Read current news articles on how animals can be altruistic, how social networks But new research suggests that a strong parental relationship could override. Chapter 1: Historical trends and current themes in social psychology (pp. Cognitive themes, theories, and research techniques gained attention, which led to. Social psychology is a fascinating field that encompasses a range of topics Social psychologists study how these interpersonal relationships.
Temporary groups and aggregates share few or none of these features, and do not qualify as true social groups. People waiting in line to get on a bus, for example, do not constitute a group.
To a large extent, humans define themselves by the group memberships which form their social identity. The shared social identity of individuals within a group influences intergroup behaviorthe way in which groups behave towards and perceive each other. These perceptions and behaviors in turn define the social identity of individuals within the interacting groups.
The tendency to define oneself by membership in a group may lead to intergroup discrimination, which involves favorable perceptions and behaviors directed towards the in-group, but negative perceptions and behaviors directed towards the out-group. Groups often moderate and improve decision making ,[ citation needed ] and are frequently relied upon for these benefits, such as in committees and juries.
A number of group biases, however, can interfere with effective decision making. For example, group polarization, formerly known as the "risky shift," occurs when people polarize their views in a more extreme direction after group discussion. More problematic is the phenomenon of groupthink. This is a collective thinking defect that is characterized by a premature consensus or an incorrect assumption of consensus, caused by members of a group failing to promote views which are not consistent with the views of other members.
Groupthink occurs in a variety of situations, including isolation of a group and the presence of a highly directive leader. Janis offered the Bay of Pigs Invasion as a historical case of groupthink.Psychological Research - Crash Course Psychology #2
Social facilitation, for example, is a tendency to work harder and faster in the presence of others. Social facilitation increases the dominant response 's likelihood, which tends to improve performance on simple tasks and reduce it on complex tasks.
Social loafing is common when the task is considered unimportant and individual contributions are not easy to see.
Social psychology - Wikipedia
An important concept in this area is deindividuationa reduced state of self-awareness that can be caused by feelings of anonymity. Deindividuation is associated with uninhibited and sometimes dangerous behavior.
It is common in crowds and mobs, but it can also be caused by a disguise, a uniform, alcohol, dark environments, or online anonymity.
Interpersonal attraction A major area in the study of people's relations to each other is interpersonal attraction. This refers to all forces that lead people to like each other, establish relationships, and in some cases fall in love. Several general principles of attraction have been discovered by social psychologists, but many still continue to experiment and do research to find out more.
One of the most important factors in interpersonal attraction is how similar two particular people are. The more similar two people are in general attitudes, backgrounds, environments, worldviews, and other traits, the more probable an attraction is possible.
Later on, similarity and other compatibility factors become more important, and the type of love people experience shifts from passionate to companionate. Robert Sternberg has suggested that there are actually three components of love: According to social exchange theoryrelationships are based on rational choice and cost-benefit analysis.
If one partner's costs begin to outweigh their benefits, that person may leave the relationship, especially if there are good alternatives available. This theory is similar to the minimax principle proposed by mathematicians and economists despite the fact that human relationships are not zero-sum games. With time, long term relationships tend to become communal rather than simply based on exchange.
Careful attention to sampling, research design, and statistical analysis is important; results are published in peer reviewed journals such as the Journal of Experimental Social PsychologyPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Social psychology studies also appear in general science journals such as Psychological Science and Science.
Social Psychology: Third Edition by Eliot R. Smith and Diane M. Mackie
Experimental methods involve the researcher altering a variable in the environment and measuring the effect on another variable. An example would be allowing two groups of children to play violent or nonviolent videogames, and then observing their subsequent level of aggression during free-play period. A valid experiment is controlled and uses random assignment. Correlational methods examine the statistical association between two naturally occurring variables. For example, one could correlate the amount of violent television children watch at home with the number of violent incidents the children participate in at school.
Note that this study would not prove that violent TV causes aggression in children: Observational methods are purely descriptive and include naturalistic observation"contrived" observation, participant observation, and archival analysis.
These are less common in social psychology but are sometimes used when first investigating a phenomenon. An example would be to unobtrusively observe children on a playground with a videocamera, perhaps and record the number and types of aggressive actions displayed.
Whenever possible, social psychologists rely on controlled experimentation. Controlled experiments require the manipulation of one or more independent variables in order to examine the effect on a dependent variable.
Experiments are useful in social psychology because they are high in internal validitymeaning that they are free from the influence of confounding or extraneous variables, and so are more likely to accurately indicate a causal relationship.
However, the small samples used in controlled experiments are typically low in external validityor the degree to which the results can be generalized to the larger population. There is usually a trade-off between experimental control internal validity and being able to generalize to the population external validity.
Because it is usually impossible to test everyone, research tends to be conducted on a sample of persons from the wider population.
Social psychologists frequently use survey research when they are interested in results that are high in external validity. Surveys use various forms of random sampling to obtain a sample of respondents that are representative of a population.
This type of research is usually descriptive or correlational because there is no experimental control over variables. However, new statistical methods like structural equation modeling are being used to test for potential causal relationships in this type of data. Searshave criticized social psychological research for relying too heavily on studies conducted on university undergraduates in academic settings. Results need to be used to evaluate the hypothesis of the research that is done.
These results should either confirm or reject the original hypothesis that was predicted. There are two different types of testing social psychologists use in order to test their results. False positive conclusions, often resulting from the pressure to publish or the author's own confirmation biasare a hazard in the field.
In addition, social psychologists helped in the search for solutions to practical problems see SP p. The work of one famous social psychologist, Kurt Lewinembodied the themes that characterized the discipline.
He stated that all behavior depends on the individual's life space. Life space is defined as a subjective map of the individual's current goal and his or her environment. Kurt Lewin also demonstrated that active participation in discussion groups is more effective than listening to lectures on a topic. Growth and Integration By the s the movement toward integration had begun.
Integration of cognitive and social processes Cognitive themes, theories, and research techniques gained attention, which led to theoretical and methodological convergence. Scientific understanding of the way social and cognitive processes work together to influence behaviors has benefited from integrating European and North American social psychology.
Integration of basic science and social problems Social psychology research is simultaneously basic and applied; social psychologists work on theoretical issues, and apply knowledge to practical problems at the same time. The history of social psychology So what does this mean?