Premium Essay

What Is Social Psychology?

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By Wickedgirl1
Words 769
Pages 4
What is Social Psychology? Psychology has many divisions including abnormal, cognitive, developmental, comparative, educational, experimental, and a multitude of others. It is a diverse and complex field of study, with each branch focusing on its own perspective of human thought and behavior. Social psychology spotlights human behavior as it relates to social interactions, influences, and relationships. It seeks to understand why people in society behave the way they do with each other and to determine the cause of societal conformities, beliefs, and trends. The following paper provides an overview of social psychology; its definition, how it differs from other branches, and the role of research in the discipline. Social Psychology Defined Social psychology is defined as "the scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to each other" (Myers, 2010). The main concepts studied within the field of social psychology include social thinking, influence, and relations. Social thinking encompasses how people perceive themselves and others, their attitudes, beliefs, and judgments. Social influences encompasses how culture, social situations, groups of people, and the accompanying temperaments manipulates behavior. Finally, social relations refers to how relationships (attraction, intimacy, family), feelings toward others (prejudice, hostility, kindness), and biology relate to behavior (Myers, 2010). Social Psychology Differs From Other Disciplines Social psychology differs from other related fields in a multiple ways. First, social psychologists do not treat people suffering from mental illness. Secondly, the focus of social psychology is on individuals and small groups, and how people relate to and affect one another in the area of viewpoints, attitudes, and influences. General psychology encompasses ideas and...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Social Psychology What It Means: Examples

...Social Psychology What it Means: Examples Mickey Stroda November 19, 2012 University of Phoenix General Psychology | Psy/300 Instructor: Amy Pillote Social Psychology What it Means: Examples Social psychology looks at how human behavior is influenced by others and the social context in which it occurs or understanding individual behavior within the social context (McLeod, 2007). It is a hybrid discipline merging other aspects of psychology into one; a melding of Sociology and psychology, therefore known as social psychology (Social psychology, 2012). Social psychology takes into account the fact that human behavior has many aspects and while people would like to think they are who they are and nothing can ever change that, in most instances; they would be incorrect in their thinking. Social psychologists show that people tend to change based on the situation they are in or the people they are around at the moment as well as how our thoughts, feelings and beliefs affect our interactions with others. Group think occurs when two or more people come to the same consensus even if one member may disagree. Such as when Brandon Teena, a female to male transgendered person, was raped and murdered in Humboldt, Nebraska on December 31, 1993 by two men simply so they could avoid prosecution for attacking Brandon earlier. Society saw Brandon as a female although he had lived as a male for years, in fact when Brandon had reported the earlier attack the police basically......

Words: 1239 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Explain How Variables Such as Social Interactions, Cognitive Processes, Environmental Variables, Cultural Context, and Biological Factors Shape What Social Psychology Is All About and How It Is Practiced. Choose One of

...Social psychology is the scientific field that seeks to understand the nature and causes of the individual behavior and thought in social situation. Social psychology investigates the ways in which our thoughts, feelings, and actions are influenced by the social environments in which we live. Social interactions help to shape who we are and how we act in different situations. The factors affecting social interaction fall into five major categories. They are the actions and characteristics of others, basic cognitive processes, ecological variables, cultural context and biological factors. The Cognitive processes such as perception, memory and inferences play a key role on the understanding and behavior of every individual in the society. Reactions to certain situations by an individual strongly depend on the memories of others past behaviors and the inferences an individual formed about these behaviors. If anybody wants to clearly understand the causes of others behavior in a social situation it is a must that one should understand what went on in the thinking pattern and understanding process of those people when they behaved in a particular social situation. For example, if your friend sets an appointment with you in a particular time. You are waiting for him at a particular point in a particular time, if he comes late what would be your reaction. In such a situation, cognitive process plays a crucial role in the social behavior and social thoughts of every individual....

Words: 951 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Explain How Variables Such as Social Interactions, Cognitive Processes, Environmental Variables, Cultural Context, and Biological Factors Shape What Social Psychology Is All About and How It Is Practiced. Choose One of

...Social psychology is the scientific field that seeks to understand the nature and causes of the individual behavior and thought in social situation. Social psychology investigates the ways in which our thoughts, feelings, and actions are influenced by the social environments in which we live. Social interactions help to shape who we are and how we act in different situations. The factors affecting social interaction fall into five major categories. They are the actions and characteristics of others, basic cognitive processes, ecological variables, cultural context and biological factors. The Cognitive processes such as perception, memory and inferences play a key role on the understanding and behavior of every individual in the society. Reactions to certain situations by an individual strongly depend on the memories of others past behaviors and the inferences an individual formed about these behaviors. If anybody wants to clearly understand the causes of others behavior in a social situation it is a must that one should understand what went on in the thinking pattern and understanding process of those people when they behaved in a particular social situation. For example, if your friend sets an appointment with you in a particular time. You are waiting for him at a particular point in a particular time, if he comes late what would be your reaction. In such a situation, cognitive process plays a crucial role in the social behavior and social thoughts of every......

