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Critical Thinking Essay on Social Psychology

3 pages
676 words
Vanderbilt University
Type of paper: 
Critical thinking
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Humans are social beings, and all of their behaviors and thoughts transpire in a social background. Social psychology is a broad study of the manner in which our actions, feelings and thoughts get influenced by the imagined or real presence of other individuals. The film "RASHOMON" indicates how individuals manipulate history, in this case, the death of the man and go ahead to present different versions of the same story. The film shows numerous aspects of social psychology and the study of what may trigger the various responses given as revelation of what happened. The totalitarian ego postulates that ego is knowledge organization and plays a vital role to serve the purpose of observation and recording of individual experience. An analysis of the fabrication and review of personal history reveals one challenge; distort in personal history.

The totalitarian ego revises history via cognitive biases which include egocentricity, beneficence and conservatism. In egocentricity, the ego assumes to be in control, and people do things apparently in response to the actions led by the ego. In the film "RASHOMON" the ego led the bandit Tajomaru to feel to be in some sense of control, he said that he fought the man on a fairground by untying him and giving him a chance to wrestle with him. Tajomaru does things in response to his ego he provides a story that offers himself satisfaction. The woman narrates her story on what transpired in the ordeal that led to the death of her husband, and she gives her experience on how she feels in the eyes of her husband. She also puts forth how she expected her husband to look at her. The woman's ego changes her personal history and interpretation she perceives of the ordeal.

The beneficence bias indicates that people will take credit for the positive things and will not take credit for the negative things. In the film "RASHOMON" the woodcutter found the man dead and went to make a report in the police station. The woodcutter took the dagger from the crime scene which was expensive and failed to present it to the police station as evidence. The woodcutter credited for making the report to the police station which after that investigated what transpired to the death. Social psychology helps us the reason why individuals distort or even imagine what happened in the presence of other people (Smith, Mackie & Claypool, 2014). The lack of honesty is because the people had something to hide for instance the woman did not inform the police that he triggered the fighting between her husband and Tajomura.

In conservation bias, individuals receive and interpret information selectively and reject new evidence that does not align to their personal opinions for instance in the film "RASHOMON" when the woman's husband said that she was a whore Tajomura no longer wanted to be with her. It shows that he had a different opinion and these were the grounds that shaped his opinions. The totalitarian ego indicates that in social psychology individuals' feelings and opinions are influenced by the people present. In the film the priest was astonished by the dishonesty displayed by the people and this shaped his idea that people are dishonest and this changed his initial belief. The loss in believe arose from the differences in the revelations and they were all conflicting

In conclusion, the ""RASHOMON"" film is a story that is a true reflection of social psychology. It shows how people give testimonies as to what happened and the stories have a bias towards their egocentricity. The people change the real events and shape the events in a manner in which it has a positive perspective and mostly leaves out the negative issues. The totalitarian ego manifests in three ways; egocentricity, beneficence and conservation bias and this is brought out in "RASHOMON" film. The setting in which individuals are in influences in many ways the manner in which they respond to issues or even questions.


Smith, E. R., Mackie, D. M., & Claypool, H. M. (2014). Social psychology. Psychology Press.


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