Understanding Social Psychology

Understanding Social Psychology

  • Submitted By: shel61
  • Date Submitted: 02/26/2014 12:57 PM
  • Category: Psychology
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Understanding Social Psychology
PSY301 – Social Psychology
July 1, 2012

Living in a world where human behavior has become ambiguous, awe-inspiring, puzzling and sometimes astonishing, we often strive to understand why we engage in such actions, and possess the attributes we do. We often will act one way while standing in line at a movie theater alone and a completely different way when doing the same with a crowd of friends. It will be the social psychologist who will begin a quest to understand why this occurs through what is called social psychology. Having a unique way of analyzing the mind, the social psychologist will not only involve cognition but the emotions and how people think of themselves while reacting to certain events. Determining what its place is in the world of psychology, social psychology can be hard to define, however in attempting to assist the reader in a better understanding of exactly what social psychology is, this report will offer the basic theories behind what makes up its research and study.

Understanding Social Psychology
Jennifer S. Feenstra defines Social Psychology in this way, “the scientific study of human thoughts, feelings, and behavior as they relate to and are influenced by others, (Feenstra, J., 2011).” It is the study of how, and why people feel think and react to, or do things, the way they do in different situations. It relates to social psychology in some respect but instead of spotlighting the social groups it focuses on the individual. How individuals are affected by others and how society shapes the interactions and social conditions. It involves scientific methods to study social influence. Scientific experiments are carried out in wide varieties to resolve or conclude answers to such things as why someone joined a cult. We begin this by looking at the individual self: how we perceive ourselves and our interactions with others.

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