Stresses the importance of social norms and culture.
Proposes that children learn behaviour through problemsolving interactions with other children and adults.
Argues that social behaviours are developed through genetics
Emphasises the role of biology and gene transmission across
generations to explain current behaviour.
Social Learning Perspective
Stresses the importance of unique experiences in family,
school, community, etc.
learn behaviours through observing and mimicking the
behaviour of others.
We notice, interpret, and judge the behaviour of others
New experiences can either be assimilated (using
already held beliefs to interpret the event), or
accommodated (which involves changing existing beliefs
in response to the event.)
KEY FIGURES PERSPECTIVES
Believed that humans were naturally sociable, a
necessity which allows us to live together (an
Individual Centred Approach)
Introduced the concept that society has inevitable
links with the development of the social mind.
Lazarus & Steinthal (1860)
They put forward the idea of “Volker psychology”
which focused on the idea of a Collective mind.
Allport (1920) – Social Facilitation
Allport introduced the notion that the presence of
others (the social group) can facilitate certain
Bandura (1963) – Social Learning Theory
Bandura introduced the notion that behaviour in the
social world could be modelled.
Weiner (1986) – Attribution theory
Introduced the idea that we look for explanations of
behaviour in the social world, through our
experiences of success and failure.
EXAMPLE – SOCIAL CONFORMITY
Haney, Banks, Zimbardo (1973) – Prison Study
Volunteers took part in a simulation where they were
randomly assigned the role of a prisoner or guard.
There was some basic loss of rights for the prisoners.
The study showed that conformity to social roles occurred
as part of the social interaction.
Both groups displayed more negative emotions and
Prisoners became passive, whilst the guards assumed an
active, brutal and dominant role.
Although normative and informational social influence had
a role to play here, DE individuation/the loss of a sense of
identity seemed most likely to lead to conformity.
The socio psychological approach to understanding
communication is framed by both early scientific
thinking and the emerging “social sciences.
Arose out of modernism, and in many ways is a
continuation of the enlightenment project.
focuses on human traits, predispositions, cognitive
processes and reveals hidden internal factors
„Excessive individualism, inattention to macro-social
(Craig&Muller 2007, p84)
Biological factors such as chromosomes, hormones and the
brain all have a significant influence on human behaviour, for
The biological approach believes that most behaviour is
inherited and has an adaptive (or evolutionary) function.
Weeks after child birth the testosterone levels in the father
drops by more than 30% (evolutionary function)
Therefore men with lower levels of testosterone are less likely
to have a wondering eye.
They are also less aggressive
Suggests that we inherit certain „traits‟
i.e. Schizophrenia, shyness, extroversion,
Raymond Cattell - defined 2 types of traits
- Surface Traits: Personality characteristics easily
seen by other people
- Source Traits: More basic traits that underlie the
Being shy, quiet and disliking crowds are surface
traits related to the more basic source trait of
Cherry K. 2013, About.com Psychology, 27 November 2013,
CUCO PowerPoint 2013, „Psychological and Sociopsychological Approaches to
Communication‟, viewed 19 November 2013.
McGrath J. 2009, Yahoo! Voices – Raymond Cattell’s Trait Theory, 27 November
McLeod S. 2007, Simply Psychology, 27 November 2013