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Social Psychology Theories Comparison

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Compare the similarities and the differences between social identity theory, social comparison theory and self-discrepancy theory.

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Solution Summary

A person's social identity is who they are considered by those they socialize with. When people belong to groups, they have more of a sense of belonging and an increased self-image. Tajfel and Festinger have various views on social identity theory and social comparison theory.

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Social Identity Theory was developed by Henri Tajfel. Social identity is a sense of who a person is by the groups they are involved in. In other words, Tajfel suggested that groups (family, social groups, organizations, etc.) were a source of a person's self-esteem and pride. By being involved in groups, people have a sense of belonging or fitting in in the social world (McLeod, 2008). Tajfel's theory also suggests that to increase one's self-image one must improve the prestige of the group to which they belong. To do this, it is necessary to discriminate against the other groups. An example of this would be: A young man recently moved into a new school. He is befriended by a group of students that are not the most popular group, and also by a group of students that are in the "in crowd". In order for him to feel like he ...

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  • MA Education (Family and Community Services), Ashford University
  • B.A., Ashford University
  • A.S., Oklahoma State University
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