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Social Psychology Definition

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Social Psychology Definition

Sherri W. Eubank

PSY 400

April 23, 2012

Julee Poole Ph.D.

Social Psychology Definition

There are a multitude of different branches that are associated with psychology, one may not take the time to investigate or learn the differences between them and might just assume that psychology is one science. This could be further from the truth. Psychology covers a large base of human behaviors as well as explains the actions, and has many different types of specializations. Throughout this paper it will be discussing as well as describing the definition of social psychology, covering the differences between social psychology and other related disciplines, and explain the roles of research within social psychology.

Definition of Social Psychology

Social psychology is "the scientific study of the effects of social and cognitive processes of the way an individual perceives, influences, and relates to others" (Myers, 2010, p4). Social processes are the way that one's feelings, thoughts, and actions are influenced by a multiple of key factors (Myers, 20100). The people who are all around us, social clicks we hang out with, personal relationships, parent's teachings, cultures, and peer pressures are the way that our thoughts, memories, perceptions, emotions, and motives are helping to guide out an understanding of the world all around us and our actions accordingly (Myers, 2010). This means that both the way an individual thinks and the individuals that surround them are also playing a part within their behaviors, actions, and reasoning. According to a psychologists named Gordon All port who stated that "social psychology is a discipline that uses scientific methods to gain an understanding and explaining how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of an individual are influenced by actual, imagined, or implied pre-sense of another human being" (Brannigan, 2006, p737).

Main Ideas of Social Psychology

Social psychologists are the ones to study a certain sets of strategies, which are for answering a multitude of questions that are being related to the attitudes as well as beliefs, and how we construe our world for independence and conformity, which could be an objective compilation of one's findings. Some of the main ideas of social psychology are seeking to address areas such as social intuition; how social influences, personal attitudes, personality, and biology shapes our behaviors; how social psychology principles could be applied into one's everyday life; and the construction of our social reality (Myers, 2010). Within the construction of our social reality it can rest upon the assumptions of an objective world that exists separate from one's subjective interpretation of the world, but it can only be viewed by the reality through one's belief and values. However, it is clear that the social intuition processing and memory can be perceived as powerful when utilized for a hasty and snap judgment, but this can also be more when reasoned thinking is required. Our behaviors are shaped by the multitude of different influences that can either be external or internal. We can be seen as a social animal, which is describing the different cultures that define certain circumstances. It is also believed that our attitudes along with personalities play a major factor within the shaping of one's behavior, which can also offset as well as reinforce some of the social pressures. The application of social psychology's analysis tools and explanations are subjective to one's beliefs, relationships, and attitudes of one's everyday life that can help others to understanding of themselves, make wiser choice and decisions as well as feeling a little smarter.

Research Methods of Social Psychology

There are three different avenues as well as methods that social psychologists can pursue to locate and form an individual's social interactions such as correlational



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