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Sources of Social Knowledge

15 January, 2016 - 09:15

Learning Objectives

  1. Review the principles of operant, associational, and observational learning, and explain the similarities and differences between them.
  2. Explain how and when schemas and attitudes do and do not change as a result of the operation of accommodation and assimilation.
  3. Outline the ways that schemas are likely to be maintained through processes that create assimilation.

Human beings have proportionately very large brains and highly developed cognitive capacities in comparison with other species. Thus it should come as no surprise that we meet the challenges of everyday life largely by thinking about them and then planning what to do. Over time, we develop a huge amount of knowledge about ourselves, other people, social relationships, and social groups. This knowledge guides our responses to the people we interact with every day. But where does this social knowledge come from?