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Evolution of Social Psychology Essay

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Introduction
Social Psychology is one of the younger sub disciplines within the field of Psychology. In the short span in which social psychology has existed, began with the work of the Norman Triplett in the late 1890s. Triplett's work at Indiana University was primarily experimentation with people in competitive settings. Gordon Allport followed Triplett's experimentation with his observations the attitudes of individuals and the study of the self. While these contributions to the history of social psychology were important, the question still remains of what the most significant event in the history of psychology was. The argument will be given in this paper if a murder was the most significant event in the history of social psychology. The murder of Kitty Genovese in 1964 may have been the event which caused social psychology to be embedded in other subdivisions of psychology and studied by other societal and medical constructs. Her murder over 40 years ago caused social psychology to be used in the study of people and their behavior in a multitude of social settings. This event can be currently studied and applied to other social settings in the attempt to prevent this type of act to be repeated.
History of social psychology
Norman Triplett is considered to be one of the first social psychologists towards the end of the 19th century. While at Indiana University, Triplett experimented in 1898 primarily with children on measuring competition. Children were a part of an experiment where they wound up a fishing reel by themselves then with another child present. Results of the experiment showed the children performed better with another child present as opposed to being by themselves. Triplett concluded the children performe...


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Delamater, J. (2006). Handbook of social psychology. Springer publications Retrieved April 8, 2011 from http://books.google.com/books?id=xnVAuljbRcQC&dq=applying+social psychology+to+the+world+today&source=gbs_navlinks_s
Latané, B., & Darley, J. M. (1968). Group inhibition of bystander intervention in
emergencies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 10, 215–221. Retrieved from EBSCOhost April 8, 2011.
Manning, R., Levine, M., & Collins, A. (2007). “The Kitty Genovese murder and the social
Psychology of helping: The parable of the 38 witnesses”. American Psychologist, 62,
555-562. Retrieved April 6, 2011 from EBSCOhost



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