Theoretical Perspectives That Define Social Psychology

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Social psychology is the study of the nature and causes of human social behavior. There are five main theoretical perspectives that define social psychology. Role, cognitive, symbolic interaction, evolutionary, and reinforcement theory are the five theoretical perspectives that help understand human social behavior. However, each theoretical perspective examines different approaches and play different roles in social psychology. Some of the theories that make up social psychology take a micro-level approach and emphasize the importance of meanings, interactions, socialization and the development of the self.
Role theory explains how individuals play roles in their daily lives. It is composed of both macro-level and micro-level approaches. Unlike role theory, cognitive theory states that an individual’s thinking process influences their social behavior. Cognitive theory is a biological approach to sociology. Symbolic interaction theory describes how social structure and social behaviors are formed through symbols, language, and social interaction. A symbolic interaction theory is a micro-level approach. The evolutionary theory is a biological approach to sociology that not only deals with physical evolution, but also focuses on the traits that are passed on from generation to generation to show how it shapes their social behavior. Lastly reinforcement theory is a micro-level approach that focuses on how social behavior is influenced through the use of
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