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The Power Of Words In Influencing Attitudes

1859 words (7 pages) Essay in Philosophy

15/05/17 Philosophy Reference this

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To recognize how words have the power to create and affect attitudes, behavior, and perception one must first understand their own conscience and belief system. Words have meaning, but no power unless the perceived mental state of an individual gives power to the words spoken that have been heard. In another essay I authored in another class, which is most appropriate for this updated essay on the aspects of communication recognizing how words have the power to create and affect attitudes, behavior, and perception. The conscience is that inner voice that everyone has inside themselves. The voice inside has a set of critical thinking rules that are determined through a person’s life experiences. Most people think about what they plan to do before they do it. People also respond to what other people say and do. It is the amount of power given to the words spoken that are perceived in the mental state of an individual that gives the power to the words spoken that have been heard acting out a plan that determines success or failure, even in communications.

Our morals and values are the driving force behind our beliefs and how much power we give to another individuals words that are heard. If a person believes it is alright to steal to take care of their family, then the way they believe is the way they think resulting in the behaviors produced in that particular lifestyle. Example, lets say that there is a discussion between two people about, “is it alright to steal?” Our personal ethics that are perceived in how we as a people co-exist and communicate with each other stem from how we believe. This discussion is debated for whatever time frame and the one who thinks it is alright to steal convinces the other it is alright to steal as well. This is where words become powerful and perceptions are distorted.

There are people in this world that would freely say things giving their life for another with no limitations on how to give positive feed back using words. There also people that go out of their way to say nice things at all costs knowing that words can hurt an individuals feelings. Then there are conditional communicators that will not say a particular word or words unless there is an exchange of a mutual agreement that has been reached so as not to offend any party involved. Most people believe there must be an exchange of some sort where both parties equally receive as much as that is given. There also are people in this world that would die to just prove a point in what they say they believe in. What defines a person is in their actions and their actions are brought about through choice in how they perceive reality.

Is it justifiable to perform an evil act in order to achieve good consequences? This question has been used for centuries. As stated by Ruggiero (2008), “humans have the capacity to choose how they respond to events” (p. 118). For example, say someone makes a choice with a plan of action, but the plan devised was driven by negative emotions to where someone instigated controversy between individuals like the use of angry words, etc. Then the out come of this plan may have negative consequences that could change the course of a person’s decision or lifestyle. This also applies to relationships with friends or family or both.”The Boston Tea Party” is an historical example of an evil act that changed history with many speculated communications between groups of people. There are several acts from America’s history that brought freedom when groups of people thought an evil act was evil and another thought not. New York city was built on such acts of evil tyranny and blood shed. The price for freedom is Death. Life is full of choices, but which choice is the right one? People have contemplated this concept of choice for centuries. Negativity is a sad, but a real factor in society which is ever changing as each day passes by.

Stealing has gone on for centuries and people have used words to justify their behaviors convincing others to believe the same way as themselves through communication. Survival is the driving force behind this sad fact. Thievery has not discriminated against race, religion or social status. Thievery has even in some circles been classified as an addiction or disease. Kleptomania is just one clinical term for such a behavior.

“….Kleptomania, the guilt-ridden, impulsive need of a impulsive urge to steal, commonly without any regard for the need or profit of unneeded items….”. (Kleptomania, 2004, October, Biotech Business Week, 235). Pathological liars are another example of poor communicators that try to influence other to give power to their fantastic stories. Here is a good example of a person that exaggerates things that are ridiculous. If your employer asked you what time you arrived to work and your shift time started at 7:30 am. and you knew that you were late and said you arrived late because your dog ate up the couch and started at small fire in the living room, with no factual evidence to back it up, that would be a pathological lair. These people just lie, even when there is no good reason to do so not caring to gain anything and fearing nothing to lose, exaggerating the things that are ridiculous. This is due to some type of deeper mental and emotional state of a person which the individual is seeking attention. This type of mental illness should not be misconstrued with sociopaths, psychopaths and so on, who lie to gain a reward or benefit.

