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Cognitive Psychology in Social Context

Question:

Discuss about the Cognitive and Social Psychology for Community.

Cognitive development is said to be the field of study in human psychology which is related to the development of a child in terms of information processing, development of brain, perception of skills and its development and learning their first language. These developments in children take place according to the type of society in which they grow at young age. There are some sociological factors which determine the development of a child’s brain towards cognitive factors and develop a psychology among them. In the following discussion cognitive development in a social context is illustrated with the theories of cognitive development. Other theories related to the memory and its applications, theory of psychology, individual interaction with society and community, influence of group on an individual behavior and theories of social relationships and discussed briefly. All these theories of psychology holistically establish the cognitive psychology.

Development of cognitive behavior and content in a human being comes from the creation of environmental practices which a child experiences and observes their parents and other partners do around them. These developmental practices are dependent on the type of environment created around a child by the adults (Berntsen 2017). The information processed by a child is in the same way its parents would have perceived it when they were children and their parents before them since the genesis of the species. The social concepts which a child understands and learns is from the behavior and practices which are followed by the adults around them. It completely depends on the type of society in which the child is living which will determine its cognitive development. For example a child learns the same language which is spoken by his parents in his home (Bremner 2017). The cognitive development of a child’s brain happens mainly from its surroundings. The brain acts in the same way as it is trained to act by the environment in which the child lives.

There are generally four theories of Cognitive Development which are considered standard in the context of cognitive psychology. The first one is Piaget’s Theory, the second one is Sociocultural Theory, third one is Core-Knowledge Theory and the fourth one is Information-processing Theory. The most relevant and important among all these theories is Piaget’s Theory which states that child is a scientist and they construct their own knowledge through experimenting (Banks 2012). It states that children learn on their own without interference of any adults. It I established that children are intrinsically motivated to learn and they do not need any motivation and rewards from adults for their learning. According to Piagent there are four stages of cognitive development which are qualitative change in which children of different ages think differently, broad applicability in which knowledge acquired by children increases its scope and outlook, brief transitions which states that transition to higher levels of thinking may not be continuous and the last one is invariant thinking in which all the stages of thinking are equal (Forde 2009).

Theories of Cognitive Development

There are many theories of memory which state that how a person remembers anything. An important theory of memory is Multi-Store Model in which there are 3 states of memory: sensory, short-term and long term. Another theory is Levels of Processing, according to which the quality of memory depends upon the level of processing information. There are two types of processing, shallow processing and deep or semantic processing. Third model of memory is Working Memory Model (Kingsley 2017). This theory is based on how the information is filtered and is available when the memory is recalled according to the need. Another theory of memory is Miller’s Magic Number which relates to the short-term memory. A person has a capacity of retaining things for some time after that he forgets it when not revised. It is called the theory of Memory Decay. It is about measuring the longevity of a memory that how long it will last if not revised and in what time it will be completely forgotten (Seebohm et al. 2012).  

There are quite a number of social psychology theories which are applied in different circumstances. Attribution theory is one in which people explain the characteristics of others. It is divided into two parts, the first one is situational attribute which is derived from external factors and other one is dispositional which is concerned with internal factors. Theory of cognitive dissonance relates to the concept of the self and its importance. If some other person contradicts the belief of a self then the person concerned feels uncomfortable about the situation (Spiegel and Parent 2017). Drive Theory is concerned with the presence of an audience which makes a person conscious and develops a sense of arousal. Elaboration likelihood Theory illustrates that if a memory is created out of persuasion then it exists due to the “likelihood of cognitive elaborations”.  Self-verification theory states that a person has a desire to be understood and known by its peers. Social-comparison theory states that a person knows about himself by comparing his nature to other people around him (Seebohm et al. 2012).

