Social Motives in Group Participation discussion

Social Motives in Group Participation

There is a wide range of social motives that lead humans to form and join groups. According to Fiske et al. (2010), there are five core social motives for human behavior, which are the products of, but also are influences on, interactions with others: belonging, understanding, controlling, enhancing the self, and trusting. The primacy of some of these motives varies for individuals based on culture, gender, age, race, ethnicity, and a variety of other group identities. For instance, one individual might join a book club for self-improvement, whereas another might join out of loneliness (i.e., the motive is belonging). The motives that drive movements for social change (e.g., animal rights), on the other hand, often prove larger or more complex and defy individualistic explanations.

For this Discussion, think about what social motive or motives you consider to be most influential on joining groups and sustaining membership.

In the essay,

1. Give a brief description of one social motive you consider the most influential in joining a group, and explain why.
2. Describe one social motive you consider most influential in sustaining membership in a group and explain why.
3. Explain one way each of these social motives might lead to intergroup conflicts.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.


  • Fiske, S. T., Gilbert, D. T., & Lindzey, G. (Eds.). (2010). Handbook of social psychology (5th ed., Vol. 2). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
    • Chapter 16, “Self and Identity”
    • Chapter 24, “Affiliation, Acceptance, and Belonging: The Pursuit of Interpersonal Connection”
  • Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497–529.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Mellor, D., Stokes, M., Firth, L., Hayashi, Y., & Cummins, R. (2008). Need for belonging, relationship satisfaction, loneliness, and life satisfaction. Personality and Individual Differences, 45(3), 213–218.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
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