Example Of Research Paper On Social Psychology
Social psychology is the scientific study of how the presence of other people influences people’s thoughts, behaviors and feelings. The presence of other people in this context can be actual, implied or imagined and the scientific study involved is the empirical investigation method. Behaviors, thoughts and feelings are all variables in psychology that can be measured in a human being. Others who influence people are not necessarily human beings, but can also be objects like televisions and societal cultures and norms. Social psychologists often explain the behavior of human beings to be a result of interacting mental states and immediate situations in the social phenomena. Social psychology, then prefers empirical findings that are laboratory based and its theories tend to be specific and focused rather than being global and general. For social psychology, factors that deal with our behavior look at the conditions in which the behaviors and feelings occur. This paper explores social psychology as a subject of psychology.
Key Principles of Social Psychology
Social psychology as a principle grows rapidly and is having an increasingly important influence on how human behavior is thought about. Aggression is a principle of psychology pioneered the study of human aggression. Aggression then became important in history and to date because it explains the aggressive behavior in human beings. Aggression makes people to make disastrous decisions and scholars like Gordon Allport focused on intergroup relations. Other principles of social psychology include stereotyping, discrimination and prejudice. Social psychologists have given their opinion that help to potentially reduce occurrence of such. US public schools had to undergo such prejudice in history and students were affected. That is why the social psychologists who came out wanted to know how to end such or even reduce occurrences. Attitudes are another principle within this field of social psychology. Social psychology saw an expansion in history into the field of attitudes and made it a principle (Brown and Gaertner, 2002). An emphasis on attitudes is based on cognitive processes and formal models of persuasion. Social psychology understands attitudes with a goal that presents messages effectively so that they can be most effective. Attitudes affect and define how people present their messages and must be more effective in interactions.
Discovering the Self
Self concept, awareness and schemas revolve around social perceptions of oneself. Self definition discovers how people form impressions and make inferences regarding others. Discovering self helps individuals to learn more about others, their feelings and emotions. This happens by picking the information that is gathered from other people’s physical appearance, both verbal and nonverbal communication. Other ways in which people communicate and we can identify their emotions is through voice tones, facial expressions, body positions, and hand gestures and head positions (Schneider, 2005). They can also help us identify how other people are feeling. The concept of one’s self in social psychology helps in understanding our social perceptions. The specific term that is often used here is attribution and it explains a person’s behavior to be based on some source. It is most important that our social perceptions are shaped by our motivation, other people’s emotions and cognitive load capacity. All the self concepts, awareness and schemas shape our motivation and attribute to how some traits exist in us and how those traits are interpreted.
Acting self in the discovering of oneself is based on self knowledge and acting like an individual. If a person identifies self knowledge, then it is a conscious component of one’s actions. Acting self is then self concept that gives knowledge and properties of desire that define how we act as individuals. Acting self shapes our self concepts and this is often based on our understanding and how people perceive us. As a consequence of knowledge in one’s actions, everybody will always feel to be a smart one (Linely and Joseph, 2004). Acting self grows from childhood and continues even when we get old. Even when we project ourselves as bad and we act positively, then we feel that we are better still. The acting self of discovering ourselves, then has to do with our self reality and what we feel that we can do. It is an i8ndividual to know who we really are but our perceptions about ourselves often depend on what people think we are. Everybody would love to be appreciated and we will always act against negative opinions from others. On the other hand, these people act towards the positive attitudes given by others but maintain their inner knowledge on what they think is best.
Self esteem and self efficacy as confined to social psychology are mostly based on how people feel about themselves. Self efficacy according to social psychology is the extent of one’s belief that they can complete tasks and reach their goals based on ability. Self efficacy in an individual has its perspectives, paths, dynamics and lacks. Psychology in many settings, therefore interacts self efficacy with self concept (Gaertner, 2001). Further, it gives habits of attribution that do contribute to or detract from self efficacy. Self efficacy in identification of one’s self gives an ability to persist and a person’s ability to get a task to succeed. An example of self efficacy has maintained a diet for so long so that one can control weight issues until the goal is met. Self esteem on the other hand is what and how a person feels about one’s self. Self esteem can either be low or high, implying positivity or negativity in a sense that affects a person. People with high self esteem posses a good image of themselves and often if not always believe that they are good. They posses’ characters like hard work, honesty and friendliness with others. Self esteem is then like a mirror that a person can see herself or himself just likes the mirror functions. People with low self esteem on the other hand, are always timid, shy, non competitive and are introverts. Even if these people with low self esteem are good they will always feel they are bad and some other people are better than them.
Thinking about Others
Attributions and judgments that we make about other people, according to social psychology explain the events of behaviors and their causes. Attributions explain processes using models and apply common sense theories, correspondent inference, three dimensional and co variation models. Types of attribution include external and interpersonal whereby external attribution understands an event to be caused by the situation the individual is in. Behaviors of people correspond directly with their problems and situations may make people to blame what is not true. An event then makes people behave like it was caused by the situation they find themselves in (Brown, 2001). When thinking about others, according to social psychology, we may take it that others are the cause of our problems or successes. Interpersonal attribution when even causes involve more than one individual that is; two or more. Interpersonal attributions then make us to shift from something that we have done so that the next person can be blamed or congratulated.
Attitudes and behaviors that make us judge other people, according to social psychology show favors or disfavors towards people. Attitudes and behaviors towards people can come about from our pasts and present. According to social psychology, our attitudes evaluate behaviors and views ranging from extremely positive to extremely negative. People around us can then be conflicted or ambivalence towards objects simultaneously.
Prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination on how we think about others in social psychology are thoughts that can be adopted but may not be true. Within psychology and other related fields, prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination, abuse the rights of other people and others are faced with something that may not be true about them (Linley and Joseph, 2004) The unjustified and incorrect attitudes towards others are socially related and rank people in social groups that are undefined. The judgments are often based on races, ages, genders and economic class.
Influencing Others through Persuasion
Persuasion techniques used to influence others influence their attitudes, motivations, beliefs, intentions and behaviors. Persuasion is not only used to change or influence the minds of others, but is a tool in pursuit of personal gain. The persuasion act can be used during election campaigns, giving sales pitches and at times during trial advocacy. During persuasion, one can use own resources or at times just get to persuade others for free (Shaffer and Kipp, 2010). Persuasion techniques that we can use to influence others, according to social psychology include use of force, use of weapons of influence, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority, scarcity and Machiavellianism. When persuading others, we create a need, appeal to social needs, and use loaded words and images.
Characteristics of the persuader, the message and the audience during persuasion in the social psychology context is essentially significant. The extraordinary powers of persuaders, the message and audience during persuasion is a characteristic that is explicit. Extraordinary gives a critical importance in the present world and has always been in the past. Using for and against during persuasion is a characteristic that analyzes psycho-graphics and demographics in order to figure out persuasion (Gardner and Dörnyei, 2002). The tactic used here should always be either for the persuader or against the persuader. Characteristics that make persuasion, audience and the message also include influence, power and motivation.
Influencing Others through Obedience and Conformity
Aggressive behavior and aggression cues create self responsibility and conformity similar to obedience. Obedience and conformity in influencing others, according to social psychology tell whether what is being done is right or wrong. Aggressive behavior influences others with conformity and obedience basing themselves on social influence, aggression and willingness. People conform in ambiguous situations and when agreements become unanimous (Gardner and Dörnyei, 2002). Conformity up to a point, usually the increases in number of people holding majority views in conformity often grow to be larger. Factors that make us to conform and be obedient are social influences, aggression, group processes and altruism. Social norms look good and should be advised that people follow thus affect us to be obedient and conform to what is needed. Aggression also tends to harm and people get to conform whereas group processes and altruism play assistance in obedience and conformity.
Prosocial Behavior related to conformity and obedience related social psychology undertakes thoughts of personal reward. Prosocial behavior is undertaken without thoughts of personal reward and is any behavioral acts those interest groups by improving cohesion. The prosocial behaviors influence conformity and obedience and is deemed by one particular group, thus may be considered with other groups to be antisocial (Shaffer and Kipp, 2010). Antisocial behaviors are the ones considered to destructive to relationships and groups and prosocial behaviors, then have to conform and be obedient when they are seen to be bad.
Relationship building, love and attraction, according to social psychology play an active interest. Love desires to maintain and expand on conformity and obedience. The basic distinction in love, then becomes passionate and an intense longing for union conformity and obeys situations. Focus on identifying and measuring passionate love and its full aspects are romantic and will definitely influence us to obey (Linley and Joseph, 2004). Relationship building and attraction also brings interpersonal relationships and solidarity making obedience and conformity very easy. Attraction and relationship building also creates friendship, marriage and customs law.
Group Dynamics and Elements of a Group
According to social psychology, types of groups include peer, clique, club, cabal, household, community, franchise, gang mob, squad, triad and many more. A peer group has its members with an approximate age, interests and social statuses. A clique has many people of the same interest are commonly found in educational settings. A club group is one that always requires one to apply in order to become a member. Household group involves people of the same home and a community one from the same community. A gang group gathers in a particular area and a mob takes the law into their hands (Brown and Gaertner, 2001). Posse groups only survive in America and they are generally obsolete with their law and enforcement equaling military purposes. Dyad is a social group with only two members with an intense social interaction than in larger groups since neither members share each other’s attention. The triad has three members and the team has more members within groups and out groups focusing on respect and loyalty and competition or opposition.
Consequences of groupthink in social psychology take place after a group makes faulty decisions. Groupthinks are often caused by pressures that lead to deterioration of mental efficiency, moral judgment and reality testing. Consequences of groupthink include limiting of discussions, favoring of solutions, expert opinion is never sought, and selectiveness of the group, lack of reexamining alternatives and lack of confidence in the group. Another crucial effect of grouping is that the group ends up not having a leader with a state preference up front and always discussing what is happening outside the group because of lack of focus (Linley and Joseph, 2004). Groupthink fails groups, thus the group members end up looking at other groups that may have been successful or better than them.
Social dilemmas are situations in which individuals and groups profit from selfishness, according to social psychology. Everyone chooses the selfish alternative and the whole group gets to a loss with problems arising. Social dilemmas can take many forms that are studied across disciplines such as economics, psychology and political science (Linley and Joseph, 2004). Phenomena that can be explained by the use of social dilemmas may be a low voter turnout, overpopulation and resource depletion. Types of social dilemma include prisoner’s dilemma and the public goods dilemma among others.
In conclusion, social psychology is best in discovering and defining the social lives of individuals. It is through social psychology that one is in a position to discover self and think about others at the same time. For social psychology, one is not alone and there is another group outside the individual’s environment who are also as important as the person. It is through social psychology that we influence others through persuasion and through obedience and conformity with a thought that groups also affect our interaction.
Brown, R., & Gaertner, S. L. (2001). Intergroup processes. Malden, Mass: Blackwell Publishers.
Gardner, R. C., & Dörnyei, Z. (2002). Motivation and second language acquisition. Honululu, Hawaii: Univ. of Hawaii Press.
Linley, P. A., & Joseph, S. (2004). Positive psychology in practice. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley
Schneider, D. J. (2005). The psychology of stereotyping. New York [u.a.: Guilford Press.
Shaffer, D. R., & Kipp, K. (2010). Developmental psychology: Childhood and adolescence. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.