“A sociopath is a person who is affected with a disorder of their personality which is marked by antisocial behavior. A psychopath is a person with an antisocial personality disorder that is manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or abnormal behavior without empathy or remorse”. (Oxford Dictionary)

The voice that all people hear is their conscience. Our conscience is what we humans use prior to making decisions or in what we would say to anyone in this world may it be good or bad. Our environment does play a part in perceiving how we humans think and how we speak. For example, if a child sees mom or dad do wrong and gets away with it then the child will comprehend that it is acceptable to behave as mom or dad. If mom or dad curse all the time then the child will perceive it is alright to say the “F” word, etc.. There are many other ways to steal from people even if it is not material. Example, say an employee takes a scheduled break every day for 15 minutes. This employee is a great worker, but everyday this guy uses 21 minutes on his break. That is 6 minutes every day that is unauthorized. Then at lunch time he does the same thing. That is another 6 minutes unauthorized. That is 12 minutes a day, 60 minutes per week in a 40 hour work week. This person just stole an hour worth of wages from his boss. Wouldn’t you agree to this line of thinking?

“When….not providing adequate adjustment to the environment or situation with a difference in condition, amount, or level, typically with certain limits…..However, some kinds of proposed beliefs are weakly affected by a evolved particular attitude, or act in a particular way that can have strong effects on behavior”. (Peter J. Richerson, Robert Boyd revised 8 July 1987).

As stated above referring to “effects on behavior” (Peter J. Richerson, Robert Boyd revised 8 July 1987) perception is everything. This is a strong secular view of choices based on how one believes in cultural ethics. When a person is raised in an environment that perceives that destructive harmful behavior is the answer to solving problems the ethical view perceived is misappropriated morals and values. These views that are instilled in early childhood influences conscience decision making adaptive skills that create negative social issues throughout their whole adult life.

Perception is tainted by a person’s attitude. A person’s attitude is the result of their perceptions. Two people with different perceptions look at the same thing and thus think about it differently, and end up with different attitudes. Both think they are right. This same concept applies to communications. Example, Lets line up ten people and tell the first one a phrase by whispering it in their ear. Then tell the first person to repeat the exact phrase whispering to the next person and the next person is to do the same thing and so on. By the time the phrase reaches the tenth person you ask the tenth person to write down exactly what was said. Statistic show that this phrase that was spoken will be distorted in some shape or fashion. The meaning will change too, 9 out of 10 times.

The Army is probably the largest and most diverse organization in the country with an ethnic and racial makeup which mostly reflect over half of American society. Each individual brings a set of values and attitudes that have been cultivated over many years. Additionally, these values and attitudes are still being shaped and refined with each new experience. Many types of people have strong memories about recent events in their lives, such as promotion, schooling, a new baby, or a transfer etc.. These events and ones yet to come, serve to shape a person’s values and attitude for the future. However, values and attitudes do not automatically change just because someone puts on an uniform or gains a new job. Some values and attitudes, are coupled with a lack of awareness, or insensitivity about others that are different from ourselves which can produce confrontations, anger issues, and even violence. It is imperative all of society working or not, recognize and manage their differences so they do not interfere with someone else’s effectiveness or their ability to communicate. Values are attitudes about the worth or importance of people, concepts, or things. Values influence our behavior because we use them to decide between alternatives. Values, attitudes, behaviors and beliefs are cornerstones of who we are and how we do things. They form the basis of how we see ourselves as individuals, how we speak, how we see others, and how we interpret the world in general. Your values will influence your priorities. Strong values are what most people put first, defend most, and want least to sacrifice. Individual values can and will conflict at times. Example: If you incorrectly reported a car accident, do you have the moral courage to correct the original statement given even if you know the authorities will never discover what you said? In this situation, your values on truth and self-interest will collide. What you value the most will guide your actions. In this example, the proper course of action is obvious. There are times, however, when the right course of action is not so clear.

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