Psychology is a social science study that covers diverse subject topics and carries out different forms of research in order to understand the development and function of human beings. A scientific study focuses on people's mind and its functions especially those affecting behavior in a particular context. Psychology is divided into different branches, and each branch addresses its own form of content in relation to mental processes and behavior. Social psychology is one of the psychology branches. This subdiscipline focuses on individuals and their thoughts. Experts in this field of study focus on why an individual acts as well as reacts the way he/she does. It studies the interaction between people, but the focus is on one human being rather than many individuals. Scientists as well as psychologists study it in order to understand how individuals influence and communicate with each other. This research paper seeks to address this branch of psychology in detail by explaining its meaning, the relationship between it and other fields of psychology and the differences as well as the similarities it has with these other fields. Further, the paper will also discuss the diverse research methods that are applicable with social psychology to determine how a person affects groups of people and how these groups affect an individual.
Definition of Social Psychology
Social psychology is an in-depth study of socialization. Gordon Allport (1985) defined it a discipline that utilizes scientific methods to understand as well as explain how thoughts, feelings and behaviors of human beings are influenced by the actual, implied or imagined presence of other people (Smith & Mackie, 2000). Cantril (1934) regards it as being the scientific learning of the social character and reactions of the mind and the interactions of people within groups. He also indicates it to be the science that deals with the motives of individuals living in social relations. This meaning indicates that the subdiscipline in question is based on the methodical study of how interpersonal affiliations and social groups influence a particular person. The psychology field also works to illustrate how society is impacted by a person. Moreover, it examines how a society can have an effect on people making them reason and rationalize many life incidents mostly through experimental research (Stainton, 2003). Besides the aforementioned aspect, the study also refers to how a person thinks of him/herself. All these definitions clearly reveal that this branch or field of study mainly focuses on influence, interaction and perception.
The main concepts of social psychology center on ideas in social influences, thinking and relations. Specifically, social influence focuses on behavior shaping. Here, it explains how people tend to change their habits in order to connect or belong to their social surroundings. This branch also focuses on personality dispositions shaping behavior, wherein it elucidates how...