Lecture 014

Essay Thesis Drafting

Motivated forgetting: Holocaust denial (Freud's repression as self-defense mechanism)

Psychological projection

One's identity is socially influenced

cognitive dissonance theory

Cognitive and social psychology are branches of psychology that attempts to explain human action though analyzing how we think about problem and our relationship with other people. When applied to the time period of post World War II, many phenomenon can be explained through both cognitive and social psychology. For example, the motivated forgetting behavior, as using Freudian psychology of repression, is a self-defense mechanism that many Germans have after World War II. Such collective psychological trauma directly caused Holocaust Denial in Germany. Even long after the war, cognitive psychology can also explain the effect of the Holocaust on the 3rd Generation. Specifically, the phrase "You are so German" with negative connotation can be explained as psychological projection of one's identity. In fact, the author's attempt to unearth Willi's past can also be predicted using cognitive dissonance theory as a way to reduce anxiety by making contradictory things into consistency. In addition, by applying these lens as tools to analyze text, not only do we explain those phenomenons, we can also get more insights into post-war Germany. For example, the 3rd generation, without motivated forgetting, have healthier cognition than the 1st generation. However, the socially constructed shame on them also adds to another layer of cognitive dissonance, in which, I project, exists not just on the author, but on many other Germans.

Essay Idea

The separation between German and Nazi exists

Balance between?

DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY: identity SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY: Group Behavior - Group Polarization, Deindividuation, SOcial facilitation

Thesis: finding Willi's past as author's trying to find out her own role confusion in responsibility of WWII as 3rd generation. There is no definite answer whether she should be responsible or not. The importance is finding the balance. It explain why author still couldn't find an answer, because such definite answer does not exists, or at least differ person to person (to ensure psychological collective well-being currently and in the future).

Difference between IS and SHOULD BE (is is by causational logic, where as should be is for human growth, moving forward, humanistic approach in psychology)

German(with no significant Nazi background) should be in some sense responsible

advantage by psychology: conditioning (subconsciously) and consciously learning by bad example AND social facilitation

German should be in some sense not responsible

advantage by psychology: a way to reestablish ego (1541) and move forward from depression

disadvantage by psychology: denial (protection mechanism) -> unconsciously distort reality -> losing memory, losing memorable lesson

Its not a definite answer, it have both advantage and disadvantage in psychology

Essay Structure



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