higher persuasive power and this explains why whites are preferred when making decisions aimed at increasing sales in an organization. The Asian race is patient and tactical. Furthermore, Africans are easily convinced by popular policies while the white race believes in facts that is, truth speaks for itself.

Social cognition

Social cognition pertains to the way people view themselves as well as others. Human beings tend to evaluate themselves in relation to others when engaging in decision-making. Within this topic is the subtopic referred to as attribution. Attribution is concerned with how an individual explains a particular behavior.

People attach actions to certain variables, which can be either internal or external. Internal variables are to be found within a person including individuality and capacity of doing something. Outside variables consist of the external environment, which is known to influence decision-making in people.

Heuristics is a social disorder that emanates from social cognition. It is a situation where an individual decides to use a short cut in obtaining something. Such individuals fear the process of bureaucracy or any other factor that causes delay in acquisition of wanted goods or services. People of this kind usually want to get rich faster and are extremely ambitious in their lives.

They perceive everything to be easy meaning that they always desire to win. In cases of disappointments, they do not accept the reality of the matter and instead go ahead to apply tricks. The same individuals are biased as regards to decision-making. In the modern world, Chinese have been accused of applying tricks to topple other states in the international financial system. This gives a good example of how decisions can tell where an individual comes from.

There is another form of bias referred in psychology as confirmation bias. A social disorder may affect accurate decision-making process because a certain individual may aim at proving something. Labeling is one such problem that makes individuals to confirm what they are said to be.

Africans have always been branded as drug addicts, slave laborers and criminals. Some young Africans grow up knowing that they are drug addicts. Later on in life, such youngsters go out of their way to prove what they are said to be. This has occurred not only to Africans but also to other races around the world. It is evident that some historical aspects and injustices can inform individual decisions. Many Africans engage in drugs not because they like sedatives but because the society wants them to be addicts.

Social Influence

This refers to other people’s influences to one’s life. Individuals tend to conform to societal norms after sometime. Thereafter, individuals follow the way people do things in the society. This happens when individuals migrate to foreign lands. In the US today, many groups can be identified with certain behavior that are unique and special.

The groups promise to abide by the set laws and cooperate in achieving common goals and values. People tend to like similar foods, cloths and fashions with original make. This kind of living is not safe as regards to state culture because it generates animosity and hatred. People decide to join ethnic groups in order to benefit from services offered and to be accepted generally (Nasir 48). In the US, the Chinese have established a strong culture and taste, leading to formation of Chinatown.

Group Dynamics

A group is a collection of persons linked to each other by strong societal relations. Such groups interrelate, influence the actions of one another and have a common history. The groups set specific norms, roles and relations, which are to be followed strictly. Groups confer identity to its members. Furthermore, it augments an individual’s self-concept. In many parts of the country, groups have been seen to improve decision-making.

They come in handy during the times of crisis mainly to arbitrate on cases. Members tend to treat group decisions with utmost trust implying that they cannot change such decisions easily. However, groups are not to be trusted since they slow down decision-making processes. Sometimes, members of a group do not explore all options since decisions are reached at without extensive consultations. Relying on group discussions have caused major hiccups in decision-making processes.

Conclusion

In the modern society, groups identify themselves using social media. Some groups are difficult to note because their identity is not readily available. It is possible to know which group a person comes from through analyzing his/her decisions. Decisions are usually uniform among members of same groups.

Changes are usually minimal in order to preserve group identity. While some groups are helpful, the majority are destructive since they promote ethnicity or racism. The state cannot move forward unless the problem of tribalism is tackled from all angles.

Group formation should be encouraged only when it benefits the state that is, aims at unifying the public. A tribal clash is the worst form of conflict that should never be witnessed in the world because of its extreme effects. There should be a way of bringing groups together in order to achieve national integration and harmony.

Works Cited

Jarrett, Joyce, Mbalia, Doreatha and Lee Margaret. Heritage: African American readings for writers. 2nd ed. Prentice Hall: Allyn & Bacon, 2001.

Nasir, Naqvi. “The Role of Emotion in Decision Making: A Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective”. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10.1111, 2006.

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