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List of Social Psychology Theories
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Social psychology is a highly empirical field. Rather than seeking global theories of human behavior, as are frequently found in personality theory, social psychologists utilize a wide range of specific theories for various kinds of social and cognitive phenomena. Here is a sampling of some of the more influential theories that can be found in this branch of psychology.
Attribution theory – is concerned with the ways in which people explain (or attribute) the behavior of others. The theory divides the way people attribute causes to events into two types. External or “situational” attributions assign causality to an outside factor, such as the weather. Internal or “dispositional” attributions assign causality to factors within the person, such as ability or personality.
Cognitive dissonance – was originally based on the concept of cognitive consistency, but is now more related to self-concept theory. When people do something that violates their view of themselves, this causes an uncomfortable state of dissonance that motivates a change in either attitudes or behavior (Festinger, 1957).
Elaboration likelihood model – maintains that information processing, often in the case of a persuasion attempt can be divided into two separate processes based on the “likelihood of cognitive elaborations,” that is, whether people think critically about the content of a message, or respond to superficial aspects of the message and other immediate cues.
Evolutionary psychology – suggests that human behavioral tendencies are at least partly inherited and have been influenced by the process of natural selection. One popular area of study is the possibility that human sex differences are due to differential reproductive strategies.
Schemata theory – focuses on “schemas” which are cognitive structures that organize knowledge and guide information processing. They take the form of generalized beliefs that can operate automatically and lead to biases in perception and memory.
Self-perception theory – emphasizes that we observe ourselves in the same manner that we observe others, and draw conclusions about our likes and dislikes. Extrinsic self perceptions can lead to the overjustification effect.
Self-verification theory – focuses on people’s desire to be known and understood by others. The key assumption is that once people develop firmly held beliefs about themselves, they come to prefer that others see them as they see themselves.
Social comparison theory – suggests that humans gain information about themselves, and make inferences that are relevant to self-esteem, by comparison to relevant others.
Social exchange theory – is an economic social theory that assumes human relationships are based on rational choice and cost-benefit analyses. If one partner’s costs begin to outweigh his or her benefits, that person may leave the relationship, especially if there are good alternatives available.
Social identity theory – was developed by Henri Tajfel and examines how categorizing people (including oneself) into ingroups or outgroups affects perceptions, attitudes, and behavior.
Socioemotional Selectivity Theory – posits that as people age and their perceived time left in life decreases, they shift from focusing on information seeking goals to focusing on emotional goals.
Observational learning (social learning) – suggests that behavior can be acquired by observation and imitation of others, unlike traditional learning theories which require reinforcement or punishment for learning to occur.
Triangular theory of love – by Sternberg, characterizes love in an interpersonal relationship on three different scales: intimacy, passion, and commitment. Different stages and types of love can be categorized by different combinations of these three elements.
Drive theory – posits that the presence of an audience causes arousal which creates dominant or typical responses in the context of the situation.
Attribution Theory
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Attribution theory is a social psychology theory developed
by Fritz Heider, Harold Kelley, Edward E. Jones, and Lee Ross.
The theory is concerned with the ways in which people explain (or attribute) the behavior of others or themselves (self-attribution) with something else. It explores how individuals “attribute” causes to events and how this cognitive perception effects their usefulness in an organization.Contents [hide]
1 Internal versus external
2 Attribution Theory in Education
3 See also
4 References
5 External links
Internal versus external
The theory divides the way people attribute causes into two types.
“External” or “situational” attribution assigns causality to an outside factor, such as the weather.
“Internal” or “dispositional” attribution assigns causality to factors within the person, such as their own level of intelligence or other variables that make the individual responsible for the event.
The covariation model developed by Harold Kelley examines how people decide whether an internal or an external attribution will be made.
Attribution Theory in Education
There is also the Attribution Theory of Motivation. This describes how the individual’s explanation, justification, and excuses about self or others influence motivation. Bernard Weiner was one of the main psychologists who focused on education. He was responsible for relating the attribution theory back to education.
There are three dimensions that characterize success or failure: 1. locus (two poles: internal vs. external) 2. stability (do causes change over time or not?) 3. controllability(causes one can control such as skills vs. causes one cannot control such as luck, others’ actions, etc.)
Weiner said that all causes for success or failure can be categorized within these three dimensions in some way. This is because the dimensions affect expectancy and value. Some examples of success or failure could be luck, effort, ability, interest, clarity of instruction, and much more. For example, the internal/external locus seems to be closely related to feelings of self esteem, while stability relates to expectations about the future and controllability is connected to emotions such as anger, pity or shame. When one succeeds, one attributes successes internally (“my own skill’). When a rival succeeds, one tends to credit external (e.g. luck). When one fails or makes mistakes, we will more likely use external attribution, attributing causes to situational factors rather than blaming ourselves. When others fail or make mistakes, internal attribution is often used, saying it is due to their internal personality factors.
See also           Psychology portal
Attributional bias
Fundamental attribution error
Educational psychology
Correspondent inference theory
Locus of control
Explanatory style
Attribution (psychology)
self-serving bias
Heider, Fritz. (1958). The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations. New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-36833-4
Woolfolk, Anita (2007). Educational Psychology. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc..
Vockell, Edward L (2001). Chapter 5, Educational Psychology: A Practical Approach.
External links
Essay on Attribution by Steve Booth-Butterfield of West Virginia University (1996)
“From Attributions to Folk Explanations: An Argument in 10 (or so) Steps” (Bertram Malle, University of Oregon, 2002).  This psychology-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.
Categories: Attitude attribution | Consumer behaviour | Social psychology | Consciousness studies | Psychology stubs
Cognitive Dissonance
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Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The “ideas” or “cognitions” in question may include attitudes and beliefs, the awareness of one’s behavior, and facts. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.[1] Cognitive dissonance theory is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.
Dissonance normally occurs when a person perceives a logical inconsistency among his or her cognitions. This happens when one idea implies the opposite of another. For example, a belief in animal rights could be interpreted as inconsistent with eating meat or wearing fur. Noticing the contradiction would lead to dissonance, which could be experienced as anxiety, guilt, shame, anger, embarrassment, stress, and other negative emotional states. When people’s ideas are consistent with each other, they are in a state of harmony, or consonance. If cognitions are unrelated, they are categorized as irrelevant to each other and do not lead to dissonance.
A powerful cause of dissonance is an idea in conflict with a fundamental element of the self-concept, such as “I am a good person” or “I made the right decision.” The anxiety that comes with the possibility of having made a bad decision can lead to rationalization, the tendency to create additional reasons or justifications to support one’s choices. A person who just spent too much money on a new car might decide that the new vehicle is much less likely to break down than his or her old car. This belief may or may not be true, but it would likely reduce dissonance and make the person feel better. Dissonance can also lead to confirmation bias, the denial of disconfirming evidence, and other ego defense mechanisms.Contents [hide]
1 Examples
2 Theory and research
2.1 When Prophecy Fails
2.2 Boring task experiment
2.3 Forbidden toy experiment
2.4 Postdecision dissonance
3 Challenges and qualifications
4 Modelling in neural networks
5 See also
6 References
7 Further reading
8 External links
The classical version of this idea is expressed in the Aesop fable, The Fox and the Grapes, in which a fox sees some high-hanging grapes and wishes to eat them. However, unable to think of a way to reach them, he surmises that the grapes are probably not worth eating anyway (that they are not yet ripe or that they are too sour). In the story, the dissonance of the desire for something unattainable (the desire versus the unfulfillment) is reduced by sentience (of irrationally thinking) which is desired must be flawed (Sour Grapes).
The most famous case in the early study of Cognitive Dissonance was described by Leon Festinger and others in the book When Prophecy Fails.[2] The authors infiltrated a group that was expecting the imminent end of the world on a certain date. When that prediction failed, the movement did not disintegrate, but grew instead, as members vied to prove their orthodoxy by recruiting converts. (See further discussion below.)
Smoking is often postulated as an example of cognitive dissonance because it is widely accepted that cigarettes cause lung cancer, yet virtually everyone wants to live a long and healthy life. In terms of the theory, the desire to live a long life is dissonant with the activity of doing something that will most likely shorten one’s life. The tension produced by these contradictory ideas can be reduced by quitting smoking, denying the evidence of lung cancer, or justifying one’s smoking.[3] For example, smokers could rationalize their behavior by concluding that only a few smokers become ill, that it only happens to very heavy smokers, or that if smoking does not kill them, something else will.[4] This and other forms of chemical addiction are not so clear-cut, but this analysis may be valid for those wanting to start smoking.
This case of dissonance could also be interpreted in terms of a threat to the self-concept.[5] The thought, “I am increasing my risk of lung cancer” is dissonant with the self-related belief, “I am a smart, reasonable person who makes good decisions.” Because it is often easier to make excuses than it is to change behavior, dissonance theory leads to the conclusion that humans are rationalizing and not always rational beings.
Theory and research
Most of the research on cognitive dissonance takes the form of “induced compliance without sufficient justification.” In these studies, participants are asked to write an essay against their beliefs, or to do something unpleasant, without a sufficient justification or incentive. The vast majority of participants comply with these kinds of requests and subsequently experience dissonance. In another procedure, participants are offered a gift and asked to choose between two equally desirable items. Because the attractive characteristics of the rejected item are dissonant with the decision to accept the chosen item, participants tend to experience “postdecision dissonance.”
When Prophecy Fails
An early version of cognitive dissonance theory appeared in Leon Festinger’s 1956 book, When Prophecy Fails. This book gave an inside account of belief persistence in members of a UFO doomsday cult, and documented the increased proselytization they exhibited after the leader’s “end of the world” prophecy failed to come true. The prediction of the Earth’s destruction, supposedly sent by aliens to the leader of the group, became a disconfirmed expectancy that caused dissonance between the cognitions, “the world is going to end” and “the world did not end.” Although some members abandoned the group when the prophecy failed, most of the members lessened their dissonance by accepting a new belief, that the planet was spared because of the faith of the group.[6]
Boring task experiment
In Festinger and Carlsmith’s classic 1959 experiment, students were asked to spend an hour on boring and tedious tasks (e.g. turning pegs a quarter turn, over and over again). The tasks were designed to generate a strong, negative attitude. Once the subjects had done this, the experimenters asked some of them to do a simple favour. They were asked to talk to another subject (actually a confederate) and persuade them that the tasks were interesting and engaging. Some participants were paid $20 for this favor, another group was paid $1, and a control group was not asked to perform the favour.
When asked to rate the boring tasks at the conclusion of the study (not in the presence of the other “subject”), those in the $1 group rated them more positively than those in the $20 and control groups. This was explained by Festinger and Carlsmith as evidence for cognitive dissonance. The researchers theorized that people experienced dissonance between the conflicting cognitions, “I told someone that the task was interesting”, and “I actually found it boring.” When paid only $1, students were forced to internalize the attitude they were induced to express, because they had no other justification. Those in the $20 condition, however, had an obvious external justification for their behaviour, and thus experienced less dissonance.[7]
In subsequent experiments, an alternative method of “inducing dissonance” has become common. In this research, experimenters use counter-attitudinal essay-writing, in which people are paid varying amounts of money (e.g. one or ten dollars) for writing essays expressing opinions contrary to their own. People paid only a small amount of money have less justification for their inconsistency and tend to experience more dissonance.
Forbidden toy experiment
An experiment by Aronson and Carlsmith in 1963 examined self-justification in children[8]. In this experiment, children were left in a room with a variety of toys, including a highly desirable toy steam-shovel (or other toy). Upon leaving the room, the experimenter told half the children that there would be a severe punishment if they played with that particular toy and told the other half that there would be a mild punishment. All of the children in the study refrained from playing with the toy. Later, when the children were told that they could freely play with whatever toy they wanted, the ones in the mild punishment condition were less likely to play with the toy, even though the threat had been removed.
This is another example of insufficient justification. The children who were only mildly threatened had to justify to themselves why they did not play with the toy. The degree of punishment by itself was not strong enough, so the children had to convince themselves that the toy was not worth playing with in order to resolve their dissonance.[8]
Postdecision dissonance
In a different type of experiment conducted by Jack Brehm, 225 female students rated a series of common appliances and were then allowed to choose one of two appliances to take home as a gift. A second round of ratings showed that the participants increased their ratings of the item they chose, and lowered their ratings of the rejected item.[9] This can be explained in terms of cognitive dissonance. When making a difficult decision, there are always aspects of the rejected choice that one finds appealing and these features are dissonant with choosing something else. In other words, the cognition, “I chose X” is dissonant with the cognition, “There are some things I like about Y.” More recent research has found similar results in four-year-old children and capuchin monkeys.[10]
Challenges and qualifications
Daryl Bem was an early critic of cognitive dissonance theory. He proposed self-perception theory as a more parsimonious alternative explanation of the experimental results. According to Bem, people do not think much about their attitudes, let alone whether they are in conflict. Bem interpreted people in the Festinger and Carlsmith study as inferring their attitudes from their behavior. Thus, when asked “Did you find the task interesting?” they decided that they must have found it interesting because that is what they told someone. Bem suggested that people paid $20 had a salient, external incentive for their behavior and were likely to perceive the money as their reason for saying the task was interesting, rather than concluding that they actually found it interesting.[11][12]
In many experimental situations, Bem’s theory and Festinger’s theory make identical predictions, but only dissonance theory predicts the presence of unpleasant tension or arousal. Lab experiments have verified the presence of arousal in dissonance situations.[13][14] This provides support for cognitive dissonance theory and makes it unlikely that self-perception by itself can account for all the laboratory findings.
In 1969, Elliot Aronson reformulated the basic theory by linking it to the self-concept. According to this new interpretation, cognitive dissonance does not arise because people experience dissonance between conflicting cognitions. Instead, it occurs when people see their actions as conflicting with their normally positive view of themselves. Thus, in the original Festinger and Carlsmith study, Aronson stated that the dissonance was between the cognition, “I am an honest person” and the cognition, “I lied to someone about finding the task interesting.”[5] Other psychologists have argued that maintaining cognitive consistency is a way to protect public self-image, rather than private self-concept.[15]
During the 1980s, Cooper and Fazio argued that dissonance was caused by aversive consequences, rather than inconsistency. According to this interpretation, the fact that lying is wrong and hurtful, not the inconsistency between cognitions, is what makes people feel bad.[16] Subsequent research, however, found that people experience dissonance even when they feel they have not done anything wrong.[17]
Modelling in neural networks
Neural network models of cognition have provided the necessary framework to integrate the empirical research done on cognitive dissonance and attitudes into one model of explanation of attitude formation and change.[18]
Various neural network models have been developed to predict how cognitive dissonance will influence an individual’s attitude and behaviour. These include:
Parallel Constraint Satisfaction Processes[18]
The Meta-Cognitive Model (MCM) of Attitudes[19]
Adaptive Connectionist Model of Cognitive Dissonance[20]
Attitudes as Constraint Satisfaction Model [21]
See also
Buyer’s remorse is a form of postdecision dissonance.
Choice-supportive bias is a memory bias that makes past choices seem better than they actually were.
Effort justification is the tendency to attribute a greater (than objective) value to an outcome which demands a great effort in order to resolve a dissonance.
Cultural dissonance is dissonance on a larger scale.
Double bind is a communicative situation where a person receives different or contradictory messages.
Doublethink is the act of holding two contradictory beliefs simultaneously and fervently believing both.
The Fox and the Grapes offers a fictional example of cognitive dissonance.
The Great Disappointment of 1844 is an example of cognitive dissonance in a religious context.
Psychological immune system
Self-perception theory is a competing theory of attitude change.
Social psychology
True-believer syndrome demonstrates carrying a post-cognitive-dissonance belief regardless of new information.
^ Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
^ Festinger, L. (1956). When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of A Modern Group that Predicted the Destruction of the World, by Leon Festinger, Henry Riecken, and Stanley Schachter. Harper-Torchbooks, Jan. 1956. ISBN-10: 0061311324
^ Aronson, E., Akert, R. D., and Wilson, T. D. (2006). Social psychology (6th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
^ Baron, R. A. & Byrne, D. (2004). Social Psychology (10th Ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.
^ a b Aronson, E. (1969). The theory of cognitive dissonance: A current perspective. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.). Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 4, pp. 1-34. New York: Academic Press.
