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Psy/400 Social Psychology Paper

University of Phoenix.

Social Psychology

Social psychology studies one’s thinking, influence, and relationships by asking questions that have intrigued researchers for generations. It is closely related to sociology and very different from other branches of psychology because it does not use hard facts and evidence to gain conclusive answers. Research comes in three forms experimental research, correlational research, and survey research. These research methods came in handy during the Robbers Cave experiment in 1954.  The research from the experiment helped psychologists learn more about how prejudice and discrimination are formed and how they can be peacefully put to rest.

Social psychology definition

Social psychology is a science that studies the influences of a person’s situations with special attention to how we view and affect one another; more precisely, it is the scientific examining of how people think about, persuade, and relate to one another (Myers, 2010, p4). Social psychologists try to study beliefs and attitudes, hate and love, and conformity and independence along with trying to figure out social influence, social relations, and social thinking.  Social psychology is still considered a new science, as it did not actually emerge as a form until after the beginning of World War II (Myers, 2010).  Although experiments surrounding the field of social psychology began in the late1800s, it was around the 1930s that social psychology began to show up in textbooks.  Social psychology studies peoples influences, relationships, and thinking by asking a variety of questions some of which could be; would it be better to help one’s self or to help others, if ordered to would people knowingly be cruel, and how much of the socialization is in one’s head (Myers, 2010).  All these questions are connected; each of them deal with people’s views of one another.

Social psychology and other related disciplines:

Social psychology seems to overlap with both sociology and behavioral psychology yet it differs from sociology in the sense that social psychology focuses more on individuals and uses more experimentation (Myers, 2010, p. 4).  Social psychology also works with abstract and non-corporeal ideas such as love and hate; other branches of psychology besides behavioral psychology do not like to dive into such forms of experimental research because the results are not always scientifically conclusive. General psychology differs from social psychology because it stresses the importance of differences in individuals instead of figuring out how those differences affect other people.

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