Date of Award


First Advisor

Anne O'Dwyer

Second Advisor

Nancy Bonvillain


This thesis is a personal and psychological reflection on contemporary life. There are millions of ways in which people today are misled, lied-to, and exploited – most often by those with influence and power. In this analysis, I draw on the work of psychologist Kurt Lewin, as well as classic theories and research in social psychology (such as cognitive dissonance, groupthink, conformity, obedience, helping, and what it means to “be sane in insane places”). The search for truth, justice, and humanity is a challenge faced by so many people today, and those in power either pretend or refuse to help. So I hope that in calling out even just a few of the ways we are manipulated, I can provide hope that we will find a way of someday existing in a more honest and humane world.

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