By: Virginia Gabbard
University of Phoenix
April 2, 2012
Kimberly Kinsey, PhD
Social psychology is the understanding of individual behavior in social environments. Per McLeod (2007) “the scientific field that seeks to understand the nature and causes of individual behavior in social situations.” Social psychology studies how human behavior is influenced by other individuals and within the social environment in which the behavior takes place (McLeod, 2007). This paper will provide the definition of social psychology. There will be an analysis of the four key characteristics of social psychology. Included will be an explanation of the concept of situationism and the role that it plays in social psychology. Lastly, will be the five core social motives and the explanation of how each core social motive affects the field of social psychology (University of Phoenix, 2010). The Four Key Characteristics
There are four key characteristics within the field of social psychology Per Fiske (2010) consists of most things in an individual’s life. S. Fiske (2012, p32) states that social psychology “is broad in scope, constitutes a culturally mandated source of knowledge, follows scientific methods, and reflects an ongoing search for wisdom,” which was the result of experiments conducted by Philip Brickman. Broad Scope of Social Psychology
Social psychology covers a broad amount of material and human concerns like conformity, deviance, altruism, and aggression, love and hate, self and groups of people, attitudes, and actions (Fiske, 2010, p32). Social psychology involves things in an individual’s life from emotions to trials in a public court room. Social psychology uses information obtained from economists, political scientists, researchers, health, legal scholars, education and other psychologists from other areas of...