Organization Of This Review
Social psychology’s theories each tend to center on one of a few major types of social motivation, describing the social person as propelled by particular kinds of general needs and specific goals. Most reviews acknowledge these motivational roots by reference to broad traditions within general psychology or sociology: role theories, cognitive and gestalt theories, learning and reinforcement theories, and psychoanalytic or self-theories.
Measuring Affect Behavior And Cognition
One important aspect of using an empirical approach to understand social behavior is that the concepts of interest must be measured . If we are interested in learning how much Sarah likes Robert, then we need to have a measure of her liking for him. But how, exactly, should we measure the broad idea of liking? In scientific terms, the characteristics that we are trying to measure are known as conceptual variables, and the particular method that we use to measure a variableof interest is called an operational definition.
For anything that we might wish to measure, there are many different operational definitions, and which one we use depends on the goal of the research and the type of situation we are studying. To better understand this, lets look at an example of how we might operationally define Sarah likes Robert.
Figure 1.7 The Operational Definition. An idea or conceptual variable is turned into a measure through an operational definition.
Table 1.3 Examples of Operational Definitions of Conceptual Variables That Have Been Used in Social Psychological Research
|Number of inches that a person places their chair away from another person||Number of negative words used in a creative story about another person|
Importance Of Social Research
Social research is an important source of knowledge. It opens new ways of knowledge and wisdom. When something unknown brings to a researcher, there is a sort of inner pleasure and happiness. It gives knowledge to the researcher about the unknown facts. It paves out the way of ignorance and gives new direction in a social life.
Research in Informative. It provides updated, proved, authentic and very useful information to the end users. Researchers and common people can take advantages from research. It is not only informative. Its findings are scientific based therefore the results and information are reliable.
Social Cohesion and Unity. Social unity in a problematic area b/w two groups or castes is only possible due to social research. Social research manifests the causes of these events and gives a remedial solution to it. So, social researcher is the main factor for bringing social coherence and unity in society.
Social Planning. If someone wants to develop and bring social growth and development in a society, social planning will be developed which is the outcome of social research. In this situation achieve the growth of society on right line is highly necessary. Social growth can possible only when problems are solved.
Solution of Social Problems. Social research also helps in the solution of social problems it is the research through which we can find the causative factors of an existing social problem and guide us about his solution.
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Why Cultural Understanding Is Important
Cultural awareness helps us break down cultural barriers, build cultural bridges, and learn how to love, and appreciate those different from us. We can relate better to people with cultural differences as we begin to understand ourselves better. This results in more cultural connection and less cultural conflict.
Early Development Of Cognitive Perception
Social cognition research often involves an analysis of environmental factors in the early development of cognitive perception.
For example, young childrens perception is based on an egocentric view their views of themselves and the world are shaped by limited experience. They do not yet understand how to interpret their own emotions and actions, let alone those of others.
A functioning adult can call on experience to answer questions like:
- Why do I think the way I do about a particular subject or person?
- How do my actions affect others?
- How should I respond to the actions of others?
The way individuals learn to answer these and other questions about their self-perception falls under the study of social cognition. Scientists explore the mental processes that affect the interplay among perception, memory, and thought in shaping personality and social interaction.
This information, in turn, helps researchers understand the dynamic between group behavior and the development of an individuals social identity.
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What Is The Importance Of Social Research
The importance of social research is reflected in its ability to provide fact-checked and well-validated answers to questions involving human interactions. Social research replaces the often costly and time-consuming approach to determining best-practice approaches through trial-and-error. The results of social research, which can be either qualitative or quantitative, range from the statistical data obtained from ancient historical records to an understanding of the dynamics of day-to-day life in the modern world.
Social scientists use a wide variety of methods to collect, study and analyze data relevant to a vast range of social activity and phenomena. The classical disciplines of statistics and sociology have widened to encompass modern-day applications such as program evaluation, media studies, political science and market research.
Empirical observation and logic are the foundations of social research. The object of social research is to create, disprove or validate theories through the classic scientific methods of prediction, observation, data collection and analysis. Social research tests hypotheses relating to group-related human interactions to determine if they are true.
You Learn To Do Research
Studying at university is cool because you learn academic skills. As a result, you end up with a more critical attitude, and you do not believe everything published or broadcast. And at one time or another, you’ll get to do research about a topic of personal interest.
One of the most important tools that a psychologist has to his disposal is research. Research provides insight into human behavior, provided the psychologist makes use of scientific methods.
