Sample Social Work and Human Services Paper on Susan Fiske 5 Core Social Motives

Susan Fiske 5 Core Social Motives


The motive of belonging contributes to my social change identity by motivating me to connect with others and form relationships. Moreover, this motive allows me to see the value of teamwork in achieving a common goal. Most importantly, I gain a sense of purpose as I feel that I am part of something larger than myself.


Understanding influences social change identity by explaining the working of the social world and the issues that affect society. This understanding can allow me to change the status quo to improve the lives of people affected by social injustice (Fiske, 2017). In addition, understanding may help me to develop empathy for others and to see the world from a different perspective. This open-mindedness is key to enhancing social change.


The motive of controlling influences me to control situations and make important decisions. I want to be able to determine the outcomes of critical issues while ensuring a favorable outcome. The controlling motive inspires me to ardently achieve social change.

Enhancing self

The motive of enhancing self contributes to my social identity by allowing me to see myself as an agent of change. Moreover, it gives me the motivation to change my own social and economic circumstances (Lynch & vanellen, 2020). Additionally, it allows me to feel empowered to make change happen in my community.



The motive of trusting contributes to social change by creating a sense of community and connectedness. When I trust others, I easily cooperate with them and work to achieve common goals. Moreover, trust fosters communication and understanding, which are essential for social change.

Countering Social Change Effects

Knowledge of social motives is critical in countering the effects of social changes. In essence, a sense of belonging in the community is established by a need for affiliation. In addition, being in control will enable me to be assertive. Moreover, through self-enhancement, I will be able to feel safe and secure in my community. Finally, through trust, I can be able to cooperate with others to counter the effects of social change.




Fiske, S. T. (2017). Going in Many Right Directions, All at Once – Susan T. Fiske, 2017. Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Lynch, B. P., & vanellen, M. R. (2020). A multi‐motive framework for predicting variability in self‐enhancement. Social and Personality Psychology Compass14(10), 1–18.