^ Festinger, L., Riecken, H. W., & Schachter, S. (1956). When prophecy fails. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
^ Festinger, L. and Carlsmith, J. M. (1959). “Cognitive consequences of forced compliance”. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 58, 203-211. Full text
^ a b Aronson, E., & Carlsmith, J. M. (1963). Effect of the severity of threat on the devaluation of forbidden behavior. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 66, 584–588.
^ Brehm, J. (1956). Post-decision changes in desirability of alternatives. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 52, 384-389.
^ Egan, L. C., Santos, L. R., & Bloom, P. (2007). The origins of cognitive dissonance: Evidence from children and monkeys. Psychological Science, 18, 978-983.
^ Bem, D.J. (1965). An experimental analysis of self-persuasion. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 1, 199-218.
^ Bem, D.J. (1967). Self-perception: An alternative interpretation of cognitive dissonance phenomena. Psychological Review, 74, 183-200.
^ Zanna, M. & Cooper, J. (1974). Dissonance and the pill: An attribution approach to studying the arousal properties of dissonance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 29, 703-709.
^ Kiesler, C. A. & Pallak, M. S. (1976). Arousal properties of dissonance reduction. Psychological Bulletin, 83, 1014-1025.
^ Tedeschi, J.T., Schlenker, B.R. & Bonoma, T.V. (1971). Cognitive dissonance: Private ratiocination or public spectacle? American Psychologist, 26, 685-695.
^ Cooper, J., & Fazio, R. H. (1984). A new look at dissonance theory. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 17, pp. 229-266). New York: Academic Press.
^ Harmon-Jones, E., Brehm, J. W., Greenberg, J., Simon, L., & Nelson, D. E. (1996). Evidence that the production of aversive consequences is not necessary to create cognitive dissonance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 5-16.
^ a b Read, S.J., Vanman, E.J. & Miller L.C. (1997). Connectionism, parallel constraint satisfaction processes, and gestalt principles: (Re)Introducing cognitive dynamics to social psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Review, 1 (1), 26-53.
^ Petty, R.E., Brinol, P. & DeMaree, K.G. (2007). The Meta-Cognitive Model (MCM) of Attitudes: Implications for Attitude Measurement, Change, and Strength, Social Cognition, 25(5), 657-686.
^ Van Overwalle, F & Jordens, K. (2002). An Adaptive Connectionist Model of Cognitive Dissonance, Personality and Social Psychology Review, 6(3), 204-231.
^ Monroe, B.M & Read, S.J. (2008). A General Connectionist Model of Attitude Structure and Change: The ACS (Attitudes as Constraint Satisfaction) Model, Psychological Review, 115(3), 733-759.
Further reading
Cooper, J. (2007). Cognitive dissonance: 50 years of a classic theory. London: Sage publications.
Harmon-Jones, E., & J. Mills (1999). Cognitive Dissonance: Progress on a Pivotal Theory in Social Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Tavris, Carol; Eliot Aronson (2007). Mistakes were made (but not by me): Why we justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions, and hurtful acts. Orlando, FL: Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-15-101098-1.
Article on how to cope with cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance entry in The Skeptic’s Dictionary. Festinger and Carlsmith’s original paper
Categories: Social psychology | Attitude change | Motivational theories
Elaboration likelihood model
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate. (April 2009)
The elaboration likelihood model (ELM) of persuasion (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986) is a model of how attitudes are formed and changed (see also attitude change). Central to this model is the “elaboration continuum”, which ranges from low elaboration (low thought) to high elaboration (high thought). The ELM distinguishes between two routes to persuasion: the central route and the peripheral route.Contents [hide]
1 Central route
2 Peripheral route
3 Choice of route
4 Additional propositions
5 See also
6 References
Central route
Central route processes are those that require a great deal of thought, and therefore are likely to predominate under conditions that promote high elaboration. Central route processes involve careful scrutiny of a persuasive communication (e.g., a speech, an advertisement, etc.) to determine the merits of the arguments. Under these conditions, a person’s unique cognitive responses to the message determine the persuasive outcome (i.e., the direction and magnitude of attitude change). So, if favorable thoughts are a result of the elaboration process, the message will most likely be accepted (i.e., an attitude congruent with the messages position will emerge), and if unfavorable thoughts are generated while considering the merits of presented arguments, the message will most likely be rejected (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986). In order for the message to be centrally processed, a person must have the ability and motivation to do so.
Peripheral route
Peripheral route processes, on the other hand, do not involve elaboration of the message through extensive cognitive processing of the merits of the actual argument presented. These processes often rely on environmental characteristics of the message, like the perceived credibility of the source, quality of the way in which it is presented, the attractiveness of the source, or the catchy slogan that contains the message. (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986).
Choice of route
The two factors that most influence which route an individual will take in a persuasive situation are motivation (strong desire to process the message; e.g., Petty & Cacioppo, 1979) and ability (actually being capable of critical evaluation; e.g., Petty, Wells, & Brock, 1976). Which route is taken is determined by the extent of elaboration. Both motivational and ability factors determine elaboration. Motivational factors include (among others) the personal relevance of the message topic, accountability, and a person’s “need for cognition” (their innate desire to enjoy thinking). Ability factors include the availability of cognitive resources (e.g., the presence or absence of time pressures or distractions) or relevant knowledge needed to carefully scrutinize the arguments. Under conditions of moderate elaboration, a mixture of central and peripheral route processes will guide information processing.
Additional propositions:  In addition to these factors, the ELM also makes several unique proposals (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986).
Attitudes formed under high elaboration are stronger (more predictive of behavior and information processing, more stable over time, more resistant to persuasion) than those formed under low elaboration. Variables can serve multiple roles in a persuasive setting depending on other contextual factors (examples below).
Under high elaboration, a given variable (e.g., source expertise) can either serve as an argument (“If Einstein agrees with the theory of relativity, then this is a strong reason for me to as well”) or as a biasing factor (“if an expert agrees with this position it is probably good, so let me see what else agrees with this conclusion” (at the expense of information that disagrees with it)).
Under conditions of low elaboration, a given variable can act as a peripheral cue (e.g., through the use of an “experts are always right” heuristic – note that while this is similar to the case presented above, this is a simple shortcut, and does not require the careful thought as in the Einstein example above).
Under conditions of moderate elaboration, a given variable can serve to direct the extent of information processing (“Well, if an expert agrees with this position, I should really listen to what (s)he has to say”). Interestingly, when a variable affects elaboration, this can increase or decrease persuasion, depending on the strength of the arguments presented. If the arguments are strong, enhancing elaboration will enhance persuasion. If the arguments are weak, however, more thought will undermine persuasion.
More recent adaptations of the ELM (e.g., Petty, Briñol, & Tormala, 2002) have added an additional role that variables can serve. They can affect the extent to which a person has confidence in, and thus trusts, their own thoughts in response to a message (self-validation role). Keeping with our source expertise example, a person may feel that “if an expert presented this information, it is probably correct, and thus I can trust that my reactions to it are informative with respect to my attitude”. Note that this role, because of its metacognitive nature, only occurs under conditions that promote high elaboration.
[edit]  See also: Cognitive biases; Persuasion
Eagly, A. H., & Chaiken, S. (1993). Psychology of Attitudes. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.
Petty, R. E., Briñol, P., & Tormala, Z. L. (2002). Thought Confidence as a Determinant of Persuasion: The Self-validation Hypothesis. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 82, 722-741.
Petty, R. E., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1981). Attitudes and Persuasion: Classic and Contemporary Approaches. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown.
Petty, R. E., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1986). Communication and Persuasion: Central and Peripheral Routes to Attitude Change. New York: Springer-Verlag.
Petty, R. E., & Wegener, D. T. (1999). The Elaboration Likelihood Model: Current Status and Controversies. In S. Chaiken & Y. Trope (eds.), Dual Process Theories in Social Psychology (pp. 41–72). New York: Guilford Press.
Categories: Attitude change
Evolutionary psychology
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Psychology
History of psychology
Branches of psychology
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Abnormal · Biological
Cognitive · Developmental
Experimental · Evolutionary
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Personality · Positive
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Industrial and organizational
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Evolutionary psychology (EP) attempts to explain psychological traits—such as memory, perception, or language—as adaptations, that is, as the functional products of natural selection or sexual selection. Adaptationist thinking about physiological mechanisms, such as the heart, lungs, and immune system, is common in evolutionary biology. Evolutionary psychology applies the same thinking to psychology.
Evolutionary psychologists (see, for example, Buss, 2005; Durrant & Ellis, 2003; Pinker, 2002; Tooby & Cosmides, 2005) argue that much of human behavior is generated by psychological adaptations that evolved to solve recurrent problems in human ancestral environments. They hypothesize, for example, that humans have inherited special mental capacities for acquiring language, making it nearly automatic, while inheriting no capacity specifically for reading and writing. Other adaptations, according to EP, might include the abilities to infer others’ emotions, to discern kin from non-kin, to identify and prefer healthier mates, to cooperate with others, and so on. Consistent with the theory of natural selection, evolutionary psychology sees organisms as often in conflict with others of their species, including mates and relatives. For example, mother mammals and their young offspring sometimes struggle over weaning, which benefits the mother more than the child. Humans, however, have a marked capacity for cooperation under certain conditions as well.
Evolutionary psychologists see those behaviors and emotions that are nearly universal, such as fear of spiders and snakes, as more likely to reflect evolved adaptations. Evolved psychological adaptations (such as the ability to learn a language) interact with cultural inputs to produce specific behaviors (e.g., the specific language learned). This view is contrary to the idea that human mental faculties are general-purpose learning mechanisms.
Fields closely related to EP are animal behavioral ecology, human behavioral ecology, dual inheritance theory, and sociobiology.Contents [hide]
1 Overview
1.1 Principles
2 General evolutionary theory
2.1 Natural selection
2.2 Sexual selection
2.3 Inclusive fitness
2.4 Foundations
3 Middle-level evolutionary theories
4 Evolved psychological mechanisms
5 Environment of evolutionary adaptedness
5.1 Definition
5.2 Human EEA
5.3 Mismatches
6 Research methods
7 Areas of research
7.1 Survival
7.2 Mating
7.3 Evolutionary Developmental Psychology
8 History
8.1 19th century
8.2 Post world war II
8.3 Sociobiology
9 Controversies
10 See also
11 Notes
12 References
13 Further reading
14 External links
14.1 Academic societies
14.2 Journals
14.3 Videos
Evolutionary psychology (EP) is an approach to the entire discipline that views human nature as a universal set of evolved psychological adaptations to recurring problems in the ancestral environment. Proponents of EP suggest that it seeks to heal a fundamental division at the very heart of science — that between the soft human social sciences and the hard natural sciences, and that the fact that human beings are living organisms demands that psychology be understood as a branch of biology. Anthropologist John Tooby and psychologist Leda Cosmides note:
“Evolutionary psychology is the long-forestalled scientific attempt to assemble out of the disjointed, fragmentary, and mutually contradictory human disciplines a single, logically integrated research framework for the psychological, social, and behavioral sciences—a framework that not only incorporates the evolutionary sciences on a full and equal basis, but that systematically works out all of the revisions in existing belief and research practice that such a synthesis requires.”[1]In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.
—Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species
Just as human physiology and evolutionary physiology have worked to identify physical adaptations of the body that represent “human physiological nature,” the purpose of evolutionary psychology is to identify evolved emotional and cognitive adaptations that represent “human psychological nature.” EP is, to quote Steven Pinker, “not a single theory but a large set of hypotheses” and a term which “has also come to refer to a particular way of applying evolutionary theory to the mind, with an emphasis on adaptation, gene-level selection, and modularity.” EP proposes that the human brain comprises many functional mechanisms,[2] called psychological adaptations or evolved cognitive mechanisms or cognitive modules designed by the process of natural selection. Examples include language acquisition modules, incest avoidance mechanisms, cheater detection mechanisms, intelligence and sex-specific mating preferences, foraging mechanisms, alliance-tracking mechanisms, agent detection mechanisms, and others. EP has roots in cognitive psychology and evolutionary biology (See also sociobiology). It also draws on behavioral ecology, artificial intelligence, genetics, ethology, anthropology, archaeology, biology, and zoology. EP is closely linked to sociobiology,[citation needed] but there are key differences between them including the emphasis on domain-specific rather than domain-general mechanisms, the relevance of measures of current fitness, the importance of mismatch theory, and psychology rather than behaviour. Most sociobiological research is now conducted in the field of behavioral ecology.[citation needed]
The term evolutionary psychology was probably coined by American biologist Michael Ghiselin in a 1973 article published in the journal Science.[3] Jerome Barkow, Leda Cosmides and John Tooby popularized the term “evolutionary psychology” in their highly influential 1992 book The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and The Generation of Culture.[4] EP has been applied to the study of many fields, including economics, aggression, law, psychiatry, politics, literature, and sex.
EP uses Nikolaas Tinbergen’s four categories of questions and explanations of animal beha-vior. Two categories are at the species level; two, at the individual level, as noted in the table below.How vs. Why Questions: Sequential vs. Static Perspective Historical/ Developmental
Explanation of current form in terms of a historical sequence           Current Form
Explanation of the current form of species Proximate;  How organisms’ structures function Ontogeny; Developmental explanations for changes in individuals, from DNA to their current form   Mechanism;  Mechanistic explanations for how an organism’s structures work
Evolutionary;  Why organisms evolved the structures (adaptations) they have Phylogeny
The history of the evolution of sequential changes in a species over many generations Adaptation;  A species trait that evolved to solve a reproductive or survival problem in the ancestral environment.
The species-level categories (often called “ultimate explanations”) are the function (i.e., adaptation) that a behavior serves and the evolutionary process (i.e., phylogeny) that resulted in the adaptation (functionality).
The individual-level categories are the development of the individual (i.e., ontogeny) and
the proximate mechanism (e.g., brain anatomy and hormones).
Evolutionary psychology mostly focuses on the adaptation (functional) category.
Evolutionary psychology is a hybrid discipline that draws insights from modern evolutionary theory, biology, cognitive psychology, anthropology, economics, computer science, and paleoarchaeology. The discipline rests on a foundation of core premises. According to evolutionary psychologist David Buss, these include:
Manifest behavior depends on underlying psychological mechanisms, information processing devices housed in the brain, in conjunction with the external and internal inputs that trigger their activation. Evolution by selection is the only known causal process capable of creating such complex organic mechanisms. Evolved psychological mechanisms are functionally specialized to solve adaptive problems that recurred for humans over deep evolutionary time.
Selection designed the information processing of many evolved psychological mechanisms to be adaptively influenced by specific classes of information from the environment.
Human psychology consists of a large number of functionally specialized evolved mechanisms, each sensitive to particular forms of contextual input, that get combined, coordinated, and integrated with each other to produce manifest behavior.
Similarly, pioneers of the field Leda Cosmides and John Tooby consider five principles to be the foundation of evolutionary psychology:
The brain is a physical system. It functions as a computer with circuits that have evolved to generate behavior that is appropriate to environmental circumstances
Neural circuits were designed by natural selection to solve problems that human ancestors faced while evolving into Homo sapiens
Consciousness is a small portion of the contents and processes of the mind; conscious experience can mislead individuals to believe their thoughts are simpler than they actually are. Most problems experienced as easy to solve are very difficult to solve and are driven and supported by very complicated neural circuitry
Different neural circuits are specialized for solving different adaptive problems.
Modern skulls house a stone age mind.[5]
Evolutionary psychology is founded on the computational theory of mind, the theory that the mind, our “inner world,” is the action of complex neural structures in the brain. For example, when a child shrinks in fear from a spider, the child’s brain has attended to the spider, computed that it’s a potential threat, and initiated a fear response.
General evolutionary theory
Main article: Evolution
Evolutionary psychology is rooted in evolutionary theory, especially animal ethology as represented by the work of Niko Tinbergen and Konrad Lorenz. It is sometimes seen not simply as a sub-discipline of psychology but as a way in which evolutionary theory can be used as a meta-theoretical framework within which to examine the entire field of psychology.[5] A few biologists challenge the basic premises of evolutionary psychology.[6]
Darwin’s illustrations of beak variation in the finches of the Galápagos Islands.