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Pursue A Career In Social Psychology With A Maryville University Online Bachelor Of Arts In Psychology
A career in social psychology feeds a passion for understanding what motivates human behavior, and it requires extensive training in empirical research methods.
Social psychologists are recognized experts in human relationships, the development of self-perception, the group dynamic, leadership, and many other areas of psychology. Their research is vital across multiple disciplines, including business, healthcare, economics, political science, and education.
Significance Of Social Science Research
- Research has great importance to aid economic policies of a country, both for government and business.
- Research helps to consider the basic necessity of people and thereby provide sufficient allocation of a nations resources.
- A new search into society and its people helps us to find the truth about various problems in our social setups and relationships.
- It helps to understand the different social institutions and their functions in society
- Provide an overview of the changing trends in social institutions around the world.
- Helps to compare and contrast among different countries.
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Social Psychology Is A Science
Social psychologists attend to all levels of analysis buthistoricallythis branch of psychology has emphasized the higher levels of analysis. Researchers in this field are drawn to questions related to relationships, groups, and culture. This means that they frame their research hypotheses in these terms. Imagine for a moment that you are a social researcher. In your daily life, you notice that older men on average seem to talk about their feelings less than do younger men. You might want to explore your hypothesis by recording natural conversations between males of different ages. This would allow you to see if there was evidence supporting your original observation. It would also allow you to begin to sift through all the factors that might influence this phenomenon: What happens when an older man talks to a younger man? What happens when an older man talks to a stranger versus his best friend? What happens when two highly educated men interact versus two working class men? Exploring each of these questions focuses on interactions, behavior, and culture rather than on perceptions, hormones, or DNA.
Use Of Research Information
Trying to determine which theories are and are not accepted by the scientific community can be difficult, especially in an area of research as broad as psychology. More than ever before, we have an incredible amount of information at our fingertips, and a simple internet search on any given research topic might result in a number of contradictory studies. In these cases, we are witnessing the scientific community going through the process of reaching a consensus, and it could be quite some time before a consensus emerges. For example, the hypothesized link between exposure to media violence and subsequent aggression has been debated in the scientific community for roughly 60 years. Even today, we will find detractors, but a consensus is building. Several professional organizations view media violence exposure as a risk factor for actual violence, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Psychological Association .
The D.A.R.E. program continues to be popular in schools around the world despite research suggesting that it is ineffective.
Link to Learning
Watch this news report to learn more about some of the controversial issues surrounding the D.A.R.E. program.
Five Ways Psychology Is Applicable To Everyday Life
How psychology is used in everyday life.
Everyone uses psychology on a daily basis, whether they are talking with friends, arguing with a partner, or disciplining their children. Most people just dont realize the science behind their decisions. Understand how your mind works helps in everyday life by allowing you to build strong relationships and make the best decisions. Here are five ways how:
- The building of relationships: Psychology makes it easier to live with others by understanding them more and working with their behavior. Below, University of Texas professor James Pennebaker explains one way psychology can be used to predict romantic compatibility.
- Improving communication: A greater understanding of how humans think and behave will help people communicate better. They will be more effective in understanding what a person really means by gestures and actions.
- Building self-confidence: By understanding more about yourself and your personality, you can gain more self-confidence. You will learn more about your weaknesses and can build on them.
- Enriching careers: You will be able to understand your coworkers more and stand a better chance of building friendships. It helps to deal with their actions to enrich your career.
What Is Social Identity Theory
Polish psychologist Henri Tajfel along with his British colleague John Turner studied the effects of group membership on self-perception.
They formulated social identity theory, which seeks to explain the relationship between group membership and the reinforcement of individual qualities such as pride and self-esteem.
According to Tajfel and Turner, individuals gravitate toward groups that are composed of people they admire or with whom they agree on important matters. Group members perceive themselves, at least in part, through the lens of their membership they see themselves reflected by other members.
People who belong to groups are linked and governed by similarities. Group members self-identity is based on the shared attitudes, beliefs, and moral standards of the group.
This explains why individuals in a group might act differently than they would act if they did not belong to the group. They behave as they believe a member of the group should behave, rather than acting out of personal motivation.
Another aspect of social identity theory is the tendency toward tribalism, or embracing in-groups while rejecting out-groups. The group socialization of an individual takes place in stages, according to Tajfel and Turner:
Once individuals have thoroughly established their self-perception based on membership in an in-group, their mindset and behavior begin to reflect the expectations of the group.
