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September 2, 2013
Taking this interview was an interesting experience ﬁlled with social psychological principles. Since the interview oftentimes referenced my previous answers and asked me to explain my choices, I felt myself experience cognitive dissonance as my expanations were sometimes unreasonable or irrational. Also, because the interview is over the internet and done at such a large scale, I experienced deindividuation and was better able to express my true opinions. If the interview were done in person, social pressures would likely have caused me to answer with more compassionate and socially acceptable solutions. Finally,, as I explained my choices, I noticed myself inﬂuenced by the observer eﬀect. For many explanations, I cited my action having such little impact and that many others were behaving diﬀerently. Since there were already passive observers, I realized that pressures towards conformity dominated many of my preferences. Taking the interview on a web site had pros and cons. The most signiﬁcant diﬀerence from an in-person interview was that it felt very non-personal and deindividuated. This lead me to be more honest and open in my answers since I felt less social pressures and norms inﬂuencing my decisions. However, since it was computerized, I put less thought into making sure my explanations were logically consistent. I found the interviewer’s personality to be pretty bland. All the references to previous questions were basic, most of the time asking for a justiﬁcation of the previous answer. In no case were more than one previous answer referenced in a question. I found the interview questions to be pretty clear and error free. However, I am a college student in the US and the questions may not be clear to everyone in the diverse audience completing this assignment. The interview could be improved by building new questions based upon multiple prevous answers. I felt that follow up questions were very generic (why did you choose this). I feel that a big reason for referencing prior answers was to cause the interviewee to experience cognitive dissonance, and that this eﬀect would be ampliﬁed if multiple previous responses were used instead of just one.