Part II

Fundamental Attribution Error: It’s the Situation, Not the Person

This video further explains the Fundamental Attribution Error which is seen in the way Bender is treated in the movie. As shown in this video, people often forget how much our situations and environment affect our behavior. Like the situation with the driver, we tend to assume that people’s behavior is solely based on their personality, and this is not always the case. In the situation with the driver, someone cut him off and he immediately assumed the other driver was a jerk instead of considering the outside circumstances that caused them to behave the way they did.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

The article below shows a practical way of applying Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to a management position. In the movie, Principal Vernon, who is in a management position, could have better handled the detention situation if he had considered the individual needs of the troubled students. For example, Principal Vernon could have reached out to Allison and helped her meet her severe need to belong by suggesting clubs or activities she could join. This would have satisfied her need to belong and helped her move up on the hierarchy.

Reciprocal Determinism: The Bobo Doll Experiment

The Bobo Doll Experiment video below shows that when we see people do something we usually imitate their actions and behavior. This shows that we learn by observing people in our environment. Reciprocal determinism is the idea that behavior is controlled by the individual, through their thought processes, and by the environment, through certain stimulating events. In the Bobo Doll Experiment, children who observed adults being aggressive toward the Bobo Doll in turn acted violently towards the doll as well. In the movie, we see this played out with Bender’s character. At home, Bender witnesses his father verbally abusing his mother and is also a victim of the verbal abuse. Because Bender is constantly exposed to verbal abuse, he has a proclivity for verbally abusing others.

Frustration-aggression Principle: Alcohol’s Affect

In the movie, we see the frustration-aggression principle with Andrew when Bender pulls a knife. The knife acts as an aggression cue. Alcohol tends to affect one’s emotions and impairs one’s judgement, which can amplify the aggression cue.  The article below says that alcohol “may increase the likelihood of a frustrated person focusing on one small aspect of the situation, exaggerating its importance, and responding in an irrational, aggressive manner.”  Theoretically, if Andrew were under the influence of alcohol his reaction to the knife would have been much worse and he might’ve acted irrationally.

Stereotypes In the Media

Stereotypes in the media is a controversial subject. To some this is highly offensive and must be stopped, while others think it is simply funny and do not consider it offensive at all. The article below gives numerous examples of movies and television shows that can potentially create a barrier between the races. For example, the show Outsourced shows stereotyping in the work place by stereotyping all Indian people as being technologically savvy. The movie The Breakfast Club  shows stereotyping in the high school setting. Each student is stereotyped from the beginning and gain nicknames based on their stereotype.

Peer Pressure Kills

Peer pressure is often seen among adolescents. In the newspaper article below, we see that many teenagers have made decisions based on peer pressure that have cost them their lives. Teens tend to value their peers opinion far more than their parents and for some their peers opinions pose dangers to them. All of the students in the movie, are influenced by peer pressure to partake in smoking Marijuana. If the students weren’t confined to the school building, the smoking could have gotten out of hand and led to disastrous consequences like the teenagers mentioned in the article.


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