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Paper Topic:

The importance of social interaction in human development


We all engage in countless behaviors during our daily lives . We cough laugh , scratch our heads , grimace when we struggle to carry a heavy package or other routine behaviors . Other people sometimes see our behaviors and alter their own accordingly . In response to our cough they turn away to avoid catching our cold in response to our laugh they smile in response to our grimace , they offer help . Aware of the responses we have triggered in others , we , in turn , may adjust our behavior . This is social

interaction - the process of people orienting themselves to others and acting in response to what others say and do The word social implies that more than one person is involved , while interaction means that all parties are mutually influencing one another Physical proximity is not necessary for social interaction to occur People interact when they communicate via letter , phone or fax Moreover , just being near others does not always mean that social interaction will take place . One could be hurrying through a crowded train station , surrounded by hundreds of people , and never even make eye contact with a single one

Social interaction is purposive : People can react and act with each other in pursuing their objectives in life . In some social interactions the participants can have different goals . For instance , an interviewer would like to finish her interview session and finish the job as quickly and as efficiently as possible , whereas the candidate wants to capture her interest and extend the interview so that he can impress her with his many qualifications . Different goals do not lead to conflicts though . Sometimes , goals can be complementary . In some situations participants can intentionally work together with a common aim

Whether social interaction is complementary or cooperative , competitive or coercive , it is always ed by patterns of social structure and culture . When people get together , they generally fall into routinized schemes for expected behavior . Thus , even if one has never gone on a job interview , one knows a good deal about how to prepare for one and what to expect . Even at a party , there is and predictability to interaction it is never completely free form . The party-goer who sits on a couch reading , or keeps asking everyone to quiet down and get serious , will be thought distinctly odd . At parties , one is expected to be sociable and to have fun

One approach to studying social interaction is to look at how people define the situation . A simple definition of a situation allows people to know so much about what is expected of them . The answer lies in the large stock of cultural knowledge about social life that we acquire through socialization . This knowledge is shared - we all have internalized it - and we can draw on it anytime . That is not to say that we explicitly did not say to the interviewer : This is a job interview you know , which means that you are in charge and I should be...

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