The Major Theoretical Perspectives on Social Psychology

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Comparing the Major Theoretical Perspectives in Social Psychology

Motivational Theory Perspective

• Focuses on the individual’s own needs or motives.
• What makes people go, what provides the energy or reasons for their actions • Real-life Example: Anna Marie motivated to have good grades, to study hard, help others and gain a status at ITT Technical Institute’s National Technical Honor Society.

Learning Theory Perspective

• A person’s current behavior is determined by prior experience. o Three general mechanisms
▪ Association or Classical Conditioning
▪ Reinforcement- learning based on rewards
▪ Observational- learning by watching others (mimicking) • Real-life Example: Anna Marie learns by reinforcement and observation in school. She observes her professor during lab and lecture and reformed what she learns at home when completing home assignments and projects. She also shows enforcement when performing quizzes and her final exams.

Cognitive Theory Perspective

• People tend to spontaneously to group and categorize objects • People readily perceive some things as standing out and some things as simply being in the background. • Real-life Example: The importance of Anna Marie situation may perceive that she is an overachiever or is doing this to get attention from employers.

Sociocultural Theory Perspective

• Emphasizes the importance of individualism, collectivism, socialization, social norms, social roles and culture. • Understanding behavior within a particular social or cultural context. • Emphasizes comparisons of different cultures and groups. o Cross-cultural research- identifies and examines the important ways cultures differ from each other. o Multicultural research- examines and identifies racial and ethnic groups with cultures. • Real-life Example: Anna Marie is a member of National Technical Honor Society....
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