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Social Psychology Defined

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Social Psychology Definition Paper
Douglas Cooper
PSY/400
April 4, 2016
Ami Taharka

Social Psychology Definition Paper
How do people think about, influence, and relate to each other? These are just some of the questions that social psychologists are looking to answer. This paper will further define social psychology’s goals to elicit a richer understanding of the field. It will discuss how social psychology differs from other disciplines, such as clinical psychology, general psychology, and sociology and why those differences are important. Finally, it will examine research methods and strategies that social psychologist utilize to answer questions.
Social Psychology Defined
According to our text, social psychology “is the scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another” (Myers, 2010, pg. 4). It is a relatively young science, that some may confuse with sociology. Whereas sociology focuses on group dynamics, social psychology focuses more on how individuals interact with each other. At the heart of social psychology are three different constructs. These are: social thinking (what we perceive about ourselves and other, what we believe, the judgements we make, and our attitudes), social influence (culture, conformity pressures, persuasion), and social relations (prejudice, aggression, attraction and intimacy, and helping).
There are several concepts that contribute to these constructs. Some of these include the following. First is that we construct our social reality. The bias of our beliefs and values will always skew the picture of reality. It has been shown that people observing or participating in the same situation will give completely differing accounts of those situations, even though all were telling the truth as they believed it to be.
Next, our social intuitions can be powerful but often perilous. Many times,...

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