What Are the Six Methods of Socialization?

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Socialization is the method of learning acceptable behavior from other people. A baby is born with no knowledge on what conduct is considered proper or improper until he is taught by parents and peers. Selective exposure, modeling, identification, positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement and nurturance are all methods of socialization.

Selective Exposure

  • Selective exposure is a socialization method that controls what influences a person is exposed to. This is also known as planned socialization, because it takes effort to decide and implement positive influences only. It involves removing negative influences from the person being socialized.

Modeling

  • Another method of socialization is modeling, which means the person being socialized sees a person she admires and chooses to imitate his behavior. This is also known as natural socialization, because the person being socialized decides on their own who is worthy of modeling and who is not.

Identification

  • Identification takes modeling a step further. Instead of simply imitating a person's behavior, the person being socialized starts to identify with that person. They see themselves as having the same characteristics as the person they are modeling.

Positive Reinforcement

  • Positive reinforcement teaches a person which behaviors are socially acceptable because they are rewarded for those behaviors with affection or praise. For example, softball team members gives a person high-fives when they hit a home run.

Negative Reinforcement

  • Negative reinforcement teaches people which behaviors are not acceptable based on negative feedback. For example, if children make fun of a kid because of a particular pair of shoes he's wearing, he won't wear those shoes again.

Nurturance

  • Nurturance is similar to negative and positive reinforcement because it involves both negative and positive feedback, and that feedback comes from a person who the subject greatly admires, so their reaction to a particular behavior has a bigger impact.

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  • Photo Credit girl up to bat in softball game image by pixelcarpenter from Fotolia.com
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