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Americana. Social Psychology and History. Jacob Martin, Camden Smith, Joseph Doub, Deysha Foster. History- Prohibition. 18 th Amendment makes consumption and possession of alcohol illegal Intended to reduce crime and improve overall American life

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Social Psychology and History

Jacob Martin, Camden Smith, Joseph Doub, Deysha Foster

History- Prohibition

  • 18th Amendment makes consumption and possession of alcohol illegal

  • Intended to reduce crime and improve overall American life

  • Actually crime skyrockets; Speakeasies created, gangsters like Al Capone make millions off smuggling alcohol

Cheek, Jerrie S. "Roaring 20s." The Roaring Twenties. 2 Sept. 2002. Kennesaw State University. 23 May 2008 <>.

History- Great Depression

  • Caused by: stock market crash- caused by: over speculation of money supply, decline of world trade and decreasing income taxes

  • Led to: delayed marriages, decreased birth rates, longest period of unemployment, enhanced role for women

"What Caused the Great Depression of the 1930s?" Gold Ocean 1 Mar. 1999. 23 May 2008 <>.

History- Consumer Driven Society of Today

  • Today’s society is designed around consumer spending

  • Consumers buy many things on credit- money they do not actually have

  • Consumers purchase objects at their leisure- these objects are more for pleasure than need

  • Purchases are also made to keep up their social status or possess more impressive than their neighbors and friends

  • This type of living can lead to intense debt and bankruptcy

White, David (2008, May 27). Consumerism, Character, and the Witness of the Church. Retrieved May 28, 2008, from Austrailian EJournal of Theology Web site:

History Consumer Driven Society of Today Cont.

  • Not only does it result in personal economic problems, it effects the entire world economy and well being

  • 20% of the world in advanced countries account for 86% of consumption

  • We demand too much of our natural resources (oil, natural gas) causing environmental issues

  • Instead of concerning ourselves with what we want we should think about the effect our spending will have on others

  • Consumerism is spreading the gap between the rich and the poor more than ever

Shah, Anup (2008, Janueary 08). Behind Consumption and Consumerism. Retrieved May 28, 2008, from Global Issues Web site:

History- Contrast between Depression and Consumerism

  • Depression: Purchases could only be made on need, and even then the means for that were hard to come by

  • Consumerism: Individuals are no longer concerned with needs and are more interested in making purchases that would have seemed wasteful during the depression

(2007, Oct 26). Blacks in the Great Depression. Retrieved May 28, 2008, from Flickr Web site:

The Psychology of Americana Groups

  • Conformity : Conformity took place in the roaring twenties mainly because people did not want to be excluded.

  • Normative Social Influence: In order for people to feel part of a group in the roaring twenties they dressed a certain way so that society could instantly label them.

  • Deindividuation: In the great depression people began to lose themselves as individuals because of the dividing factors in each class the poor class stuck together and so did the rich class.

Myers, D. G. (2004). Psychology. New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

The Psychology of Americana Groups

  • Group Polarization: The poor classes beliefs on how unfair the great depression was for them grew as more and more of them came together to discuss it as a group which lead to strikes.

  • Group Think: The majority of the groups in the roaring twenties experienced group think to maintain a peaceful balance within the group and avoid conflict.

Myers, D. G. (2004). Psychology. New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

The Psychology of Americana Attitudes

  • Cognitive dissonance: Cognitive dissonance went on primarily during the great depression when the government felt bad for poor people and said they should offer help but then said the people need to help themselves, those two thoughts were inconsistent with each other causing cognitive dissonance.

  • Social Loafing: Although the poor classes were moving toward maintaining equality within society some poor people failed to make any efforts to help but felt they should receive the rewards because they were part of a group.

Myers, D. G. (2004). Psychology. New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

The Psychology of Americana Attitudes

  • Prejudice: The rich class was very prejudice towards the poor class during the depression and made no attempt to help them because they felt they were beneath them.

  • Just World Phenomenon: The rich class believed that the poor class deserved to be poor because that’s the way they were born.

  • Aggression: Many were aggressive toward people of another class, or race.

  • Altruism: People were so concerned with their own wealth and well being, other people just came in the way.

Myers, D. G. (2004). Psychology. New York, NY: Worth Publishers.


  • History: The roaring 20’s was a point in history of social freedom and increased quality of life.

  • The Great Depression was an economic low in our history caused by over speculation of money and resulted in a massive stock market crash.

  • Today in America, we are run by consumerism in which consumers purchase unnecessary items at their will on credit.

  • Psychology: Americans were separated by class resulting in discrimination and other forms of prejudice.


  • History: Jacob Martin and Camden Smith

  • Psychology: Joseph Doub and Deysha Foster

Bibliography (Title Page photo) (Speakeasy in prohibition photo) (strike picture) (jazz flappers picture) (assembly line picture) (Eye Picture) (Holding hands picture)

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