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Social Psychology Paper

Essay by   •  August 14, 2011  •  Term Paper  •  1,009 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,082 Views

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One statement that applies is the following; personality psychologist study boats, sociologists study the ocean, and social psychologists study how the boat floats (Darity, 2008). This statement means that social psychologists want to know why a person acts and reacts the way he or she does. Social psychology studies the interaction between people. The difference is that the focus is on the individual rather than a group of people. Scientists attempt to understand how people influence and communicate with one another. The study also includes how one thinks of himself or herself. When social psychology is studied, psychologists are able to examine what happens in relation to conventionality, opinion, and group influence that affect how one acts and feels (Darity, 2008). Basically, this study tells scientists what makes people hate, love, and all the emotions that exist in between those two emotions.

Social psychology does not include a plethora of theories like other social sciences do. The studies are focused on diverse issues such as culture, prejudices, and self-worth. Some of the topics covered in social psychology are how a person constructs his or her own social realities, the powerful yet sometimes perilous social intuitions, behavior shaped by social influence, and how behavior is affected due to biological reasons. One that studies social psychology will also look into how one's personal attitudes, dispositions, and principles affect everyday life Darity, 2008). Social psychology is different from other psychological studies. First of all, many think that social psychology is more subjective than other disciplines. However, social psychology still involves scientific methods of study. When one studies other psychological fields he or she will study thought processes. Social psychology is focused on individual circumstances or how one reacts in a group rather than the group dynamic. Social psychologists look into the impact that one's environment has socially and how behaviors are affected by interaction. There are many similarities between sociology and social psychology. However, one big difference is that Sociological and psychological theories can and do complement one another. An example of this is the personality theory. James House played an important role in defining the personality theory. Personality is normally paired with psychology. Social structure is a part of sociology but James House combined personality and social structure. He was interested in the relationship between social structures and social processes (Social Psychology, 2001). James House stated that social structure can be defined as patters of interpersonal relationships but culture is the content of the relationships (Social Psychology, 2001). House's work helped to build a bond between sociological and psychological studies. Another scientist that conducted experiments in social psychology was Norman Triplett. Dr. Triplett is known to have conducted the first experiments with social psychology. One of his studies showed that people would wind reels faster when in groups of people (Social Psychology, 2001). This is known as social facilitation. This happens in a couple different ways. One way is when a person feels comfortable with the presence of an audience because he or she is confident in his or her abilities. The

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