Natural selection
Main article: Natural selection
Natural selection, a key component of evolutionary theory, involves three main ingredients:
Genetically based inheritance of traits – some traits are passed down from parents to offspring in genes,
Variation – heritable traits vary within a population (now we know that mutation is the source of some of this genetic variation),
Differential survival and reproduction – these traits will vary in how strongly they promote the survival and reproduction of their bearers.
Selection refers to the process by which environmental conditions “select” organisms with the appropriate traits to survive; these organisms will have such traits more strongly represented in the next generation. This is the basis of adaptive evolution. The insight of Wallace and Darwin was that this “natural selection” was creative – it could lead to new traits and even new species, it was based on differential survival of variable individuals, and it could explain the broad scale patterns of evolution.
Sexual selection
Main article: Sexual selection
Many traits that are selected for can actually hinder survival of the organism while increasing its reproductive opportunities. Consider the classic example of the peacock’s tail. It is metabolically costly, cumbersome, and essentially a “predator magnet.” What the peacock’s tail does do is attract mates. Thus, the type of selective process that is involved here is what Darwin called “sexual selection.” Sexual selection can be divided into two types:
Intersexual selection, which refers to the traits that one sex generally prefers in the other sex, (e.g. the peacock’s tail).
Intrasexual competition, which refers to the competition among members of the same sex for mating access to the opposite sex, (e.g. two stags locking antlers).
Inclusive fitness
Inclusive fitness theory, which was proposed by William D. Hamilton in 1964 as a revision to evolutionary theory, is essentially a combination of natural selection, sexual selection, and kin selection. It refers to the sum of an individual’s own reproductive success in addition to the effects the individual’s actions have on the reproductive success of their genetic relatives. General evolutionary theory, in its modern form, is essentially inclusive fitness theory.
Inclusive fitness theory resolved the issue of how “altruism” evolved. The dominant, pre-Hamiltonian view was that altruism evolved via group selection: the notion that altruism evolved for the benefit of the group. The problem with this was that if one organism in a group incurred any fitness costs on itself for the benefit of others in the group, (i.e. acted “altruistically”), then that organism would reduce its own ability to survive and/or reproduce, therefore reducing its chances of passing on its altruistic traits. Furthermore, the organism that benefited from that altruistic act and only acted on behalf of its own fitness would increase its own chance of survival and/or reproduction, thus increasing its chances of passing on its “selfish” traits. Inclusive fitness resolved “the problem of altruism” by demonstrating that altruism can evolve via kin selection as expressed in Hamilton’s rule:
cost < relatedness × benefit
In other words, altruism can evolve as long as the fitness cost of the altruistic act on the part of the actor is less than the degree of genetic relatedness of the recipient times the fitness benefit to that recipient. This perspective reflects what is referred to as the gene-centered view of evolution and demonstrates that group selection is a very weak selective force. However, in recent years group selection has been making a comeback (albeit a controversial one) as multilevel selection, which posits that evolution can act not just on the “gene” level but on many levels of functional organization, including the “group” level.
Foundations System level and problem          Author Basic ideas      Example adaptations
System Level; Individual;
Problem: How to survive? Charles Darwin (1859) Natural Selection (or “survival selection”)
The bodies and minds of organisms are made up of evolved adaptations designed to help the organism survive in a particular ecology (for example, the fur of polar bears).Bones, skin, vision, pain perception, etc.
System Level: Dyad
Problem: How to attract a mate and/or compete with members of one’s own sex for access to the opposite sex?            Charles Darwin (1859)            Sexual selection
Organisms can evolve physical and mental traits designed specifically to attract mates (e.g., the Peacock’s tail) or to compete with members of one’s own sex for access to the opposite sex (e.g., antlers).
In most species with pronounced sexual selection, the adaptations are in males. These adaptations tend to evolve in species in which a successful male mates with multiple females. For instance, they appear in peacocks but not raptors, which are generally monogamous. Females rarely evolve such adaptations because being the “top female” doesn’t improve a female’s reproductive career as much as being “top male” improves a male’s reproductive outcome.            Peacock’s tail, antlers, courtship behavior, etc
System Level:  Family & Kin
Problem: Gene replication. How to help those with whom we share genes survive and reproduce? W.D. Hamilton (1964)  Inclusive fitness (or a “gene’s eye view” of selection, “kin selection”) / The evolution of sexual reproduction
Selection occurs most robustly at the level of the gene, not the individual, group, or species. Reproductive success can thus be indirect, via shared genes in kin. Being altruistic toward kin can thus have genetic payoffs. (Also see Gene-centered view of evolution) Also, Hamilton argued that sexual reproduction evolved primarily as a defense against pathogens (bacteria and viruses) to “shuffle genes” to create greater diversity, especially immunological variability, in offspring.          Altruism toward kin, parental investment, the behavior of the social insects with sterile workers (e.g., ants).
System Level: Non-kin small group
How are resources best allocated in mating and/or parenting contexts to maximize inclusive fitness? Robert Trivers (1972)  Parental Investment Theory / Parent – Offspring Conflict / Reproductive Value
The two sexes often have conflicting strategies regarding how much to invest in offspring, and how many offspring to have.
Parents allocate more resources to their offspring with higher reproductive value (e.g., “mom always liked you best”). Parents and offspring may have conflicting interests (e.g., when to wean, allocation of resources among offspring, etc.).    Sexually dimorphic adaptations that result in a “battle of the sexes,” parental favoritism, timing of reproduction, parent-offspring conflict, sibling rivalry, etc.
System Level:
Non-kin small group
How to succeed in competitive interactions with non-kin? How to select the best strategy given the strategies being used by competitors?  John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern (1944); John Maynard Smith (1982)
Game Theory / Evolutionary Game Theory
Organisms adapt, or respond, to competitors depending on the strategies used by competitors. Strategies are evaluated by the probable payoffs of alternatives. In a population, this typically results in an “evolutionary stable strategy,” or “evolutionary stable equilibrium” — strategies that, on average, cannot be bettered by alternative strategies.        Facultative, or frequency-dependent, adaptations. Examples: hawks vs. doves, cooperate vs. defect, fast vs. coy courtship, etc.
System Level: Non-kin small group
How to maintain mutually beneficial relationships with non-kin in repeated interactions?   Robert Trivers (1971)  “Tit for Tat” Reciprocity
One can play nice with non-kin if a mutually beneficially reciprocal relationship is maintained across multiple social interactions, and cheating is punished.           Cheater detection, emotions of revenge and guilt, etc.
System Level:
Non-kin, large groups governed by rules and laws
How to maintain mutually beneficial relationships with strangers with whom one may interact only once?            Herbert Gintis (2000, 2003); and others.        Generalized Reciprocity
(Also called “strong reciprocity”). One can play nice with non-kin strangers even in single interactions if social rules against cheating are maintained by neutral third parties (e.g., other individuals, governments, institutions, etc.), a majority group members cooperate by generally adhering to social rules, and social interactions create a positive sum game (i.e., a bigger overall “pie” results from group cooperation).
Generalized reciprocity may be a set of adaptations that were designed for small in-group cohesion during times of high inter-tribal warfare with out-groups.
Today the capacity to be altruistic to in-group strangers may result from a serendipitous generalization (or “mismatch”) between ancestral tribal living in small groups and today’s large societies that entail many single interactions with anonymous strangers. (The dark side of generalized reciprocity may be that these adaptations may also underlie aggression toward out-groups.) To in-group members:
Capacity for generalized altruism, acting like a “good Samaritan,” cognitive concepts of justice, ethics and human rights.
To out-group members:
Capacity for xenophobia, racism, warfare, genocide.
System Level: Large groups / culture.
How to transfer information across distance and time?         Richard Dawkins (1976)         Memetic Selection
Genes are not the only replicators subject to evolutionary change. “Memes” (e.g., ideas, rituals, tunes, cultural fads, etc.) can replicate and spread from brain to brain, and many of the same evolutionary principles that apply to genes apply to memes as well. Genes and memes may at times co-evolve (“gene-culture co-evolution”).  Language, music, evoked culture, etc. Some possible by-products, or “exaptations,” of language may include writing, reading, mathematics, etc.
Source: [7]
Middle-level evolutionary theoriesPart of the Biology series on Evolution
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Middle-level evolutionary theories are theories that encompass broad domains of functioning.[citation needed] They are compatible with general evolutionary theory but not derived from it.[citation needed] Furthermore, they are applicable across species. During the early 1970s, three very important middle-level evolutionary theories were contributed by Robert Trivers[8][9][10]
The theory of parent-offspring conflict rests on the fact that even though a parent and his/her offspring are 50% genetically related, they are also 50% genetically different. All things being equal, a parent would want to allocate their resources equally amongst their offspring, while each offspring may want a little more for themselves. Furthermore, an offspring may want a little more resources from the parent than the parent is willing to give. In essence, parent-offspring conflict refers to a conflict of adaptive interests between parent and offspring. However, if all things are not equal, a parent may engage in discriminative investment towards one sex or the other, depending on the parent’s condition.
Additional middle-level evolutionary theories used in EP include:
The Trivers-Willard hypothesis, which proposes that parents will invest more in the sex that gives them the greatest reproductive payoff (grandchildren) with increasing or marginal investment. Females are the heavier parental investors in our species. Because of that, females have a better chance of reproducing at least once in comparison to males, but males in good condition have a better chance of producing high numbers of offspring than do females in good condition. Thus, according to the Trivers-Willard hypothesis, parents in good condition are predicted to favor investment in sons, and parents in poor condition are predicted to favor investment in daughters.
r/K selection theory, which, in ecology, relates to the selection of traits in organisms that allow success in particular environments. r-selected species, (in unstable or unpredictable environments), produce many offspring, each of which is unlikely to survive to adulthood, while K-selected species, (in stable or predictable environments), invest more heavily in fewer offspring, each of which has a better chance of surviving to adulthood.
Evolved psychological mechanisms
Main article: Evolved psychological mechanisms
At a proximal level, evolutionary psychology is based on the hypothesis that, just like hearts, lungs, livers, kidneys, and immune systems, cognition has functional structure that has a genetic basis, and therefore has evolved by natural selection. Like other organs and tissues, this functional structure should be universally shared amongst a species, and should solve important problems of survival and reproduction. Evolutionary psychologists seek to understand psychological mechanisms by understanding the survival and reproductive functions they might have served over the course of evolutionary history.
While philosophers have generally considered human mind to include broad faculties, such as reason and lust, evolutionary psychologists describe EPMs as narrowly evolved to deal with specific issues, such as catching cheaters or choosing mates.
Some mechanisms, termed domain-specific, deal with recurrent adaptive problems over the course of human evolutionary history. Domain-general mechanisms, on the other hand, deal with evolutionary novelty.
Environment of evolutionary adaptedness
EP argues that to properly understand the functions of the brain, one must understand the properties of the environment in which the brain evolved. That environment is often referred to as the environment of evolutionary adaptedness, or EEA for short.[11]
The term environment of evolutionary adaptedness was coined by John Bowlby as part of attachment theory. It refers to the environment to which a particular evolved mechanism is adapted. More specifically, the EEA is defined as the set of historically recurring selection pressures that formed a given adaptation, as well as those aspects of the environment that were necessary for the proper development and functioning of the adaptation. In the environment in which ducks evolved, for example, attachment of ducklings to their mother had great survival value for the ducklings. Because the first moving being that a duckling was likely to see was its mother, a psychological mechanism that evolved to form an attachment to the first moving being would therefore properly function to form an attachment to the mother. In novel environments, however, the mechanism can malfunction by forming an attachment to a dog or human instead.
Human EEA
Main article: Human evolution
Humans, comprising the genus Homo, appeared between 1.5 and 2.5 million years ago, a time that roughly coincides with the start of the Pleistocene 1.8 million years ago. Because the Pleistocene ended a mere 12,000 years ago, most human adaptations either newly evolved during the Pleistocene, or were maintained by stabilizing selection during the Pleistocene. Evolutionary psychology therefore proposes that the majority of human psychological mechanisms are adapted to reproductive problems frequently encountered in Pleistocene environments.[12] In broad terms, these problems include those of growth, development, differentiation, maintenance, mating, parenting, and social relationships.
If humans are mostly adapted to Pleistocene environments, then some psychological mechanisms should occasionally exhibit “mismatches” to the modern environment, similar to the attachment patterns of ducks. One example is the fact that although about 10,000 people are killed with guns in the US annually,[13] whereas spiders and snakes kill only a handful, people nonetheless learn to fear spiders and snakes about as easily as they do a pointed gun, and more easily than an unpointed gun, rabbits or flowers.[14] A potential explanation is that spiders and snakes were a threat to human ancestors throughout the Pleistocene, whereas guns (and rabbits and flowers) were not. There is thus a mismatch between our evolved fear-learning psychology and the modern environment.[15][16]
Research methods
Evolutionary psychologists use several methods and data sources to test their hypotheses, as well as various comparative methods to test for similarities and differences between: humans and other species, males and females, individuals within a species, and between the same individuals in different contexts. They also use more traditional experimental methods involving, for example, dependent and independent variables.
Evolutionary psychologists also use various sources of data for testing, including archeological records, data from hunter-gatherer societies, observational studies, self-reports, public records, and human products.[17]
Areas of research
Areas of research in evolutionary psychology can be divided into broad categories of adaptive problems that arise from the broader theory of evolution itself: survival, mating, parenting, kinship, and group living.
The Hunting Hypothesis might explain the emergence of human coalitions as a psychological mechanism. With men being the providers for the family, their lives depended on hunting wild game. They could not risk going about such an arduous task on their own. If they did it alone they risked not catching anything at all sometimes. Also, the meat would spoil if they caught a large animal and could not finish it on their own. Therefore, they hunted together with other men and shared their food. These human coalitions can be seen today. One form of evolutionary adaptiveness can be found in morning sickness in women during their first trimester. Over thousands of years, women’s bodies have adapted to the dangers that the environment may pose to the developing fetus when they eat something. Therefore, during this time many women experience disgust and even vomiting when eating certain foods which may be toxic to the fetus. Vomiting is the body’s way of coping with the toxins in the environment and keeping them from reaching the child during this critical period when the vital organs are being formed. The function of this physiological reaction was to protect the fetus.
Given that sexual reproduction is the means by which genes are propagated into future generations, sexual selection plays a large role in the direction of human evolution. Human mating, then, is of interest to evolutionary psychologists who aim to investigate evolved mechanisms to attract and secure mates. [18] Several lines of research have stemmed from this interest, such as studies of mate selection[19][20][21], mate poaching [22], and mate retention [23], to name a few.
Much of the research on human mating is based on parental investment theory [24], which makes important predictions about the different strategies men and women will use in the mating domain (see above under “Middle-level evolutionary theories”). In essence, it predicts that women will be more selective when choosing mates, whereas men will not, especially under short-term mating conditions. This has led some researchers to predict sex differences in such domains as sexual jealousy [25] [26] (however, see also, [27]), wherein females will react more aversively to emotional infidelity and males will react more aversively to sexual infidelity. This particular pattern is predicted because the costs involved in mating for each sex are distinct. Women, on average, should prefer a mate who can offer some kind of resources (e.g., financial, commitment), which means that a woman would also be more at risk for losing those valued traits in a mate who commits an emotional infidelity. Men, on the other hand, are limited by the fact that they can never be certain of their paternity because they do not bear offspring themselves. This obstacle entails that sexual infidelity would be more aversive than emotional infidelity for a man because investing resources in another man’s offspring does not lead to propagation of the man’s own genes.
Another interesting line of research is that which examines women’s mate preferences across the ovulatory cycle[28] [29]. The theoretical underpinning of this research is that ancestral women would have evolved mechanisms to select mates with certain traits depending on their hormonal status. For example, the theory hypothesizes that, during the ovulatory phase of a woman’s cycle (approximately days 10-15 of a woman’s cycle [30]), a woman who mated with a male with high genetic quality would have been more likely, on average, to produce and rear a healthy offspring than a woman who mated with a male with low genetic quality. These putative preferences are predicted to be especially apparent for short-term mating domains because a potential male mate would only be offering genes to a potential offspring. This hypothesis allows researchers to examine whether women select mates who have characteristics that indicate high genetic quality during the high fertility phase of their ovulatory cycles. Indeed, studies have shown that women’s preferences vary across the ovulatory cycle. In particular, Haselton and Miller (2006) showed that highly fertile women prefer creative but poor men as short-term mates. Creativity may be a proxy for good genes [31]. Research by Gangestad et al. (2004) indicates that highly fertile women prefer men who display social presence and intrasexual competition; these traits may act as cues that would help women predict which men may have, or would be able to acquire, resources.
