Situations Matter by Sam Sommers download in ePub, pdf, iPad
We incorrectly think we would act differently and, most important, better than we realistically do. The same thing happens to feelings of obligation and responsibility in a crowd.
We want others to be consistent in their appearance to us, Sommers writes. What Sam Sommers does in his new book Situations Matter is to go over the same territory, but instead of just looking at the phenomenon he also examines what to do about it. This section convincingly sets forth the idea that people in groups are less likely to act forcefully and clearly in potentially dangerous situations to help others and themselves.
Further, he says, we expect our perceptions to be consistent. Other people influence our behavior more than we realize. The last three chapters all deal with some aspects of our relationships with another person.
One telling experiment showed that when faced with smoke pouring through room vents, we are more likely to not react to this potential danger when others in the room do not react. Sommers has written an engaging and surprising book about the real reasons that we do or do not do things.
Malcolm Gladwell is one of the more prominent writers that has made the subject so popular with books like Blink and Outliers. It's a refreshing perspective after reading so many similar books. But this is precisely what most of Asch's respondents opted to do, demonstrating just how powerful the pressures to conform are. Not because it will make you a kindler gentler person, but because it'll make you more likely to win out in the end. Anyone who is willing to be challenged and to engage in honest reflection about their own actions and motives will find the book a useful guide.
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