go beyond superficial descriptive accounts H u m a n i t i e s
On a day of your choosing your task is to observe a “Day of Authenticity.” To participate in this event, your challenge will be to live each minute of your selected day in a way that is as uninfluenced as possible by conformity pressures to appear cool, fit in with a group, or go along with others to be liked or accepted. In other words, for a full 24-hour period you should live in a way that is true to yourself while not infringing on the rights of others.
When carrying out this assignment, leave no behavior unexamined — from washing your face to eating lunch to talking with friends to watching TV. That is, don’t just avoid obvious acts of phoniness or insincerity; strive for the deepest level of authenticity, in whatever way you define it for yourself. The goal is not to be different, unique, or selfish, but to be your own person.
turn in a social psychological analysis of what the day was like. Here are some sample questions you might address:
How did you define authenticity? What did you focus your efforts on?
If your behavior was different than normal, which person did you like more: the “Day of authenticity you” or the “normal you”? If you preferred the “Day of authenticity you,” what are the psychological factors that prevent this “you” from coming out?
What are the psychological costs and benefits of living authentically? In your view, do the benefits outweigh the costs?
- How did others respond to your authenticity? Do you think they noticed a difference in your behavior? What attributions did people make for your behavior and why?
- If you were to predict your behavior one month from now, do you think it will be changed in any way as a result of participating in the Day of Authenticity? If so, how? It not, why not?
- In carrying out this assignment, try and go beyond superficial descriptive accounts and see if you can arrive at social psychological insights about yourself and others!