social motives in group membership

Assignment: Social Motives in Group Membership

Many adults look back and attribute later success to groups they belonged to as children. Boys or girls clubs, sports teams, and churches are common examples of groups that have strong influences on the development of an individual’s character and/or skills. Groups can be formal (e.g., labor unions) or informal (e.g., friends planning a surprise party), yet all groups of which you have been a member leave their fingerprints on how you think, feel, and behave in relation to others. Being reflective about the social motives that bring you to certain groups, and how those memberships impact your life satisfaction, can illuminate the impact of group membership on the human condition.

For this Assignment, think about a significant group membership you currently hold or have held in the past. Consider how social motives might account for your membership in the group. Also consider how the group membership relates to your life satisfaction.

The Assignment (3–4 pages)

  • Briefly describe a significant group membership you currently hold or have held in the past.
  • Explain how social motives, including but not limited to the need for belonging, might have influenced your joining and sustaining membership in the group.
  • Explain how this group membership relates to your life satisfaction.

Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.

Required 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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