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Research Methods In Social Psychology
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Social psychologists are interested in the waysthat other people affect thought, emotion, and behavior. To explore theseconcepts requires special research methods. Following a brief overview oftraditional research designs, this module introduces how complex experimentaldesigns, field experiments, naturalistic observation, experience samplingtechniques, survey research, subtle and nonconscious techniques such aspriming, and archival research and the use of big data may each be adapted toaddress social psychological questions. This module also discusses theimportance of obtaining a representative sample along with some ethicalconsiderations that social psychologists face.
Social Psychology In The Public Interest
How the Social Situation Influences Our Mental and Physical Health
In comparison with those who do not feel that they have a network of others they can rely on, people who feel that they have adequate social support report being happier and have also been found to have fewer psychological problems, including eating disorders and mental illness .
People with social support are less depressed overall, recover faster from negative events, and are less likely to commit suicide . Married people report being happier than unmarried people , and overall, a happy marriage is an excellent form of social support. One of the goals of effective psychotherapy is to help people generate better social support networks because such relationships have such a positive effect on mental health.
In addition to having better mental health, people who have adequate social support are more physically healthy. They have fewer diseases , live longer, have lower blood pressure, and have fewer deaths at all ages . Sports psychologists have even found that individuals with higher levels of social support are less likely to be injured playing sports and recover more quickly from injuries they do receive . These differences appear to be due to the positive effects of social support on physiological functioning, including the immune system.
Answer Each Of The Following Questions Using Your Own Intuition As Either True Or False
Opposites attract. An athlete who wins the bronze medal in an event is happier about his or her performance than the athlete who wins the silver medal . Having good friends you can count on can keep you from catching colds. Subliminal advertising is very effective in getting us to buy products. The greater the reward promised for an activity, the more one will come to enjoy engaging in that activity. Physically attractive people are seen as less intelligent than less attractive people. Punching a pillow or screaming out loud is a good way to reduce frustration and aggressive tendencies. People pull harder in a tug-of-war when theyre pulling alone than when pulling in a group.
Social psychologists conduct research because it often uncovers results that could not have been predicted ahead of time. Putting our hunches to the test exposes our ideas to scrutiny. The scientific approach brings a lot of surprises, but it also helps us test our explanations about behavior in a rigorous manner. It is important for you to understand the research methods used in psychology so that you can evaluate the validity of the research that you read about here, in other courses, and in your everyday life.
- Basic and Applied Social Psychology
- Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Note. The research articles in these journals are likely to be available in FMs Evans Library. A fuller list can be found here:
Social Psychology Vs Sociology
The fields of social psychology and sociology are sometimes confused. This is understandable, because both fields of study are broadly concerned with the way human behavior shapes and is shaped by society.
The primary difference between the two is this: Social psychologists study individuals within a group sociologists study groups of people.
As early as 1924, when both fields of study were just beginning to reach academic maturity, University of Missouri researcher Charles A. Ellwood sought to simplify the difference between the two. Sociology, Ellwood wrote, is the science of the origin, development, structure, and functioning of groups.
Social psychology, according to Ellwood, is the study of the origins involved in the development, structure, and functioning of social groups.
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The Importance Of Our Health And Well
Where a nutritionist can provide the information necessary for an individual to have a healthy and balanced diet, the social scientist can look further into geographical, economic, and social factors that impact how obtainable such a diet might be.
Essentially, social science allows health care and health advice to be tailored to individuals based on their social circumstances.
The Social Situation Creates Powerful Social Influence
When people are asked to indicate the things they value the most, they usually mention their social situationthat is, their relationships with other people . When we work together on a class project, volunteer at a homeless shelter, or serve on a jury in a courtroom trial, we count on others to work with us to get the job done. We develop social bonds with those people, and we expect that they will come through to help us meet our goals. The importance of others shows up in every aspect of our livesother people teach us what we should and shouldnt do, what we should and shouldnt think, and even what we should and shouldnt like and dislike.
In addition to the people with whom we are currently interacting, we are influenced by people who are not physically present but who are nevertheless part of our thoughts and feelings. Imagine that you are driving home on a deserted country road late at night. No cars are visible in any direction, and you can see for miles. You come to a stop sign. What do you do? Most likely, you stop at the sign, or at least slow down. You do so because the behavior has been internalized: even though no one is there to watch you, others are still influencing youyouve learned about the rules and laws of society, whats right and whats wrong, and you tend to obey them. We carry our own personal social situationsour experiences with our parents, teachers, leaders, authorities, and friendsaround with us every day.
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