Evolutionary Developmental Psychology
Main article: Evolutionary developmental psychology
In evolutionary theory, what matters most is that individuals live long enough to reproduce and pass on their genes. So why do humans live so long after reproduction? Many evolutionary psychologists have proposed that living a long life improves the survival of babies because while the parents were out hunting, the grandparents cared for the young.
According to Paul Baltes, the benefits granted by evolutionary selection decrease with age. Natural Selection has not eliminated many harmful conditions and nonadaptive characteristics that appear among older adults, such as Alzheimer disease. If it were a disease that killed 20 year-olds instead of 70 year-olds this may have been a disease that natural selection could have destroyed ages ago. Thus, unaided by evolutionary pressures against nonadaptive conditions, we suffer the aches, pains, and infirmities of aging. And as the benefits of evolutionary selection decrease with age, the need for culture increases.[32]
[edit]  History
[edit]  19th century
After his seminal work in developing theories of natural selection, Charles Darwin devoted much of his final years to the study of animal emotions and psychology. He wrote two books;The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex in 1871 and The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals in 1872 that dealt with topics related to evolutionary psychology. He introduced the concepts of sexual selection to explain the presence of animal structures that seemed unrelated to survival, such as the peacock’s tail. He also introduced theories concerning group selection and kin selection to explain altruism. Darwin pondered why humans and animals were often generous to their group members. Darwin felt that acts of generosity decreased the fitness of generous individuals. This fact contradicted natural selection which favored the fittest individual. Darwin concluded that while generosity decreased the fitness of individuals, generosity would increase the fitness of a group. In this case, altruism arose due to competition between groups.[33] Darwin anticipated evolutionary psychology with this quote from the Origin of Species:
In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation.
— Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 1859, p. 449.
Post world war II
While Darwin’s theories on natural selection gained acceptance in the early part of the 20th century, his theories on evolutionary psychology were largely ignored. Only after the second world war, in the 1950s, did interest increase in the systematic study of animal behavior. It was during this period that the modern field of ethology emerged. Konrad Lorenz and Nikolaas Tinbergen were pioneers in developing the theoretical framework for ethology for which they would receive a Nobel prize in 1973.
In 1975, E O Wilson built upon the works of Lorenz and Tinbergen by combining studies of animal behavior, social behavior and evolutionary theory in his book Sociobiology:The New Synthesis. Wilson included a chapter on human behavior. The specific chapter caused considerable controversy as it reignited the nature versus nurture debate.
E O Wilson argues that the field of evolutionary psychology is essentially the same as sociobiology[34]. According to Wilson, the heated controversies surrounding Sociobiology:The New Synthesis, significantly stigmatized the term “sociobiology”. Evolutionary psychology emerged as a more acceptable term in the 1980s that was not tainted by earlier controversies, and also emphasized that organisms are “adaptation executors” rather than “fitness maximizers” (which can help to explain maladaptive behaviors due to “fitness lags” given novel environmental changes).[35][36]
Controversies  Main article: Evolutionary psychology controversy
Applying evolutionary theory to animal behavior is uncontroversial. However, adaptationist approaches to human psychology are contentious, with critics questioning the scientific nature of evolutionary psychology, and with more minor debates within the field itself.[37][38] Criticisms of the field have also been addressed by scholars.[39].
Evolutionary biology portal
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Gene-centered view of evolution
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^ Tooby & Cosmides 2005, p. 5
^ evolutionary psychology Psyche Games. Accessed August 22, 2007
^ Ghiselin MT (1973). “Darwin and Evolutionary Psychology: Darwin initiated a radically new way of studying behavior”. Science 179 (4077): 964–968. doi:10.1126/science.179.4077.964. PMID 17842154.
^ Tooby, John; Barkow, Jerome H.; Cosmides, Leda (1995). The Adapted mind: evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-510107-3.
^ a b Cosmides, L; Tooby J (1997-01-13). “Evolutionary Psychology: A Primer”. Center for Evolutionary Psychology. Retrieved 2008-02-16.
^ See for example:Gould, Stephen Jay (2002). The Structure of Evolutionary Theory. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674006135.
^ Mills, M.E. (2004). Evolution and motivation. Symposium paper presented at the Western Psychological Association Conference, Phoenix, AZ. April, 2004.
^ Trivers, Robert L. (March 1971). “The evolution of reciprocal altruism”. Quarterly Review of Biology 46 (1): 35–57. doi:10.1086/406755.
^ Trivers, Robert L. (1972). “Parental investment and sexual selection”. in Bernard Campbell. Sexual selection and the descent of man, 1871-1971. Aldine Transaction (Chicago). pp. 136–179. ISBN 0202020053.
^ Trivers, Robert L. (1974). “Parent-offspring conflict”. American Zoologist (The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology) 14 (1): 249–264. doi:10.1093/icb/14.1.249.
^ See also “Environment of evolutionary adaptation,” a variation of the term used in Economics, e.g., in Rubin, Paul H., 2003, “Folk economics” Southern Economic Journal, 70:1, July 2003, 157-171.
^ Symons, Donald (1992). “On the use and misuse of Darwinism in the study of human behavior”. The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture. Oxford University Press. pp. 137–159. ISBN 0195101073.
^ CDC pdf
^ Ohman, A.; Mineka, S. (2001). “Fears, phobias, and preparedness: Toward an evolved module of fear and fear learning” (PDF). Psychological Review 108 (3): 483–522. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.108.3.483. Retrieved 2008-06-16.
^ Pinker, S. (1999), How the Mind Works, WW Norton & Co. New York, pp. 386–389
^ Hagen, E and Hammerstein, P (2006). “Game theory and human evolution: A critique of some recent interpretations of experimental games”. Theoretical Population Biology 69: 339. doi:10.1016/j.tpb.2005.09.005.
^ Buss, David (2004). Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN 978-0205483389.
^ Wilson, G.D. Love and Instinct. London: Temple Smith, 1981.
^ Buss, D. M. (1994). The evolution of desire: Strategies of human mating. New York: Basic Books.
^ Buss, D. M., & Barnes, M. (1986). Preferences in human mate selection. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 559-570.
^ Li, N. P., Bailey, J. M., Kenrick, D. T., & Linsenmeier, J. A. W. (2002). The necessities and luxuries of mate preferences: Testing the tradeoffs. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 6, 947-955.
^ Schmitt, D. P., & Buss, D. M. (2001). Human mate poaching: Tactics and temptations for infiltrating existing relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 894-917.
^ Buss, D. M. (1988). From vigilance to violence: Tactics of mate retention in American undergraduates. Ethology and Sociobiology, 9, 291-317.
^ Trivers, R. (1972). Parental investment and sexual selection. In B. Campbell (Ed.), Sexual Selection and the Descent of Man. Chicago: Aldine-Atherton.
^ Buss, D. M. (1989). Sex differences in human mate preferences: Evolutionary hypotheses tested in 37 cultures. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 12, 1-49.
^ Buss, D. M., Larsen, R. J., Westen, D., & Semmelroth J. (1992). Sex differences in jealousy: Evolution, physiology, and psychology. Psychological Science 3(4), 251–255
^ Harris, C. R. (2002) Sexual and romantic jealousy in heterosexual and homosexual adults. Psychological Science 13(1), 7–12
^ Haselton, M. G., & Miller, G. F. (2006). Women’s fertility across the cycle increases the short-term attractiveness of creative intelligence. Human Nature, 17(1), 50-73.
^ Gangestad, S. W., Simpson, J. A., Cousins, A. J., Garver-Apgar, C. E., & Christensen, P. N. (2004). Women’s preferences for male behavioral displays change across the menstrual cycle. Psychological Science, 15(3), 203-207.
^ Wilcox, A. J., Dunson, D. B., Weinberg, C. R., Trussell, J., & Baird, D. D. (2001). Likelihood of conception with a single act of intercourse: Providing benchmark rates for assessment of post-coital contraceptives. Contraception, 63, 211-215.
^ Miller, G. F. (2000b) The mating mind: How sexual choice shaped the evolution of human nature. Anchor Books: New York.
^ Santrock, W. John (2005). A Topical Approach to Life-Span Development (3rd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. pp.62.
^ Shermer. The Science of Good and Evil.
^ Wilson, EO. Sociobiology. “Human sociobiology, now often called evolutionary psychology, has in the last quarter of a century emerged as its own field of study, drawing on theory and data from both biology and the social sciences.”
^ Controversies in the evolutionary social sciences: a guide for the perplexed
^ Evolutionary Psychology By Lance Workman, Will Reader
^ Alcock, John (2001). The Triumph of Sociobiology. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-516335-4.
^ Segerstråle, Ullica Christina Olofsdotter (2000). Defenders of the truth : the battle for science in the sociobiology debate and beyond. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-850505-1.
^ Tooby, J; Cosmides L (2005) (pdf), Conceptual foundations of evolutionary psychology; in Buss, David M. (2005). Handbook of evolutionary psychology. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-26403-2.
Barkow, Jerome H. (2006). Missing the Revolution: Darwinism for Social Scientists. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 0-19-513002-2.
Buss, David M. (2004). Evolutionary psychology: the new science of the mind. Boston: Pearson/A and B. ISBN 0-205-37071-3.
Clarke, Murray (2004). Reconstructing reason and representation. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-03322-4.
Joyce, Richard (2006). The Evolution of Morality (Life and Mind: Philosophical Issues in Biology and Psychology). Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-10112-2.
Miller, Geoffrey P. (2000). The mating mind: how sexual choice shaped the evolution of human nature. Garden City, N.Y: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-49516-1.
Pinker, Steven (1997). How the mind works. New York: Norton. ISBN 0-393-04535-8.
Pinker, Steven (2002). The blank slate: the modern denial of human nature. New York, N.Y: Viking. ISBN 0-670-03151-8.
Richards, Janet C. (2000). Human nature after Darwin: a philosophical introduction. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-21243-X.
Wilson, Edward Raymond (2000). Sociobiology: the new synthesis. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-00089-7.
Wright, Robert C. M. (1995). The moral animal: evolutionary psychology and everyday life. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-76399-6.
Santrock, John W. (2005). The Topical Approach to Life-Span Development(3rd ed.). New York, N.Y: McGraw Hill. ISBN 0-07-322626-2.
Further reading
Buss, D. M. (1995). Evolutionary psychology: A new paradigm for psychological science. Psychological Inquiry, 6, 1-30. Full text
Durrant, R., & Ellis, B.J. (2003). Evolutionary Psychology. In M. Gallagher & R.J. Nelson (Eds.), Comprehensive Handbook of Psychology, Volume Three: Biological Psychology (pp. 1-33). New York: Wiley & Sons. Full text
Tooby, J. & Cosmides, L. (2005). Conceptual foundations of evolutionary psychology. In D. M. Buss (Ed.), The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology (pp. 5-67). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Full text
Buss, D. M. (1995). “Evolutionary psychology: A new paradigm for psychological science”. Psychological Inquiry (6): 1-30.
“Evolutionary Psychology”. Comprehensive Handbook of Psychology (New York: Wiley & Sons) Three: Biological Psychology: 1-33. 2003.
Kennair, L. E. O. (2002). “Evolutionary psychology: An emerging integrative perspective within the science and practice of psychology”. Human Nature Review (2): 17-61.
Medicus, G. (2005). “Evolutionary Theory of Human Sciences” (in English). pp. 9, 10, 11. Retrieved 2009-09-08.
“Conceptual foundations of evolutionary psychology”. The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley): 5-67. 2005.
For more readings, see the books page at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society
External links
Evolutionary Psychology page at Scholarpedia
Evolutionary Psychology at the Open Directory Project
Evolutionary Psychology page at Citizendium
What Is Evolutionary Psychology? by Clinical Evolutionary Psychologist Dale Glaebach.
Academic societies
Human Behavior and Evolution Society; international society dedicated to using evolutionary theory to study human nature
The International Society for Human Ethology; promotes ethological perspectives on the study of humans worldwide
The Association for Politics and the Life Sciences; international and interdisciplinary association concerned with evolutionary, genetic and ecological knowledge
Society for Evolutionary Analysis in Law
The New England Institute for Cognitive Science and Evolutionary Psychology
The NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society; regional society dedicated to encouraging scholarship and dialogue on the topic of evolutionary psychology
Evolutionary Psychology free access online scientific journal
Evolution and Human Behavior; journal of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society
Politics and the Life Sciences is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal published by the Assoication for Politics and the Life Sciences
Human Nature: An Interdisciplinary Biosocial Perspective advances the interdisciplinary investigation of the biological, social, and environmental factors that underlie human behavior. It focuses primarily on the functional unity in which these factors are continuously and mutually interactive. These include the evolutionary, biological, and sociological processes as they interact with human social behavior.
Biological Theory: Integrating Development, Evolution and Cognition devoted to theoretical advances in the fields of biology and cognition, with an emphasis on the conceptual integration afforded by evolutionary and developmental approaches.
Evolutionary Anthropology
Behavioral and Brain Sciences interdisciplinary articles in psychology, neuroscience, behavioral biology, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, linguistics and philosophy. About 30% of the articles have focused on evolutionary analyses of behavior.
Evolution and Development Research relevant to interface of evolutionary and developmental biology
Journal of Social, Evolutionary & Cultural Psychology
Biological Theory: Integrating Development, Evolution and Cognition; publishes theoretical advances in the fields of biology and cognition, emphasizing the conceptual integration afforded by evolutionary and developmental approaches. Free access to Winter 2006 issues
Brief video clip re what EP is (from the “Evolution” PBS Series)
TED talk by Steven Pinker about his book The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature
Margaret Mead and Samoa; review of the nature vs. nurture debate triggered by Coming of Age in Samoa
Video interview with Steven Pinker by Robert Wright (journalist) discussing evolutionary psychology
Video interview with Edward O. Wilson by Robert Wright (journalist), contextualizing evolutionary psychology within science, politics, academics and philosophy[hide]
v • d • e;  Evolutionary psychology : Psychology portal · Evolutionary biology portal
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Seminal writers           Pascal Boyer · David Buss · Leda Cosmides · Charles Darwin · Richard Dawkins · Daniel Dennett · Jared Diamond · David Geary · Kevin B. MacDonald · Geoffrey Miller · John Tooby · Robert Trivers · E. O. Wilson · D. S. Wilson
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Lists    Evolutionary psychologists  · Evolutionary Psychology Research Groups and Centers  · Bibliography of evolution and human behavior
[Basic topics in evolutionary biology
Categories: Branches of psychology | Evolutionary biology | Evolutionary psychology | Interdisciplinary fields | Sexual attraction | Human behavior
Schema (psychology)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Schemata theory) This article contains too much jargon and may need simplification or further explanation. Please discuss this issue on the talk page, and/or remove or explain jargon terms used in the article. Editing help is available. (March 2008)
A schema (pl. schemata), in psychology and cognitive science, is a mental structure that represents some aspect of the world. Schemata were initially introduced into psychology and education through the work of the British psychologist Sir Frederic Bartlett (1886–1969){{Bartlett, 1932[1]}}. This learning theory views organized knowledge as an elaborate network of abstract mental structures which represent one’s understanding of the world. Schema theory was developed by the educational psychologist R. C. Anderson. The term schema was used by Jean Piaget in 1926, so it was not an entirely new concept. Anderson, however, expanded the meaning[1].
