"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

What is Social Psychology?

Psychology is the study of mind and behavior. Your behavior doesn't occur in a vacuum. You live in a society. Your environment and the people in it influence your psychology. Then social psychology comes into play.

Social psychology is the study of your mind and your behavior towards other people. Social psychology studies your personality, interpersonal relationships, and group behavior.

Humans have all the time been social creatures, but within the 18th century a selected interest in social psychology emerged.

Formal research and writings on social psychology didn't appear until the Nineteen Thirties.

The people around you influence your personality and behavior. Think about the way you behave together with your family at a vacation dinner versus coworkers at a business event.

These social adjustments are minor, but some social psychological concepts can influence your entire belief system. Below are only a number of.

Conformity. Conformity is if you find yourself made to alter your beliefs and behaviors with the intention to fit into a gaggle. Real pressures like coping with other people or imagined pressures like social norms may cause you to adapt.

There are three forms of compliance.

Internalization is if you accept the group norms around you. This type typically occurs if you imagine that the people around you might be higher informed.

ID is a type of conformity where you maintain your personal beliefs whatever the majority. For example, a police officer might have to criminalize a selected act even when he's convinced that this isn't the case.

Ingratiation conformity is if you conform to the bulk with the intention to earn favor or acceptance. It is usually motivated by the need for a social reward.

Obedience. Obedience comes from following orders and using an individual's ability to influence you. In their research, social psychologists pay particular attention to the connection between supposed authority figures and other people.

Obedience and conformity are similar. The fundamental difference is that obedience requires a hierarchy that features commands.

An authority figure could be anyone in power. Your boss, teacher, doctor, or someone in a more knowledgeable position could also be perceived as an authority figure.

Self-image. Your self-concept describes the way you perceive, think and judge yourself. Part of understanding yourself is knowing that you simply are a part of a world with certain expectations.

Self-concept has many facets. Everyone works together to find out the way you interact with a bigger group.

Your self-image ultimately influences the way you behave towards other people.

Discrimination. Discrimination describes behaviors and actions towards a gaggle of individuals. The behaviors are typically negative and goal the gender, race, class, or other characteristics of the group.

People often confuse discrimination with prejudice, however the two concepts are barely different. Discrimination is a behavior while prejudice is a belief that isn't necessarily acted upon.

Bystander effect. This social psychological theory posits that helping an individual in need is less likely when other persons are present. The more people there are, the less personally responsible an individual feels within the event of an emergency.

However, many aspects influence the way you reply to an emergency. The variety of situation, the people involved, and your abilities all play a task in the way you reply to a situation.

Many influential studies have shaped social psychology since 1898.

Social facilitation and inhibition experiment. Social psychologist Norman Triplett studied how cyclists reacted to the proximity of other people.

Triplett found that individuals tried harder after they were standing in front of other people or when it was suggested that other people were watching their performance.

Triplett suspected that her performance improved, but follow-up studies found that the presence of others can affect performance.

Autokinetic effect experiment. Muzafer Sherif experimented with the concept of conformity in 1935. He presented participants with a visible illusion and asked them what they saw.

Regardless of what the illusion showed, participants ultimately agreed on what they saw — even when it was fallacious. The experiment showed that in ambiguous scenarios, people would take a look at the people around them and adapt.

Later experiments showed barely different results. For example, one experiment found that members of Western cultures are less prone to adapt than Eastern cultures.

Obedience experiment. Social psychology developed rapidly after World War II, when German soldiers claimed at their postwar trials that they were “obeying orders.” Social psychologist Stanley Milgram examined the concept of obedience.

The Milgram Shock Experiment in 1961 determined how far an abnormal person was willing to go based on the demands of a supposed authority figure. Participants were told to electrocute one other (fallacious) participant in the event that they answered a matter incorrectly.

The electric shock became more intense with each fallacious answer and the (false) authority figure became more demanding because the experiment progressed.

Milgram found that many individuals, no matter their beliefs, dangerously shocked the opposite participant when asked to achieve this by the fake doctor within the experiment.

However, Milgram noted that individuals don't normally follow blindly. She make critical judgments before obeying an order.

In order for an abnormal person to obey an authority figure, there are two requirements:

  • The person believes that the commander is qualified to achieve this
  • The person believes that the one that gives orders takes responsibility for all of his orders

Bystander effect. The clearest example of the bystander effect was the murder of Kitty Genovese in 1964. Bystanders saw or heard Genovese being attacked but relied on others for help.

This tragic event showed the side effect. Discussions about decision-making, emergency awareness, and more are opened.

Social psychologists concentrate on human behavior, however it's not all pure research. Social psychology has expanded as an applied technique to many areas.

Employees and social psychology Social psychologists apply their understanding of human behavior to assist organizations reminiscent of businesses or nonprofits. They help organizations hire, train and manage their employees using social psychology.

School and social psych. Schools are complicated social environments. Social psychologists look critically at educational programs, help teachers understand the social dynamics of their classrooms, teach about administrative authority, and more.

Further possibilities of applied social psychology. A social psychologist turns out to be useful wherever people form groups. You can work in research, marketing and design for groups reminiscent of:

  • Government
  • medical facilities
  • Social service providers
  • Private organizations

Wherever people go, social psychology accompanies them!