Essay: Social Psychology Any Attempt to Find

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Social Psychology

Any attempt to find a single definition of Social Psychology will locate several versions, which, from extreme to extreme, seem to actually conflict with each other. This definition has varied considerably over time, since a century ago when this field was studied within the realm of sociology and not psychology. Psychologists of the late 19th century had no interest.

But, to make a long story short, we will use a definition of social psychology from Applied Social Psychology, (Schneider, Gruman, & Coutts, SAGE, 2005) which was adapted from several other books, (e.g. Feldman, 1998; Myers, 2002), thus we feel safe that this is a somewhat generally accepted definition: "social psychology may be defined as the science that seeks to understand how people think about, feel about, relate to, and influence one another."

The basic assumption of this science is that the way individuals think and how they behave are always influenced by their circumstances at the time -- their situation.

Today, social psychology has a practical ring to it. The science and the research accompanying it are used to examine phenomena such as the influence of advertising of all kinds on human behavior, and many of the consumer behaviors, like why people purchase the things they do.

Social psychology in today's world is also focused on group behavior, and both individual and group opinions about every kind of social issue such as the general quality of life, quality of work life, and violence. This leads to explanations for how people deal with stress and the consequences of their behaviors in attempting to handle the various stresses they are under such as anti-social behavior.

Social Psychology vs. Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychologists treat individuals and people in groups, but they generally are focused on treating individual emotional disorders along with mental and behavioral problems. They… [END OF PREVIEW]

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