People use schemata to organize current knowledge and provide a framework for future understanding. Examples of schemata include Rubric (academic), stereotypes, social roles, scripts, worldviews, and archetypes. In Piaget’s theory of development, children adopt a series of schemata to understand the world.Contents [hide]
1 History of Schema Theory
2 Thought using schemata
3 Background research
4 Modification of schemata
5 Self-Schemata
6 References
7 External links
8 See also [edit]
History of Schema Theory

Plato elaborates the Greek doctrine of ideal types – such as the perfect circle that exists in the mind but which no one has ever seen. Immanuel Kant further developed the notion and introduced the word “schema.” For example, he describes the “dog” schema: a mental pattern which “can delineate the figure of a four-footed animal in a general manner, without limitation to any single determinate figure as experience, or any possible image that I can represent in concreto” (Kant 1781). Early developments of the idea in psychology emerged with the Gestalt Psychologists and Piaget. However, it is with the work of Sir Frederic Bartlett[2] (himself drawing on the term as used by the neurologist Sir Henry Head) that the term came to be used in its modern sense. Bartlett’s work was neglected in America during the behaviouristic era until its wholesale recapitulation in Ulric Neisser’s massively influential Cognitive Psychology (1967).[3] Neisser’s work led to the ubiquity of the term in psychology, and its extension to other disciplines, notably the cognitive and computational sciences. Since that time, many other terms have been used as well, including “frame,” “scene,” and “script,”.

The heyday of schema theory was probably in the 1970s; but it is far from outmoded and remains a basic concept in cognitive psychology, developmental psychology and social psychology – besides being of importance in many disciplines that border psychology.
Thought using schemata
Schemata are an effective tool for understanding the world. Through the use of schemata, most everyday situations do not require effortful thought— automatic thought is all that is required. People can quickly organize new perceptions into schemata and act effectively without effort. For example, most people have a stairway schema and can apply it to climb staircases they’ve never seen before.
However, schemata can influence and hamper the uptake of new information (proactive interference), such as when existing stereotypes, giving rise to limited or biased discourses and expectations (prejudices), may lead an individual to ‘see’ or ‘remember’ something that has not happened because it is more believable in terms of his/her schema. For example, if a well-dressed businessman draws a knife on a vagrant, the schemata of onlookers may (and often do) lead them to ‘remember’ the vagrant pulling the knife. Such distortion of memory has been demonstrated. (See Background research below.)
Schemata are interrelated and multiple conflicting schemata can be applied to the same information. Schemata are generally thought to have a level of activation, which can spread among related schemata. Which schema is selected can depend on factors such as current activation, accessibility, and priming.
Accessibility is how easily a schema comes to mind, and is determined by personal experience and expertise. This can be used as a cognitive shortcut; it allows the most common explanation to be chosen for new information.
With priming, a brief imperceptible stimulus temporarily provides enough activation to a schema so that it is used for subsequent ambiguous information. Although this may suggest the possibility of subliminal messages, the effect of priming is so fleeting that it is difficult to detect outside laboratory conditions. Furthermore, the mere exposure effect —which requires consciousness of the stimuli— is far more effective than priming.
Background research
Sufferers of Korsakov’s syndrome are unable to form new memories, and must approach every situation as if they had just seen it for the first time. Many sufferers adapt by continually forcing their world into barely-applicable schemata, often to the point of incoherence and self-contradiction.[citation needed]
The original concept of schemata is linked with that of reconstructive memory as proposed and demonstrated in a series of experiments by Bartlett (1932). By presenting participants with information that was unfamiliar to their cultural backgrounds and expectations and then monitoring how they recalled these different items of information (stories, etc.), Bartlett was able to establish that individuals’ existing schemata and stereotypes influence not only how they interpret ‘schema-foreign’ new information but also how they recall the information over time. One of his most famous investigations involved asking participants to read a Native American folk tale, “The War of the Ghosts,” and recall it several times up to a year later. All the participants transformed the details of the story in such a way that it reflected their cultural norms and expectations, i.e. in line with their schemata. The factors that influenced their recall were:
Omission of information that was considered irrelevant to a participant;
Transformation of some of the detail, or of the order in which events etc were recalled; a shift of focus and emphasis in terms of what was considered the most important aspects of the tale;
Rationalisation: details and aspects of the tale that would not make sense would be ‘padded out’ and explained in an attempt to render them comprehensible to the individual in question;
Cultural shifts: The content and the style of the story were altered in order to appear more coherent and appropriate in terms of the cultural background of the participant.
Bartlett’s work was crucially important in demonstrating that long-term memories are neither fixed nor immutable but are constantly being adjusted as our schemata evolve with experience. In a sense it supports the existentialist view that we construct our past and present in a constant process of narrative/discursive adjustment, and that much of what we ‘remember’ is actually confabulated (adjusted and rationalised) narrative that allows us to think of our past as a continuous and coherent string of events, even though it is probable that large sections of our memory (both episodic and semantic) are irretrievable to our conscious memory at any given time.
Further work on the concept of schemata was conducted by Brewer and Treyens (1981) who demonstrated that the schema-driven expectation of the presence of an object was sometimes sufficient to trigger its erroneous recollection. An experiment was conducted where participants were requested to wait in a room identified as an academic’s study and were later asked about the room’s contents. A number of the participants recalled having seen books in the study whereas none were present. Brewer and Treyens concluded that the participants’ expectations that books are present in academics’ studies were enough to prevent their accurate recollection of the scenes.
Modification of schemata
New information that falls within an individual’s schema is easily remembered and incorporated into their worldview. However, when new information is perceived that does not fit a schema, many things can happen. The most common reaction is to simply ignore or quickly forget the new information.[citation needed] This can happen on a deep level—frequently an individual does not become conscious of or even perceive the new information. However, when the new information cannot be ignored, existing schemata must be changed.
Assimilation is the reuse of schemata to fit the new information. For example, when an unfamiliar dog is seen, a person will probably just assimilate it into their dog schema. However, if the dog behaves strangely, and in ways that don’t seem dog-like, there will be accommodation as a new schema is formed for that particular dog.
Self-Schemata This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2008)
Schemata about one’s self are considered to be grounded in the present and based on past experiences. Memories, as mentioned, are framed in the light of one’s self-conception. There are three major implications of self-schemata. Firstly, information about oneself is processed faster and more efficiently, especially consistent information. Second, one retrieves and remembers information that is relevant to one’s self-schema. Third, one will tend to resist information in the environment that is contradictory to one’s self-schema. This is also related to self-verification.
[edit] References
^ Bartlett, F. C. 1932. Remembering: A Study in Experimental and Social Psychology. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press
^ Remembering (1932) C.U.P
^ Neisser, U: Cognitive Psychology, 1967, New York: Appleton-Crofts
Bartlett, F.C. (1932), Remembering: An Experimental and Social Study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Brewer, W. F., & Treyens, J. C. (1981). Role of schemata in memory for places. Cognitive Psychology, 13, pp207-230
[edit] External links
Schema Theory: An Introduction An essay by Sharon Alayne Widmayer.
Schema theory of learning
[edit] See also
Cognitive dissonance Memetics
Categories: Psychological adjustment | Cognitive science | Psychological theories
Self-perception theory
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Self-perception) Psychology
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Self-perception theory (SPT) is an account of attitude change developed by psychologist Daryl Bem[1] [2] It asserts that we develop our attitudes by observing our behavior and concluding what attitudes must have caused them. The theory is counterintuitive in nature, as the conventional wisdom is that attitudes come prior to behaviors. Furthermore, the theory suggests that a person induces attitudes without accessing internal cognition and mood states.[3] He reasons his own overt behaviors rationally in the same way he attempts to explain others’ behaviors.Contents [hide]
1 Original experiment on self-perception theory
2 Further evidence
3 Applications
3.1 Psychological therapy
3.2 Foot-in-the-door technique
4 Challenges and criticisms
5 See also
6 References
7 External links
Original experiment on self-perception theory
In an attempt to decide whether individuals induce their attitudes as observers without accessing their internal states, Bem used interpersonal simulations, in which an “observer-participant” is given a detailed description of one condition of a cognitive dissonance experiment. Subjects listened to a tape of a man enthusiastically describing a tedious peg-turning task. Some subjects were told that the man had been paid $20 for his testimonial and another group was told that he was paid $1. Those in the latter condition thought that the man must have enjoyed the task more than those in the $20 condition. The results obtained were similar to the original Festinger-Carlsmith experiment. Because the observers, who did not have access to the actors’ internal cognition and mood states, were able to infer the true attitude of the actors, it is possible that the actors themselves also arrive at their attitudes by looking at their own behavior from an observer’s standpoint.
Further evidence
There are numerous studies conducted by psychologists that support the self-perception theory, demonstrating that emotions do follow behaviors. For example, it is found that corresponding emotions (including liking, disliking, happiness, anger, etc.) were reported following from their overt behaviors, which had been manipulated by the experimenters.[4] These behaviors included making different facial expressions, gazes and postures. In the end of the experiment, subjects inferred and reported their affections and attitudes from their practiced behaviors despite the fact that they were told previously to act that way. These findings are consistent with the James-Lange theory of emotion.
Evidence for the self-perception theory has also been seen in real life situations. After teenagers participated in repeated and sustained volunteering services, their attitudes were demonstrated to have shifted to be more caring and considerate towards others.[5]
One useful application of the self-perception theory is in changing attitude, both therapeutically and in terms of persuasion.
Psychological therapy
Firstly, for therapies, self-perception theory holds a different view of psychological problems from the traditional perspectives which suggest that those problems come from the inner part of the clients. Instead, self-perception theory perspective suggests that people attribute their inner feelings or abilities from their external behaviors.[6] If those behaviors are maladjusted ones, people will attribute those maladjustments to their poor adapting abilities and thus suffer from the corresponding psychological problems. Thus, we can make use of this concept to treat clients with psychological problems that are resulted from maladjustments by guiding or giving suggestions to them to firstly change their behaviors and later the ‘problems’.
One of the most famous therapies making use of this concept is therapy for ‘Heterosocial Anxiety’.[7][8] In this case, the assumption is that an individual perceives that he or she has poor social skills because he/she has no dates. Experiments showed that males with heterosocial anxiety perceived less anxiety with females after several sessions of therapy in which they engaged in a 12-minute, purposefully biased dyadic social interactions with a separate female. From these apparently successful interactions, the males inferred that their heterosocial anxiety was reduced. This effect is shown to be quite long-lasting as the reduction in perceived heterosocial anxiety resulted in a significantly greater number of dates among subjects 6 months later.
Foot-in-the-door technique
Secondly, self-perception theory is in fact an underlying mechanism for the effectiveness of many marketing or persuasive techniques. One typical example is the foot-in-the-door technique, which is a widely-used marketing technique for persuading target customers to buy products. The basic premise of this technique is that, once a person complies with a small request (e.g. filling in a short questionnaire), he/she will be more likely to comply with a more substantial request which is related to the original request (e.g. buying the related product).[9] [10] [11] [12] The idea is that the initial commitment on the small request will change one’s self image, therefore giving reasons for agreeing with the subsequent, larger request. It is because people observe their own behaviors (paying attention to and complying with the initial request) and the context in which they behave (no obvious incentive to do so), and thus infer they must have a preference for those products.
Challenges and criticisms
The self-perception theory was initially proposed as an alternative to explain the experimental findings of the cognitive dissonance theory, and there were debates as to whether people experience attitude changes as an effort to reduce dissonance or as a result of self-perception processes. Basing on the fact that the self-perception theory differs from the cognitive dissonance theory in that it does not hold that people experience a “negative drive state” called “dissonance” which they seek to relieve, the following experiment was carried out to compare the two theories under different conditions.
An early study on cognitive dissonance theory shows that people indeed experience arousal when their behavior is inconsistent with their previous attitude. Waterman[13] designed an experiment in which participants were asked to write an essay arguing against the position they agreed. Then they were asked immediately to perform a simple task and a difficult task and their performance in both tasks were assessed. It was found that they performed better in the simple task and worse in the difficult task, compared to those who had just written an essay corresponding to their true attitude. As indicated by social facilitation, enhanced performance in simple tasks and worsened performance in difficult tasks shows that arousal is produced by people when their behavior is inconsistent with their attitude. Therefore, the cognitive dissonance theory is evident in this case.
Whether cognitive dissonance or self-perception is a more useful theory is a topic of considerable controversy and a large body of literature. There are some circumstances where either theory is preferred, but it is traditional to use the terminology of cognitive dissonance theory by default. The cognitive dissonance theory accounts attitude changes when people’s behaviors are inconsistent with their original attitudes which are clear and important to them; while the self-perception theory is used when those original attitudes are relatively ambiguous and less important. Studies have shown that in contrast to traditional belief, a large proportion of people’s attitudes are weak and vague. Thus, the self-perception theory is significant in interpreting one’s own attitudes, such as one’s assessment of one’s personality traits[14] [15] and whether one would cheat to achieve a goal. [16]
See also: Social psychology (psychology)/ Overjustification effect  Self-Schema
^ Bem, D. J. (1967). Self-Perception: An Alternative Interpretation of Cognitive Dissonance Phenomena. Psychological Review, 74, 183-200.
^ Bem, D. J. (1972). Self-Perception Theory. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (Vol. 6, pp.1-62). New York: Academic Press.
^ Robak, R. W., Ward, A., & Ostolaza, K. (2005). Development of a General Measure of Individuals’ Recognition of Their Self-Perception Processes. Psychology, 7, 337-344.
^ Laird, J. D. (2007). Feelings: The Perceptions of Self. New York: Oxford University Press.
^ Brunelle, J. P. (2001). The impact of community service on adolescent volunteers’ empathy, social responsibility, and concern for others. The Sciences and Engineering, 62, 2514.
^ Bem, D. J. (1972). Self-perception theory. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, (6th ed.). New York, NY: Academic.
^ Haemmerlie, F. M., & Montgomery, R. L. (1982). Self-perception theory and unobtrusively biased interactions: A treatment for heterosocial anxiety. Journal of Counseling, Psychology, 29, 362-370.
^ Haemmerlie, F. M., & Montgomery, R. L. (1984). Purposefully biased interactions: Reducing heterosocial anxiety through self-perception theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 900-908.
^ Snyder, M., & Cunningham, M. R. (1975). To comply or not comply: testing the self-perception explanation of the foot-in-the-door phenomenon. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31, 64–67.
^ Uranowitz, S. W. (1975). Helping and self-attributions: a field experiment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31, 852–854.
^ Seligman, C., Bush, M., & Kirsch, K. (1976). Relationship compliance in the foot-in-the-door paradigm and size of the first request. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 33, 517–520.
^ Burger, J. M. (1999). The foot-in-the-door compliance procedure: a multiple-process analysis and review, Personality and Social Psychology Review, 3, 303–325.
^ Waterman, C. K. (1969). The facilitating and interfering effects of cognitive dissonance on simple and complex paired associates learning tasks. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 5, 31-42.
^ Schwarz, N., Bless, H., Strack, F., Klumpp, G., Rittenauer-Schatka, & Simons, A. (1991). Ease of retrieval as information: Another look at the availability heuristic. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 195-202.
^ Tice, D. M. (1993). Self-concept change and self-presentation: The looking glass self is also a magnifying glass. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 435-451.
^ Dienstbier, R. A., & Munter, P.O. (1971). Cheating as a function of the labeling of natural arousal. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 17, 208-213.
Gilovich, T., Keltner, D., & Nisbett, R. E. (2006). Social Psychology. New York: Norton & Company.
Bem, D. J. (1972). “Self-perception theory”. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social psychology, Vol. 6, 1-62. New York: Academic Press. Full text (PDF). Summary.
External links
Changingminds.org: self-perception theory
PositiveAttitudes.Com: positive self-perception; positive self concept; positive self image
This article is missing citations or needs footnotes. Please help add inline citations to guard against copyright violations and factual inaccuracies. (October 2007)
Categories: Attitude change | Self | Social psychology | Identity
Self-verification theory
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For self-testing in electronics, see built-in self-test
Self-verification is a social psychological theory that asserts people want to be known and understood by others according to their firmly held beliefs and feelings about themselves, that is self-views (i.e. self-concepts and self-esteem). A competing theory to self-verification is self-enhancement or the drive for positive evaluations.
Because chronic self-concepts and self-esteem play an important role in understanding the world, providing a sense of coherence, and guiding action, people become motivated to maintain them through self-verification strivings. Such strivings provide stability to people’s lives, making their experiences more coherent, orderly, and comprehensible than they would be otherwise. Self-verification processes are also adaptive for groups, groups of diverse backgrounds and the larger society, in that they make people predictable to one another thus serve to facilitate social interaction. (Swann , Milton & Polzer 2000, p. 79, 238-250) To this end, people engage in a variety of activities that are designed to obtain self-verifying information.
