University Of Phoenix
PSY/400 Social Psychology
Andrea Jablonski, M. A.
August 26, 2010
Social Psychology Definition Paper
With only the unifying concept of social interaction, social psychology occupies a no-man’s land somewhere between psychology, sociology, physiology, and evolutionary theory in the uncultivated areas of the social sciences (Harold, 2000). Biology offers up the principles of natural selection and adaptation as causal explanations for everything from human mating practices to index finger length, and sociology offers explanations for social structure and organization; it is to social psychology that falls the task of explaining how people think about, affect, and interact with one another on a psychological, biological, and social level (Myers, 2008; Pinel, 2007). If genetic and biological predisposition is the violin and environmental factors the violinist, then the bow of social interaction is the instrument by which the two conjugate to create music for example cognition and behavior. Though, in light of an examination of the main ideas and research methods of social psychology—as well as a comparison between related fields—the particular function of social interaction, as it relates to biology and psychology, comes into focus.
Main Ideas of Social Psychology
Social psychologists study a set of strategies for answering questions related to attitudes and beliefs, the way we construe our world, and conformity and independence; rather than simply an objective compilation of findings. Some of the main ideas that social psychology seeks to address are: 1) the construction of our social reality; 2) social intuition; 3) how social influences, personal attitudes, personality, and biology shape our behavior; and 4) how social psychology’s principles can be applied in everyday life (Myers, 2008). The construction of our social...