Social Psychology Definition
How do groups of people or individuals affect the emotions, thoughts and actions of other individuals? Basically, this is the question put at the heart of social psychology. If we look up a social psychology definition paper, sometimes we could find some subtle differences with similar works, but that’s it, social psychology examines social interactions or social conduct with the help of objective and systematic methods.
Finishing here and going out to enjoy the wonderful weather wouldn’t be so bad, but as I think for a research paper on social psychology this would be, well, a bit undersized, I invite you to read a few more lines.
To understand a bit deeper a topic is always very useful asking “why” questions. So, why the human kind created such a thing as social psychology? Well, otherwise, maybe the most important aspect of our lives wouldn’t be studied and analyzed and a better understanding of human behavior wouldn’t be so accessible to the people and to the society as well.
And why is the social aspect so important in our lives? Just imagine the world without other people, just you and yourself. Well, if you think about it while you deal with some unfriendly folks, some crazy clients or a no less crazy boss, that could seem a quite agreeable possibility. But, if we take the question seriously, our existence without the others is basically impossible.
One of the main pleasures (if not the greatest) in our life is to receive happiness by making happy people dear to us. The problem is that we tend to forget it and here comes a huge variety of human actions in different situations. We are not perfect beings and we live in an equally imperfect society.
So, the aim of social psychology is to analyze the chaos of human behavior tendencies and possibilities and try to give some insights on how to make people behave one way or another, we hope the most human one. Unfortunately, applying the social psychology insights to make people less aggressive and selfish is not that easy, or at least it seems pretty much like it.
A very relevant aspect, one that you find without a doubt in every social psychology paper, is the environment in which take place the actions of the analyzed people. The way you behave at work is different from the way you behave at home, as well as from the way you behave in the gym or at the restaurant. The kind of relationship we have with a person or with a group of people and its depth are really important to us when we choose to act one way or another.
Maybe it’s a bit too obvious but, starting from this simple concept, social psychology examines the various situations that we may face in our life and try to come up with useful conclusions.
Social psychology studies not only the impact of the environment on our behavior, but such aspects as social interaction and social perception as well. How we perceive other people and how we think they perceive us have an important role in how we choose to act in numerous situations and from another perspective used by social psychology to explore human behavior.
How to define social psychology as a stand-alone research field? Is it different from sociology?
Sometimes people tend to confuse social psychology and sociology. So what is social psychology? And what makes it different from another research field such as sociology, which also studies human social area?
First of all, social psychology and sociology both analyze the social area of the human life. But it is also true that they approach the subject from different perspectives. It can be said that the first one focuses on different situations people face in their lives while the second operates on a large-scale level. The sociologists don’t look at situation variables as much as at the influence of institutions and cultures on human behavior.
If you look up a define social psychology paper, you would almost certainly find also a clarification about what differentiate social psychology from personality psychology, since they are both branches of a main research field and closely related.
While the second one concentrates on individual attributes, tendencies, emotions and logical process, social psychology concentrates on how all these attributes are affected by the social background and the relevant interactions.
Another necessary clarification is that social psychology is different also from folk wisdom. Like many of you have already guessed, folk wisdom counts on individual interpretation and considerations based on stories while social psychology, on the contrary, is based on scientific methods and analyzes events in an experiential way. In other words, social psychology is not based on guesses and suppositions. They explore and define human behavior variables with the help of practical experiments.
So, that’s it. If a brief clarification of what social psychology is was what you were looking for, here you have it. But if you need more information about it and want to explore the subject because of a paper you have to write or just driven by curiosity, a good research is what you need.
Checking out psychology blogs and sites would be a wise choice for finding some social psychology paper ideas. Consider also some literature if you want to explore this subject deeper.