Social Psychology Definition Paper

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“According to psychologist Gordon Allport, social psychology is a discipline that uses scientific methods "to understand and explain how the thought, feeling and behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined or implied presence of other human beings" (1985). Social psychology looks at a wide range of social topics, including group behavior, social perception, leadership, nonverbal behavior, conformity, aggression and prejudice. It is important to note that social psychology is not just about looking at social influences. Social perception and social interaction are also vital to understanding social behavior.” (What Is Social Psychology?)(Cherry, 2011). “Social psychology is a branch of psychology that studies individuals in the social context. In other words, it is the study of how and why people think, feel, and do the things they do depending upon the situation they are in. Social psychology is related to sociology in this regard, but instead of focusing on group factors such as race and socioeconomic class, it focuses on the individual. Also, it relies on the scientific research to generate the theories of social behavior. In studying how people act in certain situations, we can better understand how stereotypes are formed, why racism and sexism exist, how a person can seem like an entirely different person in different situations, and even how people fall in love. (Social psychology can't explain all of our social problems, of course. There are always different ways to explain a social phenomenon.)” (What is Social Psychology?, n.d.).
“While Plato referred to the idea of the "crowd mind" and concepts such as social loafing and social facilitation were introduced in the late-1800s, it wasn't until after World War II that research on social psychology would begin in earnest. The horrors of the Holocaust led researchers to study the effects of social influence, conformity and obedience. The...
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