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Essay about The Impact on Social Psychology on Society

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The need for social psychology is thought to have originated from large-scale conflicts such as wars, famines, and other catastrophes. “According to the field’s first historian, F.B. Karpf, the answer is affirmative: The social turbulence surrounding the Civil War motivated the development of the field” (Morawski, 2000, p. 427). Largely in response to whatever historic event was taking place at the time, social psychological theories were developed to explain these events with concrete, usable data. People needed a method to understand the “social features of (their) psychological experiences” (Morawski, 2000, p. 429) and to standardize social establishments.
In 1890, William James constructed a theory to explain the human need for attention and favorable interaction with others. “James posed a radical addendum that the social self is not a singular self but plural selves: Properly speaking, a man has many social selves as there are individuals who recognize him and carry an image of him in their mind” (Morawski, 2000, p. 428). According to James, the self plays many roles and can adjust in response to conflicting conditions and collective interactions. James’ landmark theory inspired future theorists to explore the issue of social psychology and its consequences for individuals and society as a whole. In 1897, James Mark Baldwin used his theory to explicate the progress of human insight and character traits. Baldwin declared that the self can only be developed and explained through exchanges with other human beings. The individual their actions are in fact the result of some interaction with society as a whole. “A man is a social outcome rather than a social unit” (Morawski, 2000, p. 428). With the influence of James and Baldwi...


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...tions and human evolution. Contemporary theorists began with a focus on solving social ills for the greater good of humanity, but soon a more popular attitude of individualistic responsibility took hold. Societal power played a great role in which research and behavioral technologies were advanced into society for use and who benefited from them. Despite an early attempt to bring humans together in harmony, social psychology soon revolved around the “haves” and the “have nots.” From its earliest days to modern times, social psychology has not only influenced the individual but has also created an impact on society as a whole.



References
Kipnis, D. (1994). Accounting for the use of behavior technologies in social technology. American Psychologist , 49 (3), 165-172.
Morawski, J. G. (2000). Social psychology a century ago. American Psychologist , 55 (4), 427-430.


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