PSY 201 Discussion Social Theory Comparison in Psychology

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PSY 201 Discussion Social Theory Comparison in Psychology

Compare and contrast Piaget’s theory of cognitive development with the theories proposed by Vygotsky and Bandura. Use the following scenario: you are a second grade teacher and are writing a lesson plan to teach math facts (addition and subtraction).

Based on Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, what materials would you incorporate into your lesson plan? Be specific and explain how your plan is driven by Piaget’s theory.

How would you change your lesson plan based on Vygotsky’s theory? Based on Bandura’s theory?

DQ2 IQ and Genetics

It used to be thought that IQ was strictly determined by genetics. After reading After the Bell Curve, do you believe that IQ is solely influenced by genetics? Based on your readings, what advice would you offer to parents/caregivers/and educators in order to maximize IQ?

People constantly evaluate themselves, and others, in domains like attractiveness, wealth, intelligence, and success. According to some studies, as much as 10 percent of our thoughts involve comparisons of some kind. Social comparison theory is the idea that individuals determine their own social and personal worth based on how they stack up against others. The theory was developed in 1954 by psychologist Leon Festinger. Later research has shown that people who regularly compare themselves to others may find motivation to improve, but may also experience feelings of deep dissatisfaction, guilt, or remorse, and engage in destructive behaviors like lying or disordered eating.

PSY 201 Discussion Social Theory Comparison in Psychology

PSY 201 Discussion Social Theory Comparison in Psychology

The Benefits of Comparison
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When individuals compare themselves to others as a way of measuring their personal development or to motivate themselves to improve and, in the process, develop a more positive self-image, comparisons can be beneficial. It takes discipline, however, to avoid the pitfalls of negative comparison. In large part, how we react to comparisons depends on who we compare ourselves to: When we just want to feel better about ourselves, we tend to engage in comparisons to people worse off than we are, although this can become an unhealthy habit. When we want to improve, though, we may compare ourselves to people roughly similar to us but higher achieving in one trait or another.

How can comparison help you?
Social comparison can be highly beneficial when people use social networks to push themselves. In a study, friendly competition was highly effective in pushing people to exercise more, as peers pushed each other to keep up and do more. In such a “social ratchet effect,” each person’s activity generates more activity among others. Social networks in which people simply offered each other positive encouragement were far less helpful.

Is it better to compare yourself to those doing better or worse than you are?
People generally engage in either upward or downward comparisons. In upward comparisons, we compare ourselves with those we believe are better than us in some way; in downward comparisons, we do the opposite. Research, unsurprisingly, finds that downward comparisons make us feel better about ourselves, but that there are dangers to each approach—insecurity and jealousy, or overconfidence and arrogance.

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