n. 1 The interplay between the individual and society. 2 The study of how people and groups interact.
n. the branch of psychology that studies persons and their relationships with others and with groups and with society as a whole
In psychology, social psychology is the scientific study of how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. In this definition, scientific refers to the empirical method of investigation. The terms thoughts, feelings, and behaviors include all psychological variables that are measurable in a human being. The statement that others' presence may be imagined or implied suggests that we are prone to social influence even when no other people are present, such as when watching television, or following internalized cultural norms. Social psychologists typically explain human behavior as a result of the interaction of mental states and immediate social situations.
Social psychologists therefore deal with the factors that lead us to behave in a given way in the presence of others, and look at the conditions under which certain behavior/actions and feelings occur. Social psychology is concerned with the way these feelings, thoughts, beliefs, intentions and goals are constructed and how such psychological factors, in turn, influence our interactions with others.
Social psychology is a discipline that had traditionally bridged the gap between psychology and sociology. During the years immediately following World War II there was frequent collaboration between psychologists and sociologists. However, the two disciplines have become increasingly specialized and isolated from each other in recent years, with sociologists focusing on "macro variables" (e.g., social structure) to a much greater extent. Nevertheless, sociological approaches to social psychology remain an important counterpart to psychological research in this area.
In addition to the split between psychology and sociology, there has been a somewhat less pronounced difference in emphasis between American social psychologists and European social psychologists. As a generalization, American researchers traditionally have focused more on the individual, whereas Europeans have paid more attention to group level phenomena (see group dynamics).
In sociology, social psychology, also known as sociological social psychology, socio-psychology, or psychological sociology, is an area of sociology that focuses on social actions and on interrelations of personality, values, and mind with social structure and culture. Some of the major topics in this field are sociocultural change, social inequality and prejudice, leadership and intra-group behavior, social exchange, group conflict, impression formation and management, conversation structures, socialization, social constructionism, social norms and deviance, identity and roles, and emotional labor. The primary methods of data collection are sample surveys, field observations, vignette studies, field experiments, and controlled experiments.
"Social Psychology" is the fourth episode of the first season of the American comedy television series Community. It aired in the United States on NBC on October 8, 2009.
Social psychology is a subfield of psychology, studying the mentality of the individual in a group.
Social psychology may also refer to:
- Social psychology (sociology), a subfield of sociology, studying the behavior of individuals in groups
- "Social Psychology" (Community), a television episode
- Group dynamics, a field studying the behavior of groups
Usage examples of "social psychology".
A short piece about how the principles of in-person social psychology can be applied to online groups.