Sage Reference - Encyclopedia of Social Psychology (2023)


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  • Edited by:

    Roy F. Baumeister


    Kathleen D. Vohs

  • In:Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
  • Chapter DOI:
  • Subject:Social Psychology (general)
  • Keywords:attitudes; emotion; self-perception theory
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In everyday life, people observe other people's actions and behaviors and make inferences about others' attitudes based on what they observe. When people see how another person acts in a particular situation, they often attribute the behavior to the person's traits and attitudes. For example, if you view someone in a park recycling a plastic water bottle rather than throwing it in the garbage, you might infer that the individual is concerned about the environment. Similarly, if you witness a school child scowling at her teacher, you might infer that she is upset or angry with the teacher. Interestingly, sometimes people also observe their own behavior, much as an outsider might do, and make similar inferences about their own attitudes based on their behavior. According ...

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Why do some scholars say that all psychology is really social psychology? ›

Psychology is a social science discipline because it involves an interaction between the individual, their environment, and other individuals. In other words, psychologists are interested in how people behave as well as why they do so.

What is social psychology with reference? ›

The American Psychological Association (APA) lists 15 subfields of psychology, including clinical psychology, brain and cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, and quantitative psychology. Social psychology is the study of how individual or group behavior is influenced by the presence and behavior of others.

WHO publishes the Encyclopedia of social psychology? ›

Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc.

What are the two essential ingredients of every social psychology experiment? ›

Every social-psychological experiment has two essential ingredients. One we have just considered-control. We manipulate one or two inde- pendent variables while trying to hold everything else constant. The other ingredient is random assignment.

Why is social psychology criticized? ›

Social psychology faces two contradictory criticisms: One is that it is trivial because it documents the obvious; the second is that it is dangerous because its findings could be used to manipulate people.

Is social psychology a real science? ›

Psychology is commonly recognized as a social science, and is included on the National Science Foundation's roster of recognized STEM disciplines.

What are the 3 main focuses of social psychology? ›

Social psychology focuses on three main areas: social thinking, social influence, and social behavior. Each of these overlapping areas of study is displayed in Figure 1.1. The circles overlap because, in our everyday lives, these three forces blend together as they influence us.

Who is the father of social psychology? ›

Kurt Tsadek Lewin, who is often called the father of social psychology and is considered to be one of the most important psychologists of the twentieth century, was born on September 9, 1890, in Mogilno.

What is an example of social psychology in real life? ›

The decisions you make and the behaviors you exhibit might depend on not only how many people are present but exactly who you are around. For example, you are likely to behave much differently when you are around a group of close friends than you would around a group of colleagues or supervisors from work.

Which is the first textbooks of social psychology? ›

William McDougall cofounded the British Psychological Society in 1901 and published one of the first social psychology textbooks, An Introduction to Social Psychology (1908).

Is The Encyclopedia of social Work peer reviewed? ›

Peer-reviewed and backed by an experienced editorial board, Encyclopedia of Social Work offers a wealth of information to support scholarly research, as well as practical applications for social workers in the field.

What are the publications of social psychology? ›

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (APA journal) Journal of Personality Assessment (SPA journal) Journal of Research in Personality (ARP journal)

What are the four elements of social psychology? ›

Social-psychology investigates the socially meaningful actions of individuals. This research aims to examine four significant areas of theory and research in social-psychology and discuss how each fits into the study of enterprisers activity: cognition, attribution, attitudes, and the self.

What are the two key cornerstone topics of the social psychology? ›

In the end, Milgram's path-breaking work sheds some seriously harsh light on the enormous power of two of the key cornerstone topics of social psychology: social influence and conformity.

What are the two main domains of social psychology? ›

Domain 1: Biological (includes neuroscience, consciousness, and sensation) Domain 2: Cognitive (includes the study of perception, cognition, memory, and intelligence)

What is a weakness of social psychology? ›

Weaknesses of the social approach

For example, participants in field experiments often do not know that they are participating and so cannot give consent. We often try to please other people in our daily lives, so social psychology experiments are very vulnerable to demand characteristics producing unusual behaviour.

Why is social psychology difficult to study? ›

Exploring each of these questions focuses on interactions, behavior, and culture rather than on perceptions, hormones, or DNA. In part, this focus on complex relationships and interactions is one of the things that makes research in social psychology so difficult.