Developed by William Swann (1983), the theory grew out of earlier writings which held that people form self-views so that they can understand and predict the responses of others and know how to act toward them (see Cooley, 1902; Mead, 1934).Contents [hide]
1 Difference between positive and negative self-views
2 Behaviours performed in the service of self-verification
3 Confirmation bias in self-verification
4 Processes Related to Self-verification
4.1 Preference for Novelty vs. Self-verification
4.2 Self-enhancement and Self-verification
4.3 Self-concept Change and Self-verification
5 Criticism
6 See also
7 References
8 External links
Difference between positive and negative self-views
There are individual differences in people’s views of themselves. Among people with positive self-views, the desire for self-verification works together with another important motive, the desire for positive evaluations or “self enhancement” (Jones, 1973). For example, those who view themselves as “insightful” will find that their motive for both self-verification and self-enhancement encourage them to seek evidence that other people recognize their insightfulness.
In contrast, people with negative self-views will find that the desire for self-verification and self-enhancement are competing. Consider people who see themselves as disorganized. Whereas their desire for self-enhancement will compel them to seek evidence that others perceive them as organized, their desire for self-verification will compel such individuals to seek evidence that others perceive them as disorganized. Self-verification strivings tend to prevail over self-enhancement strivings when people are certain of the self-concept (Pelham & Swann, 1994) and when they have extremely depressive self-views (Giesler, Josephs, & Swann, 1996).
Self-verification strivings may have undesirable consequences for people with negative self-views (depressed people and those who suffer from low self-esteem). For example, self-verification strivings may cause people with negative self-views to gravitate toward partners who mistreat them, undermine their feelings of self-worth, or even abuse them. And if people with negative self-views seek therapy, returning home to a self-verifying partner may undo the progress that was made there (Swann & Predmore, 1984). Finally, in the workplace, the feelings of worthlessness that plague people with low self-esteem may foster feelings of ambivalence about receiving fair treatment, feelings that may undercut their propensity to insist that they get what they deserve from their employers (see: workplace bullying) (Weisenfeld, Swann, Brockner, & Bartel, 2007).
These findings and related ones point to the importance of efforts to improve the self-views of those who suffer from low self-esteem and depression (Swann, Chang-Schneider & McClarty, 2007)
Behaviours performed in the service of self-verification
In one series of studies, researchers asked participants with positive and negative self-views whether they would prefer to interact with evaluators who had favorable or unfavorable impressions of them. The results showed that those with positive self-views preferred favorable partners and those with negative self-views preferred unfavorable partners. The latter finding revealed that self-verification strivings may sometimes trump positivity strivings (Robinson & Smith-Lovin, 1992; Swann, Stein-Seroussi, Giesler, 1992; see Swann, Chang-Schneider, & Angulo, in press, for a review).
Self-verification motives operate for different dimensions of the self-concept and in many different situations. Men and women are equally inclined to display this tendency, and it does not matter whether the self-views refer to characteristics that are relatively immutable (e.g., intelligence) or changeable (e.g., diligence), or whether the self-views happen to be highly specific (e.g., athletic) or global (e.g., low self-esteem, worthlessness). Furthermore, when people chose negative partners over positive ones, it is not merely in an effort to avoid interacting with positive evaluators (that is, out of a concern that they might disappoint such positive evaluators). Rather, people chose self-verifying, negative partners even when the alternative is participating in a different experiment (Swann, Wenzlaff, & Tafarodi, 1992). Finally, recent work has shown that people work to verify self-views associated with group memberships (Lemay & Ashmore, 2004; Chen, Chen, & Shaw, 2004). For example, women seek evaluations that confirm their belief that they possess qualities associated with being a woman.
Self-verification theory suggests that people may begin to shape others’ evaluations of them before they even begin interacting with them. They may, for example, display identity cues (see: impression management). The most effective identity cues enable people to signal who they are to potential interaction partners.
Physical appearance, such as clothes, body posture, demeanor (e.g., Pratt & Rafaeli, 1997). For example, the low self-esteem person who evokes reactions that confirm her negative self-views by slumping her shoulders and keeping her eyes fixed on the ground.
Other cues, such as the cars we buy, the houses we live in, the way we decorate our living environments. For example, an SUV evokes reactions that confirm a person’s positive self-view.
Self-verification strivings may also influence the social contexts that people enter into and remain in. People reject those who provide social feedback that does not confirm their self-views, such as married people with negative self-views who reject spouses who see them positively and vice-versa. College roommates behave in a similar manner (Swann & Pelham, 2002) (e.g., Swann, DeLaRonde, & Hixon, 1994). Interestingly, people are more inclined to divorce partners who perceived them too favorably (Cast & Burke, 2002). In each of these instances, people gravitated toward relationships that provided them with evaluations that confirmed their self-views and fled from those that did not.
When people fail to gain self-verifying reactions through the display of identity cue or through choosing self-verifying social environments, they may still acquire such evaluations by systematically evoking confirming reactions. For example, depressed people behave in negative ways toward their roommates, thus causing these roommates to reject them (Swann, Wenzlaff, Krull, & Pelham, 1992).
Self-verification theory predicts that insofar as people are motivated to bring others to verify their self-conceptions, they should intensify their efforts to elicit self-confirmatory reactions when they suspect that others might be misconstruing them. That is, when people interact with others, there is a general tendency for them to bring others to see them as they see themselves. This tendency if especially pronounced when they start out believing that the other person has misconstrued them, apparently because people compensate by working especially hard to bring others to confirm their self-views (Swann & Read, 1981). People will even stop working on tasks to which they have been assigned if they sense that their performance is eliciting non-verifying feedback. (Brockner, 1985).
Confirmation bias in self-verification
Main article: Confirmation bias
Self-verification theory predicts that people’s self-views will cause them to see the world as more supportive of these self-views than it really is. That is, individuals process information in a biased manner. These biases may be conscious and deliberate, but are probably more commonly done effortlessly and non-consciously. Through the creative use of these processes, people may dramatically increase their chances of attaining self-verification. There are at least three relevant aspects of information processing in self-verification:
Attention : People will attend to evaluations that are self-confirming while ignoring non-confirming evaluations (Swann & Read, 1981).
Memory retrieval: self-views bias memory recall to favor self-confirming material over non-confirming elements. (Story, 1998).
Interpretation of information: people tend to interpret information in ways that reinforce their self-views (Shrauger & Lund, 1975).
These distinct forms of self-verification may often be implemented sequentially. For example, in one scenario, people may first strive to locate partners who verify one or more self-views. If this fails, they may redouble their efforts to elicit verification for the self-view in question or strive to elicit verification for a different self-view. Failing this, they may strive to “see” more self-verification than actually exists. And, if this strategy is also ineffective, they may withdraw from the relationship, either psychologically or in actuality.
Processes Related to Self-verification
Preference for Novelty vs. Self-verification
People seem to prefer modest levels of novelty; they want to experience phenomena that are unfamiliar enough to be interesting, but not so unfamiliar as to be frightening or too familiar as to be boring (e.g., Berlyne, 1971).
The implications of people’s preference for novelty for human relationships are not straightforward and obvious. Evidence that people desire novelty comes primarily from studies of people’s reactions to art objects and the like. This is different when it concerns human beings and social relationships because people can shift attention away from already familiar novel objects, while doing so in human relationships is difficult or not possible. But novel art objects are very different from people. If a piece of art becomes overly stimulating, we can simply shift our attention elsewhere. This is not a viable option should our spouse suddenly begin treating us as if we were someone else, for such treatment it would pose serious questions about the integrity of people’s belief systems. Consequently, people probably balance competing desires for predictability and novelty by indulging the desire for novelty within contexts in which surprises are not threatening (e.g., leisure activities), while seeking coherence and predictability in contexts in which surprises could be costly—such as in the context of enduring relationships.
Self-enhancement and Self-verification
People’s self-verification strivings are apt to be most influential when the relevant identities and behaviors matter to them. Thus, for example, the self-view should be firmly held, the relationship should be enduring, and the behavior itself should be consequential. When these conditions are not met, people will be relatively unconcerned with preserving their self-views and they will instead indulge their desire for self-enhancement.
But if people with firmly held negative self-views seek self-verification, this does not mean that they are masochistic or have no desire to be loved. In fact, even people with very low self-esteem want to be loved. What sets people with negative self-views apart is their ambivalence about the evaluations they receive. Just as positive evaluations foster joy and warmth initially, these feelings are later chilled by incredulity. And although negative evaluations may foster sadness that the “truth” could not be kinder, it will at least reassure them that they know themselves. Happily, people with negative self-views are the exception rather than the rule. That is, on the balance, most people tend to view themselves positively. Although this imbalance is adaptive for society at large, it poses a challenge to researchers interested in studying self-verification. That is, for theorists interested in determining if behavior is driven by self-verification or positivity strivings, participants with positive self-views will reveal nothing because both motives compel them to seek positive evaluations. If researchers want to learn if people prefer verification or positivity in a giving setting, they must study people with negative self-views (For a review, see Swann et al., in press)
Self-concept Change and Self-verification
Although self-verification strivings tend to stabilize people’s self-views, changes in self-views may still occur. Probably the most common source of change is set in motion when the social environment recognizes a significant change in a person’s age (e.g., when adolescents become adults), status (e.g., when students become teachers), or social role (e.g., when someone is convicted of a crime). Suddenly, the community may change the way that it treats the person. Eventually the target of such treatment will bring his or her self-view into accord with the new treatment.
Alternatively, people may themselves conclude that a given self-view is dysfunctional or obsolete and take steps to change it. Consider, for example, a woman who decides that her negative self-views have led her to tolerate abusive relationship partners. When she realizes that such partners are making her miserable, she may seek therapy. In the hands of a skilled therapist, she may develop more favorable self-views which, in turn, steer her toward more positive relationship partners with whom she may cultivate healthier relationships. Alternatively, when a woman who is uncertain about her negative self-concept enters a relationship with a partner who is certain that she deserves to view herself more positively, that woman will tend to improve the self-concept (Swann & Ely, 1984)
Critics have argued that self-verification processes are relatively rare, manifesting themselves only among people with terribly negative self views. In support of this viewpoint, critics cite hundreds of studies indicating that people prefer, seek and value positive evaluations more than negative ones. Such skeptical assessments overlook three important points. First, because most people have relatively positive self-views (Swann, 1999), evidence of a preference for positive evaluations in unselected samples may in reality reflect a preference for evaluations that are self-verifying, because for such individuals self-verification and positivity strivings are indistinguishable. No number of studies of participants with positive self-views can determine whether self-verification or self-enhancement strivings are more common. Second, self-verification strivings are not limited to people with globally negative self-views; even people with high self-esteem seek negative evaluations about their flaws (Swann, Pelham & Krull, 1989). Finally, even people with positive self-views appear to be uncomfortable with overly positive evaluations. For example, people with moderately positive self-views withdraw from spouses who evaluate them in an exceptionally positive manner (Swann, De La Ronde, & Hixon, 1994).
Other critics have suggested that when people with negative self-views seek unfavorable evaluations, they do so as a means of avoiding truly negative evaluations or for purposes of self-improvement, with the idea being that this will enable them to obtain positive evaluations down the road. Tests of this idea have failed to support it. For example, just as people with negative self-views choose self-verifying, negative evaluators even when the alternative is being in another experiment, they choose to be in another experiment rather than interact with someone who evaluates them positively (Swann, Wenzlaff, & Tafarodi, 1992). Also, people with negative self-views are most intimate with spouses who evaluate them negatively, despite the fact that these spouses are relatively unlikely to enable them to improve themselves (Swann et al., 1994). Finally, in a study of people’s thought processes as they chose interaction partners (Swann, et al., 1992), people with negative self-views indicated that they chose negative evaluators because such partners seemed likely to confirm their self-views (an epistemic consideration) and interact smoothly with them (a pragmatic consideration); self-improvement was rarely mentioned.
See also: William Swann; Identity negotiation
Berlyne, D. (1971). Psychobiology and Aesthetics. New York: Appleton-Century Crofts.
Brockner, J. (1985). The relation of trait self-esteem and positive inequity to productivity. Journal of Personality, 53: 517-529.
Cast, A. D. & Burke, P. J. (2002). A Theory of Self-Esteem. Social Forces, 80, 1041-1068.
Chen, S., Chen, K.Y., & Shaw, L. (2004). Self-verification motives at the collective level of self-definition. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 86, 77-94. Low-
Cooley, C. S. (1902). Human nature and the social order. New York: Scribner’s.
Giesler, R. B., Josephs, R. A. & Swann, W. B., Jr. (1996). Self-verification in clinical depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 105, 358-368.
Jones, S. C. (1973). Self and interpersonal evaluations: Esteem theories versus consistency theories. Psychological Bulletin, 79, 185-199.
Lemay, E.P., & Ashmore, R.D. (2004). Reactions to perceived categorization by others during the transition to college: Internalizaton of self-verification processes. Group Processes & Interpersonal Relations, 173-187.
Mead, G.H. (1934). Mind, self and society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Pelham, B. W., & Swann, W. B., Jr. (1994). The juncture of intrapersonal and interpersonal knowledge: Self-certainty and interpersonal congruence. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20, 349-357.
Pratt, M.G. & Rafaeli, A. 1997. Organizational dress as a symbol of multilayered social identities. Academy of Management Journal, 40 (4): 862-898.
Robinson, D. T., & Smith-Lovin, L. (1992). Selective interaction as a strategy for identity maintenance: An affect control model. Social Psychology Quarterly, 55, 12-28.
Shrauger, J. S., & Lund, A. (1975). Self-evaluation and reactions to evaluations from others. Journal of Personality, 43, 94-108.
Story, A. L. (1998). Self-esteem and memory for favorable and unfavorable personality feedback. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24: 51-64.
Swann, W. B., Jr. (1983). Self-verification: Bringing social reality into harmony with the self. In J. Suls & A. G. Greenwald (Eds.), Psychological perspectives on the self (Vol. 2, pp. 33–66), Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Swann, W. Jr. (1999). Resilient Identities: Self, relationships, and the construction of social reality. Basic books: New York.
Swann, W. B., Jr. Chang-Schneider, C., & Angulo, S. (in press). Self-verification in relationships as an adaptive process. J. Wood, A. Tesser & J. Holmes (Eds.) Self and Relationships, Psychology Press: New York.
Swann, W. B., Jr. Chang-Schneider, C. & McClarty, K. (2007) Do people’s self-views matter? Self-concept and self-esteem in everyday life. American Psychologist.
Swann, W. B., Jr., De La Ronde, C. & Hixon, J. G. (1994). Authenticity & positivity strivings in marriage and courtship. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 857-869.
Swann, W. B., Jr., Milton, L. P., & Polzer, J.T. (2000). Should we create a niche or fall in line? Identity negotiation and small group effectiveness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.79, 238-250
Swann, W. B., Jr. & Pelham, B. W. (2002). Who wants out when the going gets good? Psychological investment and preference for self-verifying college roommates. Journal of Self and Identity, 1, 219-233.
Swann, W. B., Jr., Pelham, B. W., & Krull, D. S. (1989). Agreeable fancy or disaagreeable truth? Reconciling self-enhancement and self-verification. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 782-791.
Swann, W. B. Jr., Polzer, J. T., Seyle, C. & Ko, S. (2004). Finding value in diversity: Verification of personal and social self-views in diverse groups. Academy of Management Review, 29, 9-27.
Swann, W. B., Jr., & Predmore, S. C. (1985). Intimates as agents of social support: Sources of consolation or despair? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49, 1609-1617.
Swann, W. B., Jr., & Read, S. J. (1981). Self-verification processes: How we sustain our self-conceptions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 17, 351-372.
Swann, W. B., Jr., Stein-Seroussi, A. & Giesler, B. (1992). Why people self-verify. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 392-401.
Swann, W. B., Jr., Wenzlaff, R. M., & Tafarodi, R. W. (1992). Depression and the search for negative evaluations: More evidence of the role of self-verification strivings. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 101, 314-371.
