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PP230 Final: Osgood Readings

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Craig Beam

PsychoSocial Dynamics and the Prospects for Mankind By Charles E. Osgood A firstheld conference in 1957 in Pugwash, Canada between a group of nuclear physical scientists was held to discuss what politicians and the military was doing with nuclear powermajorly stimulated by the first nuclear bomb on Hiroshima o Their main goals was to discuss what can be done before military action, such as a nuclear bomb, can be done that destroys all parties o Shall we put an end to human race; or shall mankind renounce warthese scientists state that people should remember their humanity and forget the rest. o Using the term mankind feels vague and abstract, should use the term human beings. Pugwash conferences are still being held in recent years including behavioral and social scientists as well o The question is how do we get from an old way of thinking to a new way of thinking? o Osgood will try and show that old ways of thinking have causal, not merely casual relation to our failure to solve global problems o Osgood proposes for this highly interdependent world is mutual learning processes for new ways of thinking Neanderthal Mentality dynamic process in human thinking that are very primitive and so universal in humans. Most people recognize these processes in others but remain blissfully unaware of them in ourselves o Pollyannaism it is easier for humans to process positive than negative thinking o Psychologic the easier mental processing of congruent as compared with incongruent sentences o Congnitive Stereotypy the greater the anxiety and need for a novel solution tot eh problem, the less likely the Neanderthal mentality to discover it o There have been many studies on group decision making under stress, indicating that groupthink causes reduction in perceived alternativesas a function of intense desire to maintain group solidarity o PositiveNegative Reinforcement: ex. Blowing up a bus full of school children as a negative reinforcement o Combining Pollynaism and Reinforcement: you get people thinking less about negatives (ex. Nuclear attack), the less likely they are to try to do anything about them until its too late Human Talking and Writing o The gap between word and thing increases with the remoteness of things from immediate experience ex. Using words like We, They and Trust in regards to international relations
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