Social psychology is the study of how individual or group behavior is influenced by the presence and behavior of others. The major question social psychologists ponder is this: How and why are people’s perceptions and actions influenced by environmental factors, such as social interaction?
Social psychologists study how social influence, social perception and social interaction influence individual and group behavior. Some social psychologists focus on conducting research on human behavior.
as defined by Gordon W. Allport , the study of how an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and actions are affected by the actual, imagined, or symbolically represented presence of other people.
Social Thinking, Social Influence, and Social Behavior. Social psychology focuses on three main areas: social thinking, social influence, and social behavior. Each of these overlapping areas of study is displayed in Figure 1.1.
The 9 Major Research Areas in Social Psychology
- Social Cognition.
- Violence and Aggression.
- Prosocial Behavior.
- Prejudice and Discrimination.
- Social Identity.
- Group Behavior.
- Social Influence.
One of the important applications of social psychology is in the area of mental health and psychotherapy.As a branch of behaviour sciences, it attempts to apply basic psychological knowledge to both the prevention and cure of individual behaviour disorders which threatens the security of either the individual or the …
The goal of social psychology is to understand cognition and behavior as they naturally occur in a social context, but the very act of observing people can influence and alter their behavior. For this reason, many social psychology experiments utilize deception to conceal or distort certain aspects of the study.
In other words, where general psychology is the study of human behavior on an individual level, social psychology is the study of human behavior in a social context. There are four key characteristics of social psychology including broad scope, cultural mandate, scientific methods, and search for wisdom.
Social psychologists have a number of job options available to them and can work at colleges and universities, government agencies, non-profit organizations, hospitals, and private companies. In order to pursue these careers, professionals need to complete a graduate-level social psychology degree.