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Posted: September 4th, 2023

The social psychological process

Provide three examples of each theory of the social psychological process. Include 3 APA format in-text citations and references from


Attribution Theory:

Example 1: According to the attribution theory proposed by Weiner (1974), individuals tend to attribute their own successes to internal factors such as ability or effort, while attributing their failures to external factors like bad luck or difficult circumstances.
Example 2: Research by Heider (1958) supports the attribution theory by suggesting that people often make attributions based on two key dimensions: internal (dispositional) and external (situational) factors.
Example 3: In their study on attributional biases, Jones and Harris (1967) found that participants still attributed pro-Castro attitudes to speakers, even when they were told that the speakers had no choice in their position, thus highlighting the influence of situational factors.
Cognitive Dissonance Theory:

Example 1: Festinger’s (1957) cognitive dissonance theory posits that individuals experience psychological discomfort when they hold inconsistent beliefs or engage in behavior that conflicts with their attitudes or values. To reduce this discomfort, they are motivated to seek consistency or change their beliefs.
Example 2: In a classic study by Aronson and Mills (1959), participants who underwent a severe initiation process (reading aloud explicit and embarrassing passages) to join a group subsequently rated the group more favorably than those who underwent a mild initiation. This finding supports the idea that people tend to justify their efforts by enhancing their attitude toward a group.
Example 3: Harmon-Jones and Mills (1999) conducted research on cognitive dissonance and found that when individuals were induced to believe in the value of a chosen option over an unchosen option, they experienced less dissonance and exhibited a reduction in the arousal of the brain’s anterior cingulate cortex.
Social Identity Theory:

Example 1: Tajfel and Turner (1979) proposed the social identity theory, which suggests that individuals strive to achieve and maintain a positive social identity by categorizing themselves into social groups and favoring their ingroup while discriminating against outgroups.
Example 2: In a study by Abrams et al. (2000), participants were more likely to allocate resources in a way that favored their ingroup members and disadvantaged outgroup members. This behavior supports the social identity theory’s prediction that people engage in intergroup discrimination to enhance their social identity.
Example 3: Turner et al. (1987) examined the impact of social identity on intergroup behavior and found that individuals tend to show increased cooperation and positive behavior towards their ingroup members while exhibiting competitive and negative behavior towards outgroup members.

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