Unit 1 Assignment 2: comparing and contrasting the theoretical perspectives of social psychology
The historical root of social psychology can be summarized into three basic concepts that originate from well-known psychologists, such as Freud, Kohler, Skinner, and others, in the early 1900s. These theories are as follows: Psychoanalytic Theory focuses on the powerful inner drives, impulses, and motivations of the individual mind and how those motivations are formed by sexuality and aggression. A second challenger called Behaviorism offered that motivations are subject to environmental factors and that learning shapes and determines future responses. To conclude, the perspective of Gestalt psychology regarded itself as a democratic and humanistic view of motivation. The theory says that individuals form coherent and meaningful perceptions and determine their responses based on the “whole”, not individual parts.
While social psychology has its roots in psychology, the following major contemporary theories are used to understand and study the behaviors and problems of today.
Motivational Theories (influenced by psychoanalytic theory) general approach concentrates on the individual’s own needs or motives that influence perceptions, attitudes, and behavior. In short, when an individual is presented with adversity, these conditions create or provoke needs that trigger behaviors in the individual to satisfy those needs. For example, the experience of moving away from home to join the military, created feelings of loneliness.
Cognitive Theories (influenced by Gestalt psychology) emphasizes that a person’s immediate perception of a situation and how their behavior and decision-making is shaped by those perceptions in a social situation. Further, a core idea in this theory is that people tend on impulse to group and categorize objects and focus attention on the most noticeable environmental factors. For example, I want to retire from the military I perceive...