Social Psych 1Z03 Exam Review April 2015 Part 1 of 2 Theoretical Perspectives Role Theory • Much of observable social behaviour is people carrying out their roles, similar to actors performing on a stage. • According to role theory, to change a person’s behaviour, it is necessary to change or redefine his or her role. Prepositions in Role Theory 1. People spend much of their lives participating in groups and organizations. 2. Within these groups, people occupy distinct positions. 3. Each of these positions entails a role, which is a set of functions performed by the person for the group. 4. Groups formalize these expectations as norms , which are rules specifying how a person should behave. 5. Individuals usually carry out their roles and perform according to the norms. 6. Group members check each individual’s performance to determine whether it conforms to the group’s norms. Limitations of Role Theory • Role theory has difficulty explaining deviant behaviour, or any behaviour that violates the norms defining a given role. • Deviant behaviour violates the demands of roles. • Role theory does not and cannot explain how role expectations originate or how they change. Reinforcement Theory Micro level • Central proposition: • People are more likely to perform a behaviour if it is followed by something pleasurable or by the removal of something aversive. • People will refrain from a particular behaviour if it is followed by something aversive or the removal of something pleasant. Conditioning • In conditioning, a relationship is established between emitting a response and receiving a reinforcement. • If a person emits a particular response and this response is then reinforced, the connection between response and reinforcement is strengthened. • Relationship in brain between response and some positive reinforcement • The more often we do it; it becomes second nature and unconscious Stimulus- Response • Any event that leads to an alteration or change in behaviour is called a stimulus • The change in behaviour induced by a stimulus is called a response • A reinforcement is any favourable outcome that results from a response • Stimulus discrimination occurs when a person learns the exact conditions under which a response will be reinforced • Reinforcement must come after response
Reinforcement theory portrays individuals as reacting to environmental stimuli rather than as initiating behaviour based on imaginative or creative thought. Limitations: • Reinforcement theory cannot easily explain altruism and martyrdom. • Only act by environment and not by our creativity • A ‘one size fits all’ – reinforce different people’s behavior by different motivations Cognitive Theory • The mental activities (cognitive processes) of the individual are important determinants of social behaviour.
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