After learning about Prosocial Behavior in class I was left with a few unanswered questions and thoughts. In my textbook, it says “the motivation behind socially desirable behavior can be used to gain acceptance and approval from others”. While this is true in a sense, it seems to be a reversible idea. If someone does something that goes against the social norms, and others reject and disapprove of it, is that person in the wrong? Does that mean just because a few people didn’t accept it, that the person should just give up that behavior or idea? In some cases, the best ideas have come from people who have gone against their social norms. For example, if Galileo Galilei hadn’t questioned the established views and theories regarding the Solar System, would we still believe that the Earth is the center of the Solar System? (Which by the way, it isn’t).
If he had just continued to conform to the existing social norms, would we have ever discovered the truth? Does that mean that if those people had blindly gone along with the social norms and had not questioned their constructs, what would the world be like today? Would we all simply believe what we are told, because we had been taught not to question? And if someone were to go against the grain, how would we react to their non-conformity?
I don’t know what it would be like to live in a society like that, but my belief is that if people don’t test their limits, how will they ever know what life outside of the “boundaries” is like?
Sorry for the extra long post today, it was a thought that has been in my mind all day, and once I started typing, I couldn’t stop!