Sociocultural perspective refers to the theoretical perspective that emphasizes the ways that individuals are influenced by people, social institutions, and social forces in the world around them; a perspective of Cognitive development that emphasizes that development is guided by adults interacting with children, with the cultural context determining to a large extent how, where, and when these interactions take place. Sociocultural perspective focuses on the importance of social and cultural contexts in influencing the behavior of individuals.


The sociocultural perspective in psychology focuses on the influence of social and cultural factors on an individual's behavior, thoughts, and emotions. It emphasizes how relationships, societal norms, and cultural beliefs shape human development and interactions. This perspective recognizes the importance of considering a person's background, social environment, and cultural identity when understanding their psychological experiences. Sociocultural psychologists study how social norms, traditions, and customs impact mental health, cognitive processes, and emotional well-being. They explore topics such as socialization, cultural diversity, and the role of social institutions in shaping individual behavior.

Application Areas

  • Educational psychology
  • Cross-cultural psychology
  • Family therapy
  • Community psychology
  • Social work

Treatment and Risks

  • Interventions that consider cultural background and social context
  • Risks of overlooking individual differences within cultural groups
  • Challenges in addressing systemic inequalities and discrimination
  • Impact of cultural beliefs on attitudes toward mental health treatment


  • Studying the influence of collectivist cultural values on decision-making processes
  • Exploring the impact of social support networks on coping with stress
  • Investigating the role of cultural traditions in shaping body image perceptions

(see also Guided participation and Zone of proximal development)

Similar Concepts and Synonyms

  • Cultural psychology
  • Social constructivism
  • Environmental psychology
  • Interpersonal perspective


The sociocultural perspective in psychology examines how social and cultural factors influence individual behavior and psychological processes. By considering the impact of societal norms, cultural traditions, and social relationships, this perspective offers a comprehensive understanding of human development and interaction.