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.
Social psychology can be used in different areas of our lives such as, our way of thinking, relationships (personal and professional), physical and mental health etc. At the center of all these, it’s human social cognitive system interacting with everyday situations.
For example, you are likely to behave much differently when you are around a group of close friends than you would around a group of colleagues or supervisors from work. Social psychology encompasses a wide range of social topics, including: Group behavior.
social psychology, the scientific study of the behaviour of individuals in their social and cultural setting. Although the term may be taken to include the social activity of laboratory animals or those in the wild, the emphasis here is on human social behaviour.
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.
Topics examined in social psychology include: the self concept, social cognition, attribution theory, social influence, group processes, prejudice and discrimination, interpersonal processes, aggression, attitudes and stereotypes.
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.
4 Major Perspectives Used by Social Psychologists
- Sociocultural Perspective.
- Evolutionary Perspective.
- Social Learning Perspective.
- Social-Cognitive Perspective.
There are four key characteristics of social psychology including broad scope, cultural mandate, scientific methods, and search for wisdom.
Social psychology is a broad field that asks questions such as:
- How do we perceive others?
- How do we think about others?
- How do others think about us?
- How is our behavior influenced by others, both individually and in groups?
Social psychology is a fascinating topic that has yielded a great deal of research on how people behave in groups. In many cases, the results of several famous experiments contradict how you would expect people to act in social situations.
Social cognition is the way in which people process, remember, and use information in social contexts to explain and predict their own behavior and that of others. Children’s social cognition may be influenced by multiple factors, both external and internal to the child.