cognitive theory

A major cluster of theories in social psychology , which focus upon the links between mental processes (such as perception, memory, attitudes, or decision-making), and social behaviour. At a general level such theories are opposed to behaviourism , and suggest that human beings are active in selecting stimuli, constructing meanings, and making sense of their worlds. There are many branches of cognitive theory, including Fritz Heider's cognitive balance theory, Leon Festinger's cognitive dissonance theory, George Kelly's personal construct theory , and attribution theory (see, Cognitive Social Psychology, 1980).

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

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