Words: 319 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Compare and Contrast Functionalism and Structuralism

...Chapter 1 What is social psychology? LEARNING OUTCOMES When you have finished studying this chapter, you should be able to: 1 Outline the main differences between experimental and critical approaches to social psychology. 2 Describe the three main ‘metaphysical battles’ between them. 3 Trace the origins of social psychology through the work of William McDougall and William James, and the contributions made by Völkerpsychologie and crowd psychology. 4 Describe the two contrasting images of ‘the person’ in social psychology. 5 Identify the roots of and describe the historical development of both experimental and critical social psychology. 6 Describe the main elements of Modernism and Postmodernism, and how these relate to contemporary social psychology. 7 Explain how these two approaches are different, and why they cannot be integrated. Introduction On a March night in 1964, Kitty Genovese was attacked by a maniac as she came home from work at 3 A.M. Thirty-eight of her Kew Gardens neighbors came to their windows when she cried out in terror – but no one came to her assistance. Even though the attack, which resulted in her death, lasted more than half an hour, no one even so much as called the police. . . . The thirty-eight witnesses to Kitty 3 4 FOUNDATIONS AND PRINCIPLES Genovese’s murder did not merely look at the scene once and then ignore it. Instead they continued to stare out, fascinated, distressed, unwilling to act but unable...

Words: 14315 - Pages: 58

Premium Essay

Social Psychology Difinition

...Social Psychology Definition Lynett DeWolf PSY/400 Social Psychology Leslie Binnix April 17, 2013 Introduction There are many different fields of psychology. This paper will review the definition of social psychology and that the main focus is an individual within a group or other social setting. This paper will also review the differences between social psychology, clinical psychology, general psychology and sociology psychology as well as the importance of research within the social psychology field. Social Psychology Social psychology is the study of human behavior in a social setting. Thought, feeling and behaviors are studied and how a person in either influenced or how they influence social settings. Social psychology studies how the thoughts, feelings and behaviors are influenced by the actual presence of others, imagined presence of others and or the implied presence of others (Allport, 1935). There are three parts to social psychology, one part being how people think about themselves, other people, personal beliefs, judgments and attitudes. The second part is the culture where a person lives, political and professional groups a person belongs to, religious group, family and friends is what creates the social influence for a person (Myers, 2010). The third part is how people relate to each other when it comes to intimacy, attraction, aggression and social prejudice (Myers, 2010). How social psychology differs from other disciplines The difference between social......

Words: 787 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Social Psychology

...Social Psychology Definition Paper Elisa Castaneda PSY/400 May 21, 2014 Dr. Matthew Hicks Social Psychology Definition Paper Social Psychology gives an understanding to the behavior of people. It can help to understand how we tend to feed off one another when we are in a social environment whether it is in school, work, or with friends. As people seem to find common interests with others that shape and influence behaviors, but it is up to the individual in how he or she interpret the information. This essay discusses the meaning of Social Psychology, Social Psychology compares to other fields of psychology as well as the role of research in Social Psychology. Definition of Social Psychology Social Psychology can be defined as the types of situations that people set themselves in and the way that we as individuals can affect one another. It also can be defined as the decisions and choices we choose to make stemming from how we see ourselves as well as those around us to our own self judgment. Our cultural background and the beliefs and traditions that were instilled in us as children as well as the way individuals compose themselves when they are around friends, family or strangers. It is what makes people strive for the opportunity to fit in or make a difference in someone's life (Myers, 2010). Discussion of how Social Psychology differs from other disciplines such as Clinical Psychology, General Psychology, and Sociology. Social......

Words: 875 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Psych 555 Social Psychology

...Social Psychology Jesse Muerte Psych 555 Social Psychology Feburary 24, 2014 University of Phoenix Gary Mccullough Social Psychology Social psychology is about understanding individuals through scientific studies to see how they think, what influences their emotions and behaviors, as well as how they ultimately relate to one another. The key characteristics are defined in four ways; broad scope, cultural mandate, scientific methods, and search for wisdom. This paper expresses the concept of situationism, as well as the five core social motives in social psychology beginning with defining what social psychology is. Definition of social psychology According to its definition social psychology is the scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another (Myers, 2002). Social psychology seeks to to understand individuals as a person, and how they interact with others in a social situation, or in society in general. Social psychology seeks to both understand and define social behaviors, what triggers people to do what they do. Within social psychology, their two types of processes, which shape all sorts of behavioral attributes, are known as social and cognitive processes. These processes are what help aid psychologists in understanding why people act a certain way, which explains further into the events that have been taken to make the person the way they are. Social psychology helps us take these factors and comprehend these actions,...

