At her favorite coffee shop, Susan is approached one day by someone she has seen there on many occasions. He introduces himself as Moe, and invites Susan to a party he and his friend Joe are throwing. It’s been a long time since Susan has had a social life, so she accepts his invitation.
At the party, Susan is strongly admired by Moe and his friends. Moe seems to interpret every pleasant look and touch by Susan as a connection. She appreciates Moe inviting her to the party and wants to be pleasant in return, but she doesn’t want to give Moe the wrong idea. After all, they just officially met. Susan continues to enjoy herself at the party, and at the end of the night, thanks Moe for a fun evening, accepts his friend request on Facebook, and takes a cab home.
Days later, Susan checks her Facebook page and discovers Moe’s daily posts about his love and affection for Susan. Susan realizes Moe has misinterpreted her friendliness at the party and knows she must clarify their relationship. She knows it may be painful for Moe, but she must be honest with him. He has made public disclosures on Facebook, and she needs to publicly clarify their relationship. Susan believes this is the right thing to do.
Susan crafts a sensitive reply post in which she tries to honestly consider Moe’s perspective on their single date, to let him down gently by clarifying the reality from her perspective. She acknowledges having fun at the party and enjoying their friendly time together, but concludes by respectfully setting clear limits on their future encounters and by unfriending him on Facebook.
Social Psychology Theories
Reciprocity: The obligation to return in kind what another has done for us. You can find more information on this theory in your text in Chapter 9, pages 295-296.
Unrequited Love: A situation in which one person loves another but the other does not return that love. You can find more information on this theory in your text in Chapter 11, pages 397-398.
Social Exchange Theory: A theory that seeks to understand social behavior by analyzing the costs and benefits of interacting with each other; it assumes that sex is a resource that men have and women want. You can find more information on this theory in your text in Chapter 12, pages 428.
Behavioral Ethics Concepts
Moral Awareness: Moral awareness is the ability to detect and appreciate the ethical aspects of a decision that one must make. For more information about this concept, review the What You Need to Know activity in Unit 7.
Causing Harm: Causing harm explores the different types of harm that may be caused to people or groups and the potential reasons we may have for justifying these harms. For more information about this concept, review the What You Need to Know activity in Unit 8.
Critical Thinking Concepts
Confidence in Reason: Having confidence that your interests and those of mankind are best served by reasoning. For more information about this concept, review the What You Need to Know activity in Unit 8.
Fairmindedness: Awareness of the need to treat all viewpoints alike without reference to our own or vested interests. For more information about this concept, review the What You Need to Know activity in Unit 9.
Social Psychology Theories
Baumeister, R. F., & Bushman, B. J. (2017). Social psychology and human nature (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage. ISBN: 9781305497917.
The University of Texas at Austin (2019). Concepts unwrapped: Being your best self, part 1: Moral awareness. Retrieved from https://ethicsunwrapped.utexas.edu/video/best-self-part-1-moral-awareness
The University of Texas at Austin (2019). Concepts unwrapped: Causing harm. Retrieved from https://ethicsunwrapped.utexas.edu/video/causing-harm
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