Behaviorism argued that a subject matter of psychology must be firmly grounded in observed human behavior rather than in unobservable mental constructs. This approach suggested completely new theoretical structures and empirical approaches.
Thus at a time it seemed that the majority of social psychologists were behaviorists, which asserts that human behavior can be understood in terms of stimulus response relationship without necessarily referring to underlying mental state.
Then Gestalt inspired group dynamics (MCGARTY, 1997:1-15). He claimed that social environment is not only made up of things but of relations bettering things, Thus Gestalt's tradition promoted a concern with groups as real social entities. Another trend 'Attitude Change' came in vogue with the end of World War II.
The third major Trend that was occurring in 1960s, with the breakdown of the dominance of attitude concept, was the rise of 'Attribution theory'. The ground work of this theory was laid by Heider's book, 1958 "The Psychology of Interpersonal Relation" during 1970s and became the most dominant concern in social psychology.
Cognitive Dissonance (McGarty, 1997:20-26): According to Festinger, theory of Cognitive Dissonance is a deft blend of motivational and cognitive constructs. ...