The Four Major Theoretical Perspectives Of Social Psychology

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Social psychology, as a whole, studies how individuals interact with situations and the social influence others have on individuals. A more in-depth definition would be ‘social psychology is the scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by others.’ (Introduction to Social Psychology , page 5).

As such the four major theoretical perspectives of social psychology are out lined at sociocultural, evolutionary, social learning, social cognitive. The sociocultural perspective is the theory that searches for individual behavioral reasoning from a larger social groups; this includes but is not limited to social norms and cultural influence. The evolutionary perspective is the theory that looks at how our individual behaviors are likely influenced by our psychological and physiological desire to survive; this theory looks at natural selection, adaptation, and reproduction. Mean while the social learning perspective concentrates on an individuals past experiences with rewards and punishments. Lastly, the social cognitive perspective theorizes that individual behavior is driven by an individuals perception of success, and the benefits of the experience itself.

Without knowing it everyone participates in Social Cognitive Theory, it influences our future choices based on our past behaviors and those outcomes. SCT evolved from the Social Learning Theory, taking the data collected from SLT and applying it to individual subjective
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