Principles of the Sociocultural Level of Analysis

Social psychology is an umbrella term, in which it encompasses many elements/principles. 2 most studied principles are: the influences of the social and cultural environment on individual behavior, and how we construct ourselves as well as our social self.

The influences of the cultural environment on individual behavior was investigated in Bond and Smith’s cross-cultural study on conformity using Asch’s paradigm which included participants from 17 different cultures. The researchers found that individuals of collectivistic cultures showed higher degrees of conformity whereas individuals from individualistic cultures showed less conformity.

The principle of the construction of our social self can be seen in Tajfel’s social identity theory which examines the role of social comparison, social categorization, positive distinctiveness and social identity. This theory aims to demonstrate the importance and influence of in-groups and out-groups on how we construct our social self.

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