Swann, W. B., Jr., Wenzlaff, R. M., Krull, D. S., & Pelham, B. W. (1992). The allure of negative feedback: Self-verification strivings among depressed persons. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 101, 293-306.
Wiesenfeld, B. M., Swann, W.B., Jr, Brockner, J. & Bartel, C. (in press). Is More Fairness Always Preferred? Self-Esteem Moderates Reactions to Procedural Justice. Academy of Management Journal.
External links
William Swann’s Webpage at the University of Texas; Social Psychology Network Professional Profile; A more detailed description of self-verification theory along with examplar studies;  Categories: Sociological theories | Social psychology
Social comparison theory
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Social comparison is a theory initially proposed by social psychologist Leon Festinger in 1954. This theory explains how individuals evaluate their own opinions and desires by comparing themselves to others.Contents [hide]
1 Basic Framework
2 Further Development
3 Developmental History
3.1 Further reading
3.2 References
4 External links
Basic Framework
The Social comparison theory (Festinger, 1954) is the idea that there is a drive within individuals to look to outside images in order to evaluate their own opinions and abilities. These images may be a reference to physical reality or in comparison to other people. People look to the images portrayed by others to be obtainable and realistic, and subsequently, make comparisons among themselves, others and the idealized images.
In his initial theory, Festinger hypothesized several things. First, he stated that humans have a drive to evaluate themselves by examining their opinions and abilities in comparison to others. To this, he added that the tendency to compare oneself with some other specific person decreases as the difference between his opinion or ability and one’s own become more divergent. He also hypothesized that there is an upward drive towards achieving greater abilities, but that there are non-social restraints which make it nearly impossible to change them, and that this is largely absent in opinions (Festinger, 1954).
He continued with the idea that to cease comparison between one’s self and others causes hostility and deprecation of opinions. His hypotheses also stated that a shift in the importance of a comparison group will increase pressure towards uniformity with that group. However, if the person, image or comparison group is too divergent from the evaluator, the tendency to narrow the range of comparability becomes stronger (Festinger, 1954). To this he added that people who are similar to an individual are especially good in generating accurate evaluations of abilities and opinions (Suls, Martin, & Wheeler, 2002). Lastly, he hypothesized that the distance from the mode of the comparison group will affect the tendencies of those comparing; that those who are closer will have stronger tendencies to change than those who are further away (Festinger, 1954).
Further Development
Since its introduction to communications and social psychology, research has shown that social comparisons are more complex than initially thought, and that people play a more active role in comparisons (Suls, Martin & Wheeler 2002). A number of revisions, including new domains for comparison and motives, have also been made since 1954. Motives that are relevant to comparison include self-enhancement, perceptions of relative standing, maintenance of a positive self-evaluation, closure, components of attributes and the avoidance of closure (Kruglanski & Mayseless, 1990; Suls, Martin, & Wheeler, 2002).
Several models have been introduced to social comparison, including the Proxy Model and the Triadic Model. The Proxy model anticipates the success of something that is unfamiliar. The model proposes that if a person is successful or familiar to a similar task, then they would also be successful at a new task. The Triadic Model proposes that people with similar attributes and opinions will be relevant to each other and therefore influential to each other (Suls, Martin, & Wheeler, 2002).
Two main types of comparisons exist in social comparison: upward and downward. Upward social comparison occurs when individuals compare themselves to others who are deemed socially better in some way. People intentionally compare themselves with others so that they can make their self-views more positive. In this type of comparison, people want to believe themselves to be part of the elite, and make comparisons showing the similarities in themselves and the comparison group. (Suls, Martin & Wheeler 2002).
Downward social comparison acts in the opposite direction. Downward social comparison is a defensive tendency to evaluate oneself with a comparison group whose troubles are more serious than one’s own. This tends to occur when threatened people look to others who are less fortunate than themselves. Downward comparison theory emphasizes the positive effects of comparisons, which people tend to make when they feel happy rather than unhappy. For example, a breast cancer patient may have had a lumpectomy, but sees herself as better off than another patient who lost her breast (Suls, Martin & Wheeler 2002).
While there have been changes in Festinger’s original concept, many fundamental aspects remain, including the similarity in the comparison groups, the tendency towards social comparison and the general process that is social comparison (Kruglanski, & Mayseless, 1990).
Developmental History
In the 1950’s, Festinger was given a grant from the Behavioral Sciences Division of the Ford Foundation. This grant was part of the research program of the Laboratory for Research in Social Relations, which developed the Social Comparison Theory (Festinger, 1954). The development of social comparison hinged on several socio-psychological processes, and in order to create this theory, Festinger used research from colleagues that focused on social communication, group dynamics, the autokinetic effect, compliant behavior, social groups and level of aspiration (Festinger, 1954; Kruglanski & Mayseless, 1990). In his article, he sourced various experiments with children and adults, however, much of his theory was based on his own research (Festinger, 1954).
When understanding the basis of social comparison, it is imperative to understand that no one thought process created the theory, but rather, a compellation of experiments, historical evidence and philosophical thought. While Festinger was the first social psychologist to coin the term “Social Comparison”, the general concept can not be claimed exclusively by him (Suls & Wheeler, 2000). In fact, this theory’s origins can be dated back to Aristotle and Plato. Plato spoke of comparisons of self-understanding and absolute standards. Aristotle was concerned with comparisons between people. Later, philosophers such as Kant, Marx and Rousseau spoke on moral reasoning and social inequality. (Suls, Martin, & Wheeler, 2002).
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Further reading
Miller, K. (2005). Communication theories: Perspectives, processes, and contexts. New York: McGraw Hill.
Festinger, L. (1954). A theory of social comparison processes. Human Relations, 7(2) 117-140.
Goethals, G.R. & Darley, J.M. (1977). Social comparison theory: An attributional approach. In J.M. Suls & R.L. Miller (Eds.), Social comparison processes: Theoretical and empirical perspectives (pp 259–278). Washington, DC: Hemisphere.
Kruglanski, A. W., & Mayseless, O. (1990). Classic and current social comparison research: Expanding the perspective. Psychological Bulletin, 108(2), 195-208.
Martin, M. C., & Kennedy, P. F. (1993). Advertising and social comparison: Consequences for female preadolescents and adolescents. Psychology and Marketing, 10, 513-530.
Suls, J., Martin, R., & Wheeler, L. (2002). Social Comparison: Why, with whom and with what effect? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11(5), 159-163.
Suls, J., & Wheeler, L. (2000). A Selective history of classic and neo-social comparison theory. Handbook of Social Comparison. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.
External links
Test Yourself – Social Comparison Questionnaire
Categories: Sociological theories | Communication | Communication theory | Mass media | Attitude change
Social exchange theory
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Social exchange theory is a social psychological and sociological perspective that explains social change and stability as a process of negotiated exchanges between parties. Social exchange theory posits that all human relationships are formed by the use of a subjective cost-benefit analysis and the comparison of alternatives. For example, when a person perceives the costs of a relationship as outweighing the perceived benefits, then the theory predicts that the person will choose to leave the relationship. The theory has roots in economics, psychology and sociology.
Social exchange theory is tied to rational choice theory and on the other hand to structuralism, and features many of their main assumptions.Contents [hide]
1 Important works
2 Critiques
3 Applications
4 See also
5 References
6 External links
Important works
American sociologist George Caspar Homans is usually credited with the consolidation of the foundations of Social Exchange Theory. Homans’s article entitled “Social Behavior as Exchange” (Homans 1958) is viewed as the seminal work on this theory. Works by Richard Emerson, Peter M. Blau (Blau 1964), Peter Ekeh, and Karen Cook are also important and often reference Homans, as do many other articles and books on the subject.
John Thibaut and Harold Kelley are other sociologists having develop the theory of social exchange. They have proposed (Thibaut & Kelley 1959) the following reasons that make people to engage in a social exchange:
anticipated reciprocity;
expected gain in reputation and influence on others
altruism and perception of efficacy
direct reward.
Another important work is Mark L. Knapp’s Social Intercourse: From Greeting to Goodbye (Knapp 1978). In this work, Knapp specifically defines stages of relationship development, including initiation, experimentation and bonding. In addition, Gerald Miller and Mark Steinberg’s book, Between People, added to the theory by noting the differences in the types of information we have about one another: cultural, sociological and psychological (Miller & Steinberg 1975).
Katherine Miller outlines several major objections to or problems with the social exchange theory as developed from early seminal works (Miller 2005):
The theory reduces human interaction to a purely rational process that arises from economic theory.
The theory favors openness as it was developed in the 1970s when ideas of freedom and openness were preferred, but there may be times when openness isn’t the best option in a relationship. 

The theory assumes that the ultimate goal of a relationship is intimacy when this might not always be the case.
The theory places relationships in a linear structure, when some relationships might skip steps or go backwards in terms of intimacy.
It also is strongly seated in an individualist mindset, which may limit its application in and description of collectivist cultures.
Currently, Social Exchange Theory materializes in many different situations with the same idea of the exchange of resources. Homans once summarized the theory by stating:
Social behavior is an exchange of goods, material goods but also non-material ones, such as the symbols of approval or prestige. Persons that give much to others try to get much from them, and persons that get much from others are under pressure to give much to them. This process of influence tends to work out at equilibrium to a balance in the exchanges. For a person in an exchange, what he gives may be a cost to him, just as what he gets may be a reward, and his behavior changes less as the difference of the two, profit, tends to a maximum (“Theories Used in Research”).
Other applications that developed include fields such as anthropology, as evidenced in an article by Harumi Befu, which discusses cultural and social ideas and norms such as gift-giving and marriage.
See also:  Complexity science; Economic network; Equity theory; Exchange; Institutional
Interdependence; Rational agent; Open innovation; Social good; Social networks; Value (economics); Value conversion; Value network; Value network analysis
Blau, Peter (1964). Exchange and power in social life. New York: Wiley.
Befu, Harumi (1977). Social Exchange. Annual Review of Anthropology, 6, 225-281.
Cook, K. S., and R. M. Emerson. (1978). “Power, Equity and Commitment in Exchange Networks.” American Sociological Review 43:721-739.
Ekeh, Peter Palmer. (1974). Social exchange theory : the two traditions. London: Heinemann Educational.
Gouldner, Alvin Ward (1960). “The norm of reciprocity: A preliminary statement”. American Sociological Review 25: 161-178.
Homans, George C. (1958). “Social Behavior as Exchange”. American Journal of Sociology 63 (6): 597-606.
Knapp, Mark L. (1978). Social intercourse: from greeting to goodbye. Allyn and Bacon.
Miller, Katherine (2005). Communication Theories. New York: McGraw Hill.
Miller, Gerald R.; Steinberg, Mark (1975). Between people: A new analysis of interpersonal communication. Science Research Associates.
Murstein, B. I.; Cerreto, M. G.; MacDonald (1977). “A theory and investigation of the effect of exchange-orientation on marriage and friendship”. Journal of Marriage and the Family 39: 543-548.
Thibaut, J. W.; Kelley, H. H. (1959). The social psychology of groups. New York: Wiley.
External links
“Theories Used in Research”
Categories: Value | Social networks | Sociology | Sociological theories | Communication
Social identity
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article uses first-person (“I”; “we”) or second-person (“you”) inappropriately. Please rewrite it to use a more formal, encyclopedic tone. (September 2009)
Social identity is a theory expounded by Henri Tajfel and John Turner[1] to understand the psychological basis of intergroup discrimination. It is composed of four elements:
Categorization: We often put others (and ourselves) into categories. Labeling someone a Muslim, a Turk, a Gimp or a soccer player are ways of saying other things about these people.
Identification: We also associate with certain groups (our ingroups), which serves to bolster our self-esteem.
Comparison: We compare our groups with other groups, seeing a favorable bias toward the group to which we belong. In modern day times younger people stereotypically divide themselves into social groups like chav’s, goths and most famously hoodies. This originated from America and Great Britain and has been spread by the use of video games and the media.
Psychological Distinctiveness: We desire our identity to be both distinct from and positively compared with other groups[2].
As formulated by Tajfel, social identity theory is a diffuse but interrelated group of social psychological theories concerned with when and why individuals identify with, and behave as part of, social groups, adopting shared attitudes to outsiders. It is also concerned with what difference it makes when encounters between individuals are perceived as encounters between group members. Social identity theory is thus concerned both with the psychological and sociological aspects of group behaviour.
Reacting against individualistic explanations of group behaviour (e.g. Floyd Allport) on one hand, and tendencies to reify the group on the other, Tajfel sought an account of group identity that held together both society and individual. Tajfel first sought to differentiate between those elements of self-identity derived from individual personality traits and interpersonal relationships (personal identity) and those elements derived from belonging to a particular group (social identity).Contents [hide]
1 Identities
2 See also
3 References
4 External links
Each individual is seen to have a repertoire of identities open to them (social and personal), each identity informing the individual of who he is and what this identity entails. Which of these many identities is most salient for an individual at any time will vary according to the social context. The theory postulates that social behaviour exists on a spectrum from the purely interpersonal to the purely intergroup. Where personal identity is salient, the individual will relate to others in an interpersonal manner, dependent on their character traits and any personal relationship existing between the individuals. However, under certain conditions “social identity is more salient than personal identity in self-conception and that when this is the case behaviour is qualitatively different: it is group behaviour.”
“Social identities… are associated with normative rights, obligations and sanctions which, within specific collectivities, form roles. The use of standardized markers, especially to do with the bodily attributes of age and gender, is fundamental in all societies, notwithstanding large cross-cultural variations which can be noted.” by Giddens
In the sphere of economics, two separate papers by Akerlof and Kranton[3][4] incorporate social identity factor to principal-agent model. The main conclusion is that when the agents consider themselves insiders, they will maximize their identity utility by exerting the high effort level comparing with the prescription behavior. On the other hand, if they consider themselves outsiders, they will require a higher wage to compensate their lose for behavior difference with prescription behaviors.
While this macro-economic theory deals exclusively with already well established categories of social identity, Laszlo Garai when applied the concept of social identity in the economic psychology[5] takes into consideration identities in statu nascendi[6]. This theory that is referred to the macro-processes based on a large-scale production later gets applied to the individual creativity’s psychology: Garai derived it from the principal’s and, resp., agent’s identity elaboration.
Chen and Li[7] test the social identity effect in the lab using strategic method and find that when people are matched with ingroup members, they will be more likely to have “charity” concern[8] and less likely to have “envy” concern. Another experiment conducted by Oxoby[9] has the same results with Chen and Li in the aspect of positive reciprocity, but in the negative reciprocity, evidences from Oxoby show that people will be more likely to take revenge when they get negative reciprocity from in-group members in sequential games, which leaves it as an open question in both experimental economics and social identity theory.
See also:  Socialization; Value (personal and cultural);  Minimum group paradigm
^ Tajfel, Henri; Turner, John (1979). “An Integrative Theory of Intergroup Conflict”. in Austin, William G.; Worchel, Stephen. The Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations. Monterey, CA: Brooks-Cole. pp. 94–109. ISBN 0818502789. OCLC 4194174. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
^ Taylor, Donald; Moghaddam, Fathali (1994-06-30). “Social Identity Theory”. Theories of Intergroup Relations: International Social Psychological Perspectives (2nd ed.). Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. pp. 80–1. ISBN 0275946355. OCLC 29319924. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
^ Akerlof, George A.; Kranton, Rachel E. (August 2000). “Economics and Identity”. The Quarterly Journal of Economics (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press) 115 (3): 715–53. doi:10.1162/003355300554881. OCLC 1763227. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
^ Akerlof, George A.; Kranton, Rachel E. (Winter 2005). “Identity and the Economics of Organizations”. Journal of Economic Perspectives (Nashville, TN: American Economic Association) 19 (1): 9–32. doi:10.1257/0895330053147930. OCLC 16474127. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
^ Garai, Laszlo: Identity Economics
^ Cf. e.g. Garai, Laszlo: The Bureaucratic State Governed by an Illegal Movement: Soviet-Type societies and Bolshevik-Type Parties. Political Psychology. 1991. 10:1. 165-179.
