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Social Psychology Definitions Paper

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Social Psychology Definitions Paper

Social psychology is a branch of psychology that looks at individuals in a social setting while examining how and why the individual may think and feel. This branch of psychology is different from other types of psychology because it focuses on situations and how an individual perceives those situation rather than the inner workings of the mind or how a group influences behavior.. The main idea is to focus on how individuals construct society and how his or her behaviors are shaped through interactions with others. Social psychology leans heavily on the use of scientific research to help produce theories. Correlational and experimental are two different types of research designed to help predict or understand social behavior.

Definition of Social Psychology

Social psychology is a branch of psychology that looks at individuals in his or her social settings. This type of psychology examines how and why individuals think, feel, and do the things he or she does, depending on the situation they may be face with. Social psychology relies heavily on the use of scientific research to produce theories on social behavior (Meyers, 2010). The goal of social psychology is to understand and apply the principles gained from scientific study, to the challenges and difficulties of the human experience.

Compared to sociology, which is the study of individuals in a group, social psychology focuses on individuals using different methods and experiments. The main idea focuses on how humans construct society and how his or her social behaviors are shaped by interactions with others, personality, and biology (Meyers, 2010). Social psychology has different branches such as: social perception (perceiving others and perceiving groups), social influences (aggression, altruism, attraction, and love), and social interactions (group processes, conformity, individuality, and attitude) (Kong, 2009).

Social psychology also studies social thinking as how humans perceive themselves and others, what they think about social relationships, the judgments they make, and their general attitudes. This type of psychology explains social influences from culture, conformity pressures, persuasion, and the effect of groups on the individual (Meyers, 2010). Social relations are an important part in the study of social psychology as observed in the human display of prejudice, aggression, intimacy, and altruistic behavior (Meyer, 2010).

How Social Psychology Differs

In comparing social psychology to personality psychology, personality psychology focuses on individual traits, characteristics, and thoughts (Meyer, 2010). Social psychology focuses on situations and how individuals think and feel about those situations. Social psychologists are fascinated on the impact that the social environment has on an individual's attitude and behavior. Social psychology also puts less emphasis on individual differences and more emphasis on the general perspective of how individuals affect each other (Meyer, 2010).

Although there are many similarities between sociology and social psychology, it is important to look at the differences between the two. Sociology attempts to explain the environmental factors that influence an individual's behavior (Smith & Mackie, 2007). Social psychology focuses on individual influences and behaviors that enable an individual to understand better his or her thoughts and behavior. Another separating factor between social psychology and sociology is the focus on how individuals understand what is expected of them, and persuade their own action because of it. This expectation comes in the form of his or her statuses, roles, or groups (Smith & Mackie, 2007). While social psychology and sociology study similar topics, these topics are viewed from



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