Words: 1084 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Social Psychology Definition Paper

...Running head: SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY DEFINITION PAPER Social Psychology Definition Paper PSY 400 October 24, 2011 Matt Diggs Social Psychology Very often, one wonders why one acts the way he or she does. It just seems to be human nature to ask such questions and to try to discover more about the complexity of human actions and causes. Of course, there are many perspectives in the field of psychology that attempt to address these significant questions. For instance, biopsychology considers important factors including one’s brain, genetic predisposition, and many others when addressing behavior. However, social psychology, even though it agrees with other branches in psychology, does focus on different aspects when seeking these kinds of conclusions. Social psychology centers their attention on understanding human actions such as what led to the cruelty of killing millions of people during War II. Why will one always help him or herself first, before helping others? Why do others matter more when making decisions? Social psychology is essential not only to the field of psychology but also to every individual because it provides answers to questions one seeks about him or herself and others. However, social psychology does more than provide answers to these few questions, as these merely touch the surface of social psychology’s focus (Myers, 2010). Definition of Social Psychology Social psychology is a science just like many other fields including......

Words: 1790 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Social Psychology Defined

...Social Psychology Defined Jackeline Rodriguez PSY/400 June 18th, 2014 Jacqueline Burnett-Brown Social Psychology Defined There are many different forms of psychology that have been discovered and have made their mark in the world of psychology and in science. In this paper, social psychology will be defined and further explain how social psychology is different from other forms of psychology, and provide insight into how and why research is needed in social psychology. Social psychology is the scientific study of the way that people think about one another and how people influence and relate to each other in a society (Myers, 2010). There are other factors that play a significant role in social psychology such as; how human behavior is impacted by other peoples’ thoughts, attitudes, personalities, cultural differences and our own human biology. Social psychology is more than how people interact and influence each other; it focuses on social thinking, social influence and social relations. The three subcategories cover self-perception, beliefs, judgment, culture, conformity, prejudice and aggression. Social psychology also studies how social intuitions can be misleading, deceive people and tamper with social worlds (Myers, 2010). There are many other forms of psychology that it can be quite easy to confuse one for another. For example social psychology and clinical psychology can easily be confused due to the fact that they both assess behavior. Thankfully there......

Words: 659 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Social Psychology Definition

...Social Psychology Definition Heather de Leur PSY/400 April 9, 2012 Robert Irizarry Social Psychology Definition What is Social Psychology? Social Psychology is defined as a discipline that uses scientific methods "to understand and explain how the thought, feeling and behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined or implied presence of other human beings (Allport, 1985). So learning about Social Psychology we know that it looks at huge variety of social topics. Some of the topics that it does touch base on are topics like group behavior, leadership, social perception, aggression, prejudice, and nonverbal behavior. But one must be aware of is that it also touches base on Social perception as well as social interaction in understanding the meaning behind Social Psychology (Cherry, 2012). Social psychology is different from other psychology, such as clinical psychology, general psychology, and sociology in different ways. Clinical psychology is the field where the branch of psychology is concerned with the assessment and treatment of mental illness. This area merges the science of psychology with the treatment of complex human problems, making it an interesting career choice for people who are looking for a challenging as well as a rewarding field (Cherry, 2012). In general psychology is the scientific study of human behavior. Many individuals over time defined Psychology differently it was not until 1990 that Feldman came up with the definition for......

Words: 805 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Social Psychology Definition Paper

...PSY/400 | Social Psychology Definition Paper | Julee Poole | | Jamie Uber | 7/29/2013 | In this paper I want to explain what the meaning of social psychology is and how social psychology differs from other fields, such as clinical psychology, general psychology, and sociology. Also I will explain the methods used to research social psychology. | Social psychology is the branch of psychology that deals with social interactions, including their origins and their effects on the individual. Social psychology looks at all different types of social interactions, including group behavior, social perception, leadership, nonverbal behavior, conformity, aggression, and prejudice. One thing to know about social psychology is that it does not just deal with social influences, but they are vital to understand it. Social psychology has been around since the 1800’s, but wasn’t really used until the horrors of the Holocaust; it led researchers to study more on the effects of social influence, obedience, and conformity. Also the government wanted to use social psychology to influence the citizens; it has grown since then and more and more are interested in understanding social experiences and behaviors. Social psychology differs from sociology because it deals with social behavior of an individual and uses more experimentation, when compared with personality psychology; it tends to focus less on an individual and more on how they affect one another. Social psychology......

