Approaches to Social Psychology

Approaches/ perspectives of Social Psychology-

1. Sociocultural Approach/ Perspective

  • This approach/perspective gives the importance to social norms, rules and culture.
  •  Psychologist Lev Vygotsky, explained that parents, caregivers, peers, and the culture at large were responsible for developing higher-order functions of the individual.
  • It suggests that kids learn behaviour through problem-solving interactions with others. Through these interactions, they learn the values, belief and norms of their society.
  • Vygotsky gave the concept of Zone of Proximal Development, means individual will develop his/her learning till a certain level but if he/she gets support from others he can achieve new heights.
  • Social psychologists using this approach /perspective might look at how cultural norms and social influence impact social behaviour. When considering something like fear, aggression, etc.
  • Example, a person taking this view would look at how people are socialized to behave aggressively in certain situations.



2. Evolutionary Approach/ Perspective

  • This approach argues that social behaviours developed through genetics and inheritance.
  • It attempts to explain how we adapt psychological traits, memory, perception, or language. As per this approach, All of these are adaptations, i.e., as the functional products of natural selection.
  • It gives emphasis to the role of biology and gene transmission across generations to explain current behaviour.
  • It focused on how evolution has shaped the mind and behaviour.
  • A social problem such as aggression, a psychologist taking this perspective would consider how genetics and evolutionary influences contributed to the development of the behaviour.

3.Social-Cognitive Approach/ Perspective

  • This approach supports an information processing model of social behaviour, where we notice, interpret, and judge the behaviour of others.
  • As per this approach, new experiences can either be assimilated (using already held beliefs to interpret the event) or accommodated (which involves changing existing beliefs in response to the event.)
  • By understanding how information is processed, we can better understand how patterns of thoughts impact behaviour.



 

4.Social Learning Approach/ Perspective

  • A psychologist named Albert Bandura proposed a social learning theory which suggests that observation and modelling play a primary role in learning.
  • According to this perspective, we learn behaviours by observing and mimicking the behaviour of others.
  •  Albert Bandura integrated behaviourism and cognitive approach called social learning theory and identified four requirements for learning—observation (environmental), retention (cognitive), reproduction (cognitive), and motivation (both).
  • This approach gives stress on the importance of unique experiences in family, school, community, etc.
  • Bobo Doll experiments.
  • Example of aggression, someone taking the social learning perspective would be interested in how people learn aggressive behaviours from parents, peers, and even media influences.




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