What are the negatives of social psychology? ›

Social Psychology
Social Psychology
Advantages High Ecological Validity Useful Participant Observation - lowers demand characteristics/socially desirable answersDisadvantages Generalisability Lack Aetological validity? Lacks control Low ethics
2 more rows
Mar 25, 2014

What is the goal of social psychology? ›

The goal of social psychology is to understand cognition and behavior as they naturally occur in a social context, but the very act of observing people can influence and alter their behavior.

What would a social psychologist be most likely to study? ›

Social psychologists study interpersonal and group dynamics and social challenges, such as prejudice, implicit bias, bullying, criminal activity and substance abuse. They research social interactions and the factors that influence them, such as group behavior, attitudes, public perceptions and leadership.

What does social psychology focus on? ›

Social psychologists study how social influence, social perception and social interaction influence individual and group behavior. Some social psychologists focus on conducting research on human behavior.

What is Fae in psychology? ›

The fundamental attribution error refers to an individual's tendency to attribute another's actions to their character or personality, while attributing their behavior to external situational factors outside of their control.

How does social psychology affect human behavior? ›

Social psychologists believe that human behavior is determined by both a person's characteristics and the social situation. They also believe that the social situation is frequently a stronger influence on behavior than are a person's characteristics. Social psychology is largely the study of the social situation.

How is social psychology different from psychology? ›

Social psychology relies on understanding the role human behavior plays in mental well-being. Clinical psychology, on the other hand, uses a person-in-environment approach, emphasizing how biological, social, and psychological factors can affect a patient's mental state.

Where did social psychology come from? ›

The discipline of social psychology began in the United States at the dawn of the twentieth century. The first published study in this area was an experiment by Norman Triplett (1898) on the phenomenon of social facilitation.

What is the social psychology equation? ›

Kurt Lewin's behavior equation is “B = f(P, E)”. It states that an individual's behavior (B) is a function (f) of the the person (P), including their history, personality and motivation, and their environment (E), which includes both their physical and social surroundings.

What are the 5 types of social psychology? ›

Six topics studied in social psychology are aggression, discrimination, group behavior, interpersonal relationships, prejudice, and violence. The four major perspectives of social psychology are sociocultural, evolutionary, social learning, and social-cognitive.

Is social psychology still used today? ›

Social psychologists focus on human behavior, but it's not all research. Social psychology has extended into many fields as an applied strategy. Employees and social psych. Social psychologists apply their understanding of human behavior to help organizations like companies or nonprofits.

What are two uses of social psychology? ›

Social psychology is concerned with the study of an individual's social behavior in his social attitudes. Social psychology helps people manage their stress, depression and other social issues and improve their decision making and predict accurate future behavior based on the understanding of past behavior.

What was the very first social psychology experiment? ›

For generations, social psychology students have read that Norman Triplett did the first social psychology experiment in 1889, when he found that children reeled in a fishing line faster when they were in the presence of another child than when they were alone.

What was the first experiment in social psychology? ›

In 1898, Norman Triplett published was has been called the first experiment in social psychology and sports psychology. Claiming to demonstrate "the dynamogenic factors in pacemaking and competition," this oft-cited article began the serious investigation of social facilitation.

Who wrote the principles of social psychology? ›

Principles of Social Psychology Charles Stangor: Charles Stangor: 9781453322888: Books.

How credible is encyclopedia? ›

Encyclopedias are collections of short, factual entries often written by different contributors who are knowledgeable about the topic. Therefore, encyclopedias are reliable sources of information because they have been edited by experts in various fields.

Which encyclopedia is reliable? ›

The Encyclopedia Britannica contains carefully edited articles on all major topics. It fits the ideal purpose of a reference work as a place to get started, or to refer back to as you read and write. The articles in Britannica are written by expert authors who are both identifiable and credible.

Is encyclopedia a reliable source for research paper? ›

Entries in an encyclopedia are short and not appropriate as a cited source for a research paper, but they provide a quick overview of a topic and will jumpstart your research. Encyclopedia entries often include citations to additional books, articles or websites for further reading on the topic.

What is arguably the most famous research in social psychology? ›

Arguably the most famous experiment in the history of psychology, the 1971 Stanford prison study put a microscope on how social situations can affect human behavior.

