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Examine and discuss one cult in depth. The cult you examine may be one that is a doomsday cult (one that predicts an end to the world on a certain date), a cult in which members cut themselves off from the rest of society and ultimately self-destruct, a cult that overtly promotes discrimination against certain group(s), or a cult that attempts to harm society in some way. If you peruse the literature and the Internet, you will find examples of all of these examples. Discuss how the use of psychological principles of persuasion help to explain the behaviors of the cult members and the cult leader. For example, if anyone in the cult committed suicide or killed their own children, you must also explain that action using social psychological principles.
Examples of social psychological principles related to the phenomenon of cults are:
Self-serving bias
False consensus and uniqueness
Locus of control
Fundamental attribution error
Constructing memories
Confirmations generated by our own beliefs
Prejudice (sources and consequences)
Persuasion (and all components involved in it)
Group polarization
Diminished self-awareness
Social aggression
Combinations thereof
Other examples you find by exploring cases of cults
You are not expected to include all 18 items in the paper; however, you must use at least 6 of those principles and provide appropriate citations from the textbooks using APA style.
You may choose to do a general analysis of a cult OR focus on specific questions such as what tactics are used to recruit new members, how members are pressured to adopt uniform behaviors, or what kind of propaganda is used by the cult. Please organize the paper with headings and sub-headings to make your arguments clear.
The following Internet links about differences between cult and religion may be useful to establish a general context of the paper. Click here to access. Be aware also that sometimes cults are offspring of mainstream religions, so do not confuse cults with religions; compare definitions and characterizations given by different sources, e.g.: http://www.prem-rawat-talk.org/forum/uploads/CultCharacteristics.htm.
This paper must be at least 1000 up to 1500 words in length. You must write it in APA style and include an APA style bibliography. Each work cited in the paper must be cited in the bibliography and each work cited in the bibliography must be used and cited in the paper. A “References” list at the bottom of the paper is a requirement (APA style). Remember, the purpose of this paper is that you apply principles of social psychology to examining a cult; NOT to summarize the history, organization and ideas of a cult. Scientific argumentation of your

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