Words: 753 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Social Psychology

...Social Psychology Social psychology is the study of how individuals perceive information and in return act and behave towards other individuals. It also touches on what influences and persuades other individuals based on ones actions or behaviors. One could argue that social psychology is within close proximity to sociology since the study of sociology elicits the study of groups, societies and people. Social psychology has everything to do with an individual’s belief, their attitude, and their relationships with others. Social psychology is a studied discipline, “which utilizes the scientific method to understand and explain how the thought, feelings, and behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual imagines or implied presence of other beings” (Cherry, 2013). Furthermore, it is how people think and act based on their relation and influence of others. Within social psychology there is a large variety of social topics. Some of the social topics are the following; social groups, social perception, leadership, non-verbal behavior, conformity, aggression and prejudice. Social psychology isn’t based solely on an individual’s social influences it is also based on social perception and social interaction when attempting to learn about social behavior (Cherry, 2013). While addressing multiple avenues of the broad subject social psychology looks to define the our social reality, how social influences, personalities, personal attitudes, and biology shape our......

Words: 927 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

What Is Psychology

...The Field of Social Psychology: How We Think About and Interact with Others Introduction: Interaction between individuals is a regular fact in life.  The impact of relationships and interactions is of interest to Social Psychologists.  This lecture will provide you with a basis for examining social behaviour and the various theories that explore human interaction and its resultant outcomes. Lecture #1 Notes: This week’s notes will provide a brief introduction into the discipline of Social Psychology - covering some of the basic principles and tenets of this branch of psychology before we dive into the topics and research. So what is Social Psychology?   Definition of Social Psychology: the scientific field that seeks to understand the nature and causes of individual behavior and thought in social situations. • Allport (1935) defined social psychology as the scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. • Social Situations = actual, imagined or implied presence of others • Behavior = Overt behavior plus thoughts, feelings, beliefs, attitudes • Scientific Field = Combination of Arts and Science skills   How Does Social Psychology Differ from Sociology? • Differ in level of analysis Sociology: Tends to use societal level of analysis. How do unemployment rates affect levels of violent crime in Vancouver?   Social Psychology: Tends to......

Words: 604 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

What Is Psychology

...What Is Psychology? When you hear the word psychology, what comes to mind? While psychology is a popular subject, a lot of people are not aware of the many elements of this broad and fascinating subject. Learn about the early history of psychology, the official beginning of psychology and more about psychology today. What Are the Four Major Goals of Psychology? * Question: What Are the Four Major Goals of Psychology? Answer: Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior. While you might understand what psychology is, many people are not quite so certain about what psychology does. What purpose does psychology serve? What are its goals? The four key goals of psychology are: To Describe One of the first goals of psychology is simply to describe behavior. Through describing the behavior of humans and other animals, we are better able to understand it and gain a better perspective on what is considered normal and abnormal. Psychology researchers utilize a range of research methods to help describe behavior including naturalistic observation, case studies, correlational studies, surveys, and self-report inventories. To Explain As you might imagine, psychologists are also interested in explaining behavior in addition to merely describing it. Why do people do the things they do? What factors contribute to development, personality, social behavior, and mental health problems? Throughout psychology's history, many different theories have emerged to help......

Words: 1519 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Social Psychology

...Social Psychology The way that humans interact with themselves and others can have a strong impact on how they behave. This can be a negative interaction or a positive interaction. How can one person by shy and quiet at home but be outgoing and loud with their group of friends? Social psychology takes a more in-depth look out how these situations shape them into who they are and how they act. Social psychology is a science that studies how situations can influences the views of a person and how they affect one another (Myers, 2010). There are three big parts to social psychology: social thinking, social influences, and social relations (Myers 2010). Each person is different in his or her own way. If two people are put in the same type of situation, both will act and behave differently because each of them “think differently” (Myers, 2010, p. 5). Social thinking involves how humans interact with other people and how they think about them. A person’s emotions are affected by how they think about someone and how that someone responds to them (Garcia, 2012). Humans are very intuitive, more often than they realize. Intuition helps shapes persons fears, impressions, and relationships, (Myers, 2010) but it sometimes can be dangerous depending how quickly a person judges something or someone. The next part of social psychology is social influences, which come from a person’s culture, pressures to conform, persuasion, and groups of people (Myers, 2010). “Sometimes the power of a...

Words: 1060 - Pages: 5