What is the ranking of the Journal of Social Psychology? ›

Important Metrics
TitleJournal of Social Psychology
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR)0.824
Impact Score2.87
CountryUnited States
6 more rows
May 27, 2022

Whose book is social psychology? ›

Sociologist Edward Alsworth Ross would subsequently publish the first sociological textbook in social psychology, known as Social Psychology, in 1908.

What are the four types of identity often used by social psychologists? ›

We outline four identity theories typically employed by contemporary social psychologists: personal identity, role identity, social identity, and collective identity.

What is a common theme in social psychology? ›

Seven themes of social psychology are attraction and relationships, attitudes and persuasions, group decisions, prosocial behavior, cognition and perception, the three concepts of discrimination, stereotypes, and prejudice, and viewing the self in a social context.

Which question is most likely to be addressed by a social psychologist? ›

A social psychologist is mainly interested in understanding why and how individuals behave differently in different social contexts and also implies the impact of social variables.

What are the ABCs of social psychology? ›

Social psychology is based on the ABCs of affect, behavior, and cognition (Figure 1.2 “The ABCs of Affect, Behavior, and Cognition”). In order to effectively maintain and enhance our own lives through successful interaction with others, we rely on these three basic and interrelated human capacities: Affect (feelings)

What is the ABC model of social psychology? ›

Every attitude has three components that are represented in what is called the ABC model of attitudes: A for affective, B for behavioral, and C for cognitive. The affective component refers to the emotional reaction one has toward an attitude object.

What are the 7 aspects of behavior? ›

These combined ingredients makeup our recipe as a human being. The Life Wheel encompasses 7 human attributes: 1) Self Aspect, 2) Behavioral Aspect, 3) Social Aspect, 4) Physical Aspect, 5) Emotional Aspect, 6) Mental Aspect and 7) Spiritual Aspect.

Is social psychology different from psychology? ›

Social psychology relies on understanding the role human behavior plays in mental well-being. Clinical psychology, on the other hand, uses a person-in-environment approach, emphasizing how biological, social, and psychological factors can affect a patient's mental state.

Why is psychology considered a social science psychology quizlet? ›

Psychology is considered a social science because it deals with human society and the nature and interactions of people who make up the society. Psychology is considered a science because it uses a systematic method of learning about behavior and cognitive processes.

Is social psychology the same as psychology? ›

What is the difference between Psychology and Social Psychology? In psychology, the focus is on the individual in all aspects of life whereas social psychology specifically focuses on the influence of society on the individual. Psychology is the main discipline whereas social psychology is only a sub-discipline .

How does social psychology differ from psychology in its focus on what? ›

Personality psychology focuses on differences in people, social psychology studies how social situations influence people.

Is social psychology part of sociology or psychology? ›

But if psychology deals with individual behavior, what is “social” psychology, and how is it different from sociology? Put simply, social psychology is the study of how individuals relate to and try to function within broader society, whereas sociology looks at the ways entire groups function within society.

Why is social psychology different from other sciences? ›

Psychology is different from other social sciences because, in general, these sciences focus on large social systems and direct their theoretical frameworks to describe the functioning of individuals at a macro-social level.

Why does social psychology need to be scientific? ›

The Importance of Scientific Research. Because social psychology concerns the relationships among people, and because we can frequently find answers to questions about human behavior by using our own common sense or intuition, many people think that it is not necessary to study it empirically (Lilienfeld, 2011).

What makes psychology unique among the social sciences? ›

What makes the discipline of psychology unique is that we seek such understanding through the scientific method. Yet there is another common bond that connects all of psychology--the practical value of the knowledge we obtain.

Is social psychology a theory? ›

A social psychological theory that explains the way in which people explain their own behavior and that of others.

What is social psychology examples? ›

Examples of social psychology include studies of group behavior (e.g. the Stanford prison experiment) , delayed gratification (e.g. the Marshmallow test), and the role of observation in learning (e.g. Bandura's social learning theory).

What is the relationship between sociology and social psychology? ›

Social psychology, in the sense of the psychology of group behavior, is accordingly a part of sociology. [3[ It is the study of the psychic factors involved in the origin, development, structure, and functioning of social groups.

What is the nature of social psychology? ›

Social psychology is the branch of psychological science mainly concerned with understanding how the presence of others affects our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

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