Design a Pro-Social Cult


This activity has several student learning objectives: Employ informational and normative social influence in the recruitment of new members, and in ensuring group loyalty, commitment and engagement Illustrate social norms in cult loyalty and engagement efforts Demonstrate deindividuation in developing cult commitment Demonstrate an understanding of social identity by developing effective methods of recruitment and cult commitment Create a cult using social psychological principles  As you create this cult, keep in mind that cults: Fulfill motives such as those related to belonging, being accurate, and feeling good about the self. Cults apply “everyday tactics of social influence             Use normative and informational social influence             Use normative and prescriptive norms             Social impact theory suggests that obedience may depend on a couple of factors             They demand obedience             Provide a social identity (including denigration of outgroups)             Provide a social role             Rely on group cohesiveness and commitment             Members may become deindividuated Cults use six tactics that increase compliance             Friendship             Commitment/draw on norms of consistency             Scarcity             Social Validation             Authority             Reciprocity  To start: Create a social reality. According to social psychological research on group behavior and cults, we know that cults fulfill needs that are not being met by the mainstream culture. Think about what your cult will believe. Cults take something that is already reasonably believable and then put their own spin on it. Essentially, cults create their own social reality. Creating the cult. Work through the questions below. When you have worked through all the questions, begin describing your cult in a word document. You are encouraged to use pictures and/or artwork to dramatize or increase the impact of your content. Your final paper should provide answers to all the questions below. However, you may use bullet points or narrative to present this information. Goals: What are its main objectives and goals? Leaders: Describe the leader(s) of your cult. Recruitment: How will you recruit new members? How will you appeal to new members? How will you initiate new members? Commitment: How will ensure cult loyalty, commitment and engagement? How will you ensure that members do not leave your cult? Social Psychological Principles: What evidence or rationale can you provide for why these tactics will be effective? What principles are you relying on? Clearly identify all social psychological principles used in the development of your group. Note, use at least three principles Foreseeable Problems: Describe any anticipated problems you may encounter in your cult (i.e., it is okay if your tactics aren’t perfect as long as you recognize them). How would you resolve these issues? Assessment: How might you assess whether or not your cult is successful? Instructor Assessment. Your cult will be assessed based on your understanding of cults and your application of social psychological principles. Understanding of cults. ___ 1. The main objectives and beliefs of the cult are clearly described ___ 2. The leader of the cult and recruitment of members is well thought out and descriptive ___ 3.  The team has a well reasoned plan to ensure that members will not wish to leave. ___ 4. The anticipated problems and plans for resolution are well reasoned and clearly articulated. Understanding of social psychological principles. ___ 1. The team used a reasonable (at least three) number of social psychological principles in designing the cult. ___2. Application of social psychological principles is appropriate and creative. (no dark, anti-social, deadly, prejudicial, hateful cults. Please create a cult that will not cause harm to people or the universe)

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