Social psychology of personality development
Social attitudes of personality. The notion of a social environment
Social setting is a category of social psychology, differently defined by researchers. In English, the social setting corresponds to the concept of attitudes (W. Thomas, F. Znaniecki), denoting a state of consciousness that regulates a person's attitude and behavior under specific conditions; psychological experience of social value and meaning of the object. The main attributes of attitudes, or social attitudes: the social nature of the objects with which the attitude and behavior of a person are related; awareness and emotional component of these relationships; regulative role of the social setting. Social objects are understood in this case in the broadest sense: institutions of society, states, phenomena, events, processes, norms of personality.
The regulatory function of a social setting is its relationship to own for a given installation a social object. Social attitudes are interrelated, interdependent and often contradictory components of a more complex system. The contradictoriness of social reality generates inconsistencies in the system of social attitudes, reaching the struggle between them. To denote such contradictions, special concepts have arisen. For example, there is a perceptual setting, signifying a predisposition of the subject to a certain interpretation of the perceived reality, which depends on other attitudes of personality.
Three components are distinguished in the structure of the attitudes (MB Smith):
1) cognitive , containing knowledge and understanding of the social object;
2) affective, reflecting the emotionally-valued attitude to the object;
3) conative (behavioral ), expressing the potential readiness of a person to realize a certain behavior.
The structure of the social setting allows us to distinguish two of its varieties: stereotype and prejudice, which differ in the content of the cognitive component.
A stereotype is a social setting with a frozen content of the cognitive component.
When we talk about stereotypical thinking, we mean the limited, narrowness or obsolescence of a person's ideas about certain objects of reality or ways of interacting with them. Stereotypes are useful and necessary as a form of saving mental efforts and actions in relation to simple and stable objects and situations. In the same place, where the object is subject to change or requires creative reflection, and the person's ideas about him remain the same, the stereotype becomes a brake in the processes of interaction of the individual with reality.
Prejudice is a social setting with an inadequately altered content of the cognitive component, as a result of which the individual perceives social objects in a distorted form.Often, an emotionally charged component is associated with such a cognitive component, as a result of which prejudice determines not only uncritical perception of elements of reality, but also inadequate experiences.
The main reason for the formation of prejudices is the lack of development of the cognitive sphere and the individual as a whole, so most often prejudices arise in childhood, when a certain emotional and evaluative attitude is formed under the influence of parents and the immediate environment. Affect the formation or consolidation of prejudice can the individual's life experience, emotionally experienced, but uncritically meaningful and interpreted.
From the point of view of importance for society and the individual, certain social attitudes take an unequal position, form a hierarchy. This fact is reflected in the dispositional concept of the regulation of the social behavior of the personality of VA Yadov. They are allocated four levels of dispositions as entities that regulate the behavior and activities of the individual. The first level includes installations that regulate behavior at the simplest, predominantly household level; to the second - social attitudes, which come into effect at the level of small groups; the third level includes the general orientation of the interests of the individual (basic social attitudes), reflecting the attitude of the individual to his main spheres of life (profession, social activity, hobbies); at the fourth level is the system of value orientations of the personality.
For each individual, there is a subjective subordination of social attitudes, which does not always coincide with the socially accepted hierarchy.
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