^ Chen, Yan; Li, Xian (Sherry) (2006-10-30). “Group Identity and Social Preferences”. Working Paper. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
^ Charness, Gary; Rabin, Matthew (August 2002). “Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests”. The Quarterly Journal of Economics (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press) 117 (3): 817–69. doi:10.1162/003355302760193904. OCLC 1763227. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
^ Oxoby, Robert J.; McLeish, Kendra N. (January 2007). “Identity, Cooperation, and Punishment”. Discussion Paper No. 2572. Institute for the Study of Labor. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
External links: Identity Economics by Laszlo Garai; Categories: Social psychology | Identity
Socioemotional selectivity theory
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Socioemotional Selectivity Theory)
Socioemotional Selectivity Theory – developed by Stanford psychologist, Laura Carstensen – States that older adults become more selective about their social networks. Because they place a high value on emotional satisfaction, older adults often spend more time with familiar individuals with whom they have had rewarding relationships[1]. This selective narrowing of social interaction maximizes positive emotional experiences and minimizes emotional risks as individuals become older. According to this theory, older adults systematically hone their social networks so that available social patners satisfy their emotional needs[1]. The theory also focuses on the types of goals that individuals are motivated to achieve. Knowledge-related goals aim at knowledge acquisition, career planning, the development of new social relationships and other endeavors that will pay off in the future. Emotion-related goals are aimed at emotion regulation, the pursuit of emotionally gratifying interactions with social partners and other pursuits whose benefits can be realized in the present. When people perceive their future as open ended, they tend to focus on future-oriented/knowledge-related goals but when they feel that time is running out, their focus tends to shift towards present-oriented/emotion-related goals[1]. Research on this theory often compares age groups (i.e., young and old adulthood) but the shift in goal priorities is a gradual process that begins in early adulthood. Importantly, the theory contends that it is not age that is causing the goal shifts but age-associated changes in time perspective[1].Contents [hide]
1 Cross Culturally
2 Related articles
3 See also
4 External links
5 References
Cross Culturally
Researchers have found that across diverse samples-Norwegians, Catholic nuns, African Americans, Chinese Americans and European Americans-older adults report better control of their emotions and fewer negative emotions than do younger adults[1].
Related articles
Carstensen, L.L. (1993). Motivation for social contact across the life span: A theory of socioemotional selectivity. In J.E. Jacobs (Ed.) Nebraska symposium on motivation: 1992, Developmental Perspectives on Motivation, Vol. 40, (pp. 209–254). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
Carstensen, L.L., Isaacowitz, D.M., & Charles, S.T. (1999). Taking time seriously: A theory of socioemotional selectivity. American Psychologist, 54, 165-181.
Mather, M., & Carstensen, L. L. (2005). Aging and motivated cognition: The positivity effect in attention and memory. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9, 496-502.
Löckenhoff, C.E., and Carstensen, L.L. (2004). Socioemotional selectivity theory, aging, and health: The increasingly delicate balance between regulating emotions and making tough choices. Journal of Personality, 72(6), 1393 – 1424.
Fung, H. H., & Carstensen, L. L. (2004). Motivational changes in response to blocked goals and foreshortened Time: Testing alternatives for socioemotional selectivity theory. Psychology and Aging, 19, 68-78.
Pruzan, K., and Isaacowitz, D. M. (2006). An Attentional Application of Socioemotional Selectivity Theory in College Students. Social Development, 15, 326-338.
See also: Aging and memory;  Negativity bias; Positivity effect
External links: [1] [2]
^ a b c d e Santrock, J.W. (2008). A Topical Approach to Life-Span Development. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Categories: Aging | Human development | Old age | Gerontology | Social psychology
Observational learning
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Social learning.     This article’s introduction may be too long. Please help by moving some material from it into the body of the article. Read the layout guide and Wikipedia’s lead section guidelines for more information. Discuss this issue on the talk page.
Observational learning (also known as: vicarious learning or social learning or modeling or monkey see, monkey do) is learning that occurs as a function of observing, retaining and, in the case of imitation learning, replicating novel behavior executed by others. It is most associated with the work of psychologist Albert Bandura, who implemented some of the seminal studies in the area and initiated social learning theory. It involves the process of learning to copy or model the action of another through observing another doing it. Further research has been used to show a connection between observational learning and both classical and operant conditioning. [1]
There are 4 key processes of observational learning. 1.) Attention: To learn through observation, you must pay attention to another person’s behavior and its consequences. 2.) Retention: Store a mental representation of what you have witnessed in your memory. 3.) Reproduction: Enacting a modeled response depends on your ability to reproduce the response by converting your stored mental images into overt behavior. 4.) Motivation: Finally, you are unlikely to reproduce an observed response unless you are motivated to do so. Your motivation depends on whether you get benefits from responding that action.
Many mistake observational learning with imitation. The two terms are different in the sense that observational learning leads to a change in behavior due to observing a model. This does not mean that the behavior exhibited by the model is duplicated. It could mean that the observer would do the opposite of the model behavior because he or she has learned the consequence of that particular behavior. Consider the case of learning what NOT to do. In such a case, there is observational learning without imitation.
Although observational learning can take place at any stage in life, it is thought to be particularly important during childhood, particularly as authority becomes important. The best role models are those a year or two older for observational learning. Because of this, social learning theory has influenced debates on the effect of television violence and parental role models. Bandura’s Bobo doll experiment is widely cited in psychology as a demonstration of observational learning and demonstrated that children are more likely to engage in violent play with a life size rebounding doll after watching an adult do the same. However, it may be that children will only reproduce a model’s behavior if it has been reinforced. This may be the problem with television because it was found, by Otto Larson and his coworkers (1968), that 56% of the time children’s television characters achieve their goals through violent acts.
Observational learning allows for learning without any change in behavior and has therefore been used as an argument against strict behaviorism which argued that behavior change must occur for new behaviors to be acquired. Bandura noted that “social imitation may hasten or short-cut the acquisition of new behaviors without the necessity of reinforcing successive approximations as suggested by Skinner (1953).”[2]
It is possible to treat observational learning as merely a variation of operant training. According to this view, first proposed by Neal Miller and John Dollard, the changes in an observer’s behavior are due to the consequences of the observer’s behavior, not those of the model. “[3]”
As an interesting aside, there are a number of variables which have confounded the study of observational learning in animals. One of these is the Venus effect in which animals are sexually stimulated by the model and this interferes with the ability to observe behavior thereby limiting the ability to make associations based on the behavior of the model. (See Warden and Jackson 1935)Contents [hide]
1 Required conditions
2 Effect on behavior
3 See also
4 References and external links
5 Further reading on animal social learning
6 References
Required conditions    This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2007)
Bandura called the process of social learning modeling and gave four conditions required for a person to successfully model the behavior of someone else:
Attention to the model
A person must first pay attention to a person engaging in a certain behavior (the model).
Retention of details
Once attending to the observed behavior, the observer must be able to effectively remember what the model has done.
Motor/car reproduction
The observer must be able to replicate the behavior being observed. For example, juggling cannot be effectively learned by observing a model juggler if the observer does not already have the ability to perform the component actions (throwing and catching a ball).
Motivation and Opportunity
The observer must be motivated to carry out the action they have observed and remembered, and must have the opportunity to do so. For example, a suitably skilled person must want to replicate the behavior of a model juggler, and needs to have an appropriate number of items to juggle at hand.
Effect on behavior
Social learning may affect behavior in the following ways:
Teaches new behaviors
Increases or decreases the frequency with which previously learned behaviors are carried out
Can encourage previously forbidden behaviors
Can increase or decrease similar behaviors. For example, observing a model excelling in piano playing may encourage an observer to excel in playing the saxophone.
See also: Albert Bandura; Bobo doll experiment; Mirror neuron; Cognitive imitation; learning; social cognition; inference; machine learning; educational psychology; educational technology; Emulation (observational learning); Imitation
References and external links
For a further informaton on learning and behavior difficulties please visit:http://www.lbctnz.co.nz
Bandura, Albert, Ross, Dorothea, & Ross, Sheila A. (1961). Transmission of aggressions through imitation of aggressive models. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 63, 575-582 Full text
Bandura, A. (1977) Social Learning Theory. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Hardback: ISBN 0-13-816744-3, Paperback: ISBN 0-13-816751-6
Vicarious Learning Blog: Vicarious Learning, Observational Learning, Knowledge Management and eLearning.
Wolf Whisperer: Observational K-9 Behavior, Learning by observing dog behavior and knowledge.
Further reading on animal social learning
Galef, B.G. & Laland, K.N. (2005). Social learning in animals: Empirical studies and theoretical models. Bioscience, 55, 489-499. Full text
Zentall, T.R. (2006). Imitation: Definitions, evidence, and mechanisms. Animal Cognition, 9, 335-353. (A thorough review of different types of social learning) Full text
^ Westen, D., Burton, L. & Kowalski, R. (2006) Psychology: Australian and New Zealand Edition. Milton, QLD. John Wiley and Sons.
^ Bandura, A., Ross, D., & Ross, S. A. (1961). Transmission of aggressions through imitation of aggressive models. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 63, 575-582. Full text
^ Chance, Paul, (2006) Learing and behavior,289-290,[hide]
Simple non-associative learning          Habituation · Sensitization
Associative learning    Operant conditioning · Classical conditioning · Imprinting · Observational learning
Categories: Social learning theory
Triangular theory of love
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ; Not to be confused with Love triangle.
The triangular theory of love is a theory of love developed by psychologist Robert Sternberg. The theory characterizes love within the context of interpersonal relationships by three different components:
Intimacy – Which encompasses feelings of closeness, connectedness, and bondedness.
Passion – Which encompasses drives that lead to romance, physical attraction, and sexual consummation.
Commitment – Which encompasses, in the short term, the decision to remain with another, and in the long term, the shared achievements and plans made with that other.
The “amount” of love one experiences depends on the absolute strength of these three components; the “type” of love one experiences depends on their strengths relative to each other. Different stages and types of love can be explained as different combinations of these three elements; for example, the relative emphasis of each component changes over time as an adult romantic relationship develops. A relationship based on a single element is less likely to survive than one based on two or three elements.
Forms of love:  Combinations of intimacy, passion, and commitment
Intimacy      Passion        Commitment
Liking/friendship        x
Infatuated love                          x
Empty love                                 x
Romantic love x          x
Companionate love     x                                       x
Fatuous love               x             x
Consummate love       x             x                         x
The three components, pictorially labeled on the vertices of a triangle, interact with each other and with the actions they produce and with the actions that produce them so as to form seven different kinds of love experiences (nonlove is not represented). The size of the triangle functions to represent the “amount” of love – the bigger the triangle the greater the love. The shape of the triangle functions to represent the “type” of love, which may vary over the course of the relationship:
Nonlove is the absence of all three of Sternberg’s components of love.
Liking/friendship in this case is not used in a trivial sense. Sternberg says that this intimate liking characterizes true friendships, in which a person feels a bondedness, a warmth, and a closeness with another but not intense passion or long-term commitment.
Infatuated love is pure passion. Romantic relationships often start out as infatuated love and become romantic love as intimacy develops over time. However, without developing intimacy or commitment, infatuated love may disappear suddenly.
Empty love is characterized by commitment without intimacy or passion. Sometimes, a stronger love deteriorates into empty love. In cultures in which arranged marriages are common, relationships often begin as empty love and develop into one of the other forms with the passing of time.
Romantic love bonds individuals emotionally through intimacy and physically through passionate arousal.
Companionate love is an intimate, non-passionate type of love that is stronger than friendship because of the element of long-term commitment. Sexual desire is not an element of companionate love. This type of love is often found in marriages in which the passion has gone out of the relationship but a deep affection and commitment remain. The love ideally shared between family members is a form of companionate love, as is the love between close friends who have a platonic but strong friendship.
Fatuous love can be exemplified by a whirlwind courtship and marriage in which a commitment is motivated largely by passion without the stabilizing influence of intimacy. A relationship, however, whereby an individual party agrees to sexual favors purely out of commitment issues, or is pressured/forced into sexual acts does not comprise Fatuous love, and instead tends more to Empty love.
Consummate love is the complete form of love, representing an ideal relationship toward which people strive. Of the seven varieties of love, consummate love is theorized to be that love associated with the “perfect couple”. According to Sternberg, such couples will continue to have great sex fifteen years or more into the relationship, they can not imagine themselves happy over the long-term with anyone else, they overcome their few difficulties gracefully, and each delight in the relationship with one other.[1] However, Sternberg cautions that maintaining a consummate love may be even harder than achieving it. He stresses the importance of translating the components of love into action. “Without expression,” he warns, “even the greatest of loves can die” (1987, p. 341). Thus, consummate love may not be permanent. If passion is lost over time, it may change into companionate love.
See also: Psychological theories of love;  Scientific models of love
Sternberg, Robert J. (1986). “A triangular theory of love”. Psychological Review 93 (2): 119–135. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.93.2.119. Retrieved 2007-06-27.
Sternberg, Robert J. (1988). The Triangle of Love: Intimacy, Passion, Commitment. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-08746-9.
Brehm, Sharon S. (2007). Intimate Relationships. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-293801-3.
^ “Cupid’s Arrow – the Course of Love through Time” by Robert Sternberg. Publisher: Cambridge University Press (1998) ISBN 0-521-47893-6
Categories: Love | Psychological theories
Drive theory
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia;  (Redirected from Drive theory (social psychology))
The terms drive theory and drive reduction theory refer to a diverse set of motivational theories in psychology. Drive theory is based on the principle that organisms are born with certain physiological needs and that a negative state of tension is created when these needs are not satisfied. When a need is satisfied, drive is reduced and the organism returns to a state of homeostasis and relaxation. According to the theory, drive tends to increase over time and operates on a feedback control system, much like a thermostat.Contents [hide]
1 Psychoanalysis
2 Learning theory
3 Social psychology
4 See also
5 References
In Freudian psychoanalysis, drive theory refers to the theory of drives, motivations, or instincts, that have clear objects. Examples include what Freud called Eros, and what is now widely known as Thanatos, the drives toward Life and Death, respectively.
Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents was published in Germany in 1930 when the rise of fascism in that country was well under way, and the warnings of a second European war were leading to opposing calls for rearmament and pacifism. Against this background, Freud wrote “In face of the destructive forces unleashed, now it may be expected that the other of the two ‘heavenly forces,’ eternal Eros, will put forth his strength so as to maintain himself alongside of his equally immortal adversary.”[1].
Learning theory
According to such theorists as Clark Hull and Kenneth Spence, drive reduction is a major cause of learning and behavior. Primary drives are innate drives (e.g. thirst, hunger, and sex), whereas secondary drives are learned by conditioning (e.g. money).
There are several problems that leave the validity of drive theory open for debate. The first problem is that it does not explain how secondary reinforcers reduce drive. For example, money does not satisfy any biological or psychological need, but it reduces drive on a regular basis by a pay check. Secondly, drive reduction theory has trouble explaining why humans and other animals voluntarily increase tension by exploring their environments, even when they are not hungry or thirsty.
Social psychology
In social psychology, drive theory was used by Robert Zajonc in 1965 as an explanation of the phenomenon of social facilitation.[2] The audience effect notes that in some cases the presence of a passive audience will facilitate the better performance of a task; while in other cases the presence of an audience will inhibit the performance of a task.
Drive theory states that due to the unpredictable nature of people, a person performing a task rarely knows for certain what others are going to do in response. Therefore, there is a clear evolutionary advantage for an individual’s presence to cause us to be in a state of alert arousal. Increased arousal (stress) can therefore be seen as an instinctive reaction to social presence.
This arousal creates a “drive” that causes us to enact the behaviors that form our dominant response for that particular situation. Our dominant response is the most likely response given our skills at use.
If the dominant response is “correct” (that is to say, if the task we are to perform is subjectively perceived as being easy), then the social pressure produces an improved performance. However, if the dominant response is “incorrect” (the task is difficult), then social presence produces an impaired performance.
See also:  Clark Hull’s theories on motivation; Yerkes-Dodson law of performance and
arousal;  Incentive theory of motivation
^ Freud, S. (1961). Civilization and its discontents. J. Strachey, transl. New York: W. W. Norton.
^ Zajonc, R. B. (1965). Social facilitation. Science, 149, 269-274.
Categories: Motivation

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