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Social Sciences
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Research Paper
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English (U.S.)
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Topic:

Social Events analysis (Research Paper Sample)

Instructions:

analyze a current even from a socio-psychological perspective. use the theory of cognitive dissonance.

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Content:
Social Event Analysis
Introduction
This paper seeks to analyze a current even from a socio-psychological perspective. In this case, the theory of cognitive dissonance will be evaluated. This paper will have four sections. In the first section, a current social event (Ukrainian unrests) will be discussed. The second section will discuss the theory of cognitive dissonance. The third section, will attempt to explain how the theory of cognitive dissonance relates to the Ukrainian unrests. The final section will provide a summary of the main points.
Description of Current Event
Ukraine is undergoing a rough time at the moment owing to political wrangles present in the country. This problem began late last year when President Yanukovych turned down a number of proposals from the European Union. Experts term this crisis as Euromodian. Activists in Ukraine are calling for the enactment of policies that will promote Ukraine's inclusion in the European Union. Protests in different parts of the country especially the country's capital city, Kiev, have led to the resignation of President Yanukovych (Schoichet, 2014). Government forces have had a big challenge in controlling those protests. In fact, the protests went out hand after President Yanukovych went into exile. Activists claim that President Yanukovych's government was corrupt, violated human rights, as well as, abused power. The demonstrations cropped up on 21 November last year after President Yanukovych turned down the proposal that sought to include Ukraine in the EU (Schoichet, 2014). December 2013 recorded the highest number of protesters; it is estimated that close to 800, 000 people took part in the December demonstrations (Schoichet, 2014). There have been violent riots since December 2013 in attempt to resist the brutality orchestrated by government forces.
Currently, Russian troops have been deployed in this country in an attempt to restore order. World leaders including President Barrack Obama, UN secretary General, Mr. Moon, and other EU leaders are calling for diplomatic intervention (Schoichet, 2014). There are tensions in the country because of the power vacuum that came into effect following President Yanukovych's exit. These tensions are affecting citizens in different parts of the country. Responses to this political turmoil varies between individuals. In the following sections, I will point out how cognitive dissonance contributes to varied public responses to the current political unrest in Ukraine.
Description of a Theory (Cognitive Dissonance)
The state of excess discomfort, particularly mental/psychological, is what is termed as cognitive dissonance (Gilovich, Keltner, Chen & Nisbett, 2013). This phenomenon is common in people who have varied opinions at the same time. Additionally, it might take center stage in people who hold certain beliefs, but do not conform to those beliefs. In essence, the theory of cognitive dissonance evaluates how people consistently seek internal consistency. According to this theory, humans become psychologically distressed upon encountering dissonance (inconsistency). Consequently, prevalence of dissonance, as well as, psychological instability prompts humans to minimize the dissonance in order to restore consonance (J. Aronson & E. Aronson, 2013). Additionally, when the distress is still present, as well as the attempt to reduce it, humans always tend to avoid circumstances that would heighten the dissonance. It is evident that humans can alter their actions and attitudes in various ways. These can be categorized as consonant, irrelevant or dissonant relationships. Consonant relationships are consistent while irrelevant relationships are unrelated.
On the other hand, dissonant relationships are inconsistent.
In simpler terms, this theory is based on the notion that humans strive for consistence between reality and their expectations. In line with this, humans have developed a rationale for minimizing their dissonance, and this includes balancing their cognitions and actions. The main aim is to minimize psychological tensions and distress. This goal can be achieved by employing three strategies. They include behavior change, adding new cognitions to justify behavior or cognition and altering the conflicting cognition in order to justify behavior (Gilovich et al., 2013).
How the Theory Explains the Event
It is important to note that dissonance arises when humans face circumstances that are not in line with their beliefs. This is exactly what is happening in Ukraine. Those who are rioting believe that it is important for Ukraine to have a close association with the European Union. They believe that this will improve the country's political and economic status. To them, the current state of the country is despicable and that it can only be improved by allowing the country to fully participate in Europe's largest political an economic body, the EU. However, President Yanukovych had a different opinion. According to President Yanukovych, integrating Ukraine in the EU would do the country a lot of harm. This contradiction is the source of dissonance. Those who are orchestrating riots are simply showcasing option two of minimizing psychological distress: adding new cognitions to justify behavior. They are doing so by rioting.
In addition, the action taken by President Yanukovych to flee the country can also be explained using cognitive dissonance theory. President Yanukovych believes that allowing Ukraine to be integrated in the EU will be not be beneficial. In order to achieve this, he turned down a proposal that he was given to ascend to, and this action was vehemently opposed by many people. Proponents of that proposal staged riots in order to force the president to allow their country become part of the EU family. Since this was against...
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