Individual is the most basic unit of a society. It is the cumulative effect of the individual’s psychology which shapes the nature and kind of a community. If people do not interact with each other, there will be no community. An individual learns to interact and develop cognitive psychology through the community in which his lives. The interaction on individual in a society is determined by the right and wrong practices which a community is in consensus with (Kingsley 2017). Each society is governed by its own values and rules which is learnt by the individual. There are certain types of interactions which may be a glance, a handshake, a conversation or waving of a hand. The theory of interaction of an individual with a society can be categorized in three phases which are functionalist, inter-actionist and culture and personality. There are some basic etiquettes of interaction which an individual has to learn from the society to hold a substantial position in their respective community (Van Stekelenburg and Klandermans 2017). 

Theories of Memory

Groups are made by the individuals, and they are governed by their own set of morns which are formed by the set of values of the respective individuals of the group. Norms of the group changes as the group and the individual grows in it. The values and methods of interaction determine the collective behavior of the group. Whereas, the changes in ways of interaction have direct impact on an individual. There are certain norms such as performance norms which determine the rules with which a person should do their work in a group (Seebohm et al. 2012). Appearance norms, which determines the looks and physical appearance of an individual. Social Arrangement norms, which are concerned about the social etiquettes of a person. Resource allocation norms guide a person in the business environment. All these norms of a group influence the behavior of an individual which is a reflection of the collective behavior of a group on an individual (Smith and Haslam 2017). 

Man is a social animal and to survive and develop himself in his life he needs to make social relationships with people around him. These social relationships become the major part of an individual’s life as one gets engrossed in them and lead their entire life complying with the needs of these relationships. The most basic social relationship which a person develops is family. In this relationship a person develops an emotional and physical bond which leads to their development on an individual aspect and development of the entire society on a collective basis(Banks 2012). There are four theories of social relationship which are Communal Sharing in which people share same thoughts and feelings unconditionally between themselves. Authority ranking which shares a relationship of subordination. Equality Matching, a theory in which people tend to establish balance in the society. Market pricing theory which measure the socially meaningful and beneficial relationships accordingly (Forde 2009).   

Conclusion

From the above discussion about the cognitive and social psychology it can be concluded that a development of a child’s psychology is determined by the environment in which he lives at young age. There are a number of factors which determines the cognitive development of a child’s brain and shapes it to comply with the rules and regulations, values and etiquettes followed in their respective societies. The above discussion comprise of social theories which are related to an individual’s significance in the society. Memory theories are also discussed which determines the longevity of a person’s memory and its capacity to learn and remember things according to the situation. It can be concluded that there is a great impact of the society and environment in which a person lives and grows as it solely determines the nature and character of a person. As it has been said that “a man is known for the company he keeps”.

References

Banks, S. ., 2012 Ethics and Values in Social Work. (4th Ed.) Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Berntsen, D., 2017. Flashbulb memories and social identity1. Flashbulb Memories: New Challenges and Future Perspectives.

Bremner, J.G., 2017. An introduction to developmental psychology. John Wiley & Sons.

Cantor, N. and Kihlstrom, J.F. eds., 2017. Personality, cognition and social interaction (Vol. 5). Routledge.

Children’s Rights Alliance, 2013.What Are Children’s Rights? Available: https://www.childrensrights.ie/childrens-rights-ireland/childrens-rights-ireland [accessed 01 September, 2013]. 

Forde, C. ., 2009 The Politics of Community Development: Relationship with the State. In: Forde, C., Kiely, E. and Meade, R., eds. Youth and Community in Ireland: Critical Perspectives, Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, pp. 49-68

Kingsley, D., 2017. Credit where credit is due.

Seebohm, P., Gilchrist, A. and Morris, D. ., 2012 Bold but Balanced: How Community Development Contributes to Mental Health and Inclusion.

Spiegel, J.B. and Parent, S.N., 2017. Re-approaching community development through the arts: a ‘critical mixed methods’ study of social circus in Quebec. Community Development Journal, pp.1-18.

Van Stekelenburg, J. and Klandermans, B., 2017. Individuals in movements: A social psychology of contention. In Handbook of social movements across disciplines (pp. 103-139). Springer, Cham

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