Socio-Psychological Theory

Definition: The Socio-Psychological Theory asserts that individual and society are interlinked. This means, an individual strives to meet the needs of the society and the society helps him to attain his goals. Through this interaction, the personality of an individual is determined.

Socio-psychological theory

The Socio-Psychological theory is the contribution of Adler, Horney, Forman and Sullivan. This theory is also called as Neo-Freudian Theory because it differs from the Freud’s psychoanalytic theory in the following respects:

  1. According to this theory, the social variables and not the biological instincts, are the important determinants in shaping the individual’s personality.
  2. Here, the motivation is conscious, i.e. an individual knows what are his needs and wants and what kind of behavior is required to meet these needs.

Thus, the theorists believe that socio-psychological factors, i.e. the combination of both the social (family, society, wealth, religion) and the psychological factors (feelings, thoughts, beliefs) play an important role in shaping the personality of an individual.

It is the society from where the individual inculcates the cultural values and the social norms, which helps him in shaping his personality and influences his behavior according to the external situations.


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