Introduction and Approach:
* Leon Festinger is not only a highly acclaimed genius and social psychologist; he is a passionate and ground breaking innovator in his field. * Born on May 8th, 1919 in New York City, Leon achieved his first baccalaureate degree in psychology from City College of New York in 1939. * Straight out of college Leon was a hit. Working with Max Hertzman on level of aspiration, the duo published a piece in the Journal of Experimental Psychology only a year after he gained his first degree. * The hard worker definitely did not stop there however. Leon got his MA and PhD from the State University of Iowa as well and soon became a research associate. Leon worked all over the United States in several institutes such as MIT, Michigan, and Stanford to work on his Research Center for Group Dynamics. * There are two major theories that made Festinger not only a world-wide known name, but also the first name to come to any professionals mind when it comes to social psychology. * These are the Social Comparison Theory and the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. * I will be primarily discussing the Social Comparison theory during this presentation, however Leon’s approach to experiments created a unique design of research and theory that is now common in the field of social psychology. * Leon liked to formulate his problems as oppositions of habits. During all of his experiments he highly believed that the average person shuns oppositions and seeks for a resolution. * Leon, being an avid researcher on decisions showed that decision alternatives are conflicting forces, and through experiments the interaction of conflicting tendencies could be understood as motivational foreshadowing of people’s behavior. The habit of these conflicting tendencies allows great hypothesis on the end result of the behavior. Social Comparison Theory:
* In Leon’s work on social comparison, he put out the need to understand against the lack of...
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