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The Need For Social Belonging Essay

1224 words - 5 pages

For several years lay observations have caused a postulate of theory which is; within the time it takes for a high school senior to advance to a distinction of sophomore at University level, a phenomenon of sudden change by these young adults to a contradictory belief system has occurred. Having close association to young adults; both relational and by acquaintance, certain aspects of personality, specifically; the need for social belonging, raised the thought that it was this rather than true contemplation of ideas and beliefs, that had influence over the rapid contrast in ideological belief. In search of validation, a review of the literature on this topic was needed.
Previous research has shown that behavior is influenced by situation, personality and culture (Jonsson, 2006). If looking at the components of that research the atmosphere, (culture) situation, has been provided by the liberal progressive theme that has overrun many universities. This combined with the young adult’s time of life that can bring great social, personal, and cognitive changes, provides ripe circumstances for finding an identity that will also feed the needs of self-esteem in belonging. The theorist, Erik Erikson (1963) spoke of this time in life as a type of psychosocial suspension in the search for social values that can define their identity. He also asserted that at this age young adults are eager to be accepted by their peers when searching for values (Goethals, 1999). Concerning the personality factor; many researchers have conducted studies utilizing the Five Factor Model, (FFM) of traits and Schwartz’s (1992) theory of basic personal values in searching for defining traits which identify with either the liberal or conservative ideology. There have been obvious connections of personality to political leanings thought of in the past but more current research findings have confirmed the suggestions of Freud (1959), Fromm (1947, 1964), Adorno et al. (1950), Tomkins (1963), Wilson (1973), and others in both the professional and lay populations in identifying the distinctive traits of openness as liberal and conscientiousness as conservative (Carney & Jost, et al, 2008). It can be asserted that in this time of developing identity the normative social influence of university life effects changes to the ideological views of young adults. Social influence and social comparison underlies this rapid change due to the extreme importance of acceptance in a peer group giving the implications of self-esteem needs. Due to past research and literature it can be hypothesized that a change of ideology during a young adult's attendance at a public university is influenced by the needs of the personality in aspects of social belonging. Research following the change of ideology should be conducted that follows longitudinally the effects of social influence in situation and culture and the contributing personality factors of self-esteem, social influence, comparison, conformity and...

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