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Social psychology seems to have many origins; critically discuss the historical and philosophical roots of modern social psychology

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There are many explanations for the origins of modern social psychology. It is therefore important to consider that social psychology cannot be traced back to one single source of origin (Burr, 2003). Hence, this is the reason why there are debates of what social psychology is. Allport (1985) described social psychology as “the study of people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviours which are influenced by the actual, imagines, or implied presence of others”. As seen from this definition there is a direct link between social science and the individual psychology (Sewel, 1989). Social psychology cannot be seen as a linear phenomenon. This is because social psychology has derived from combination of influences. The development of social psychology can be discussed in two different ways. Firstly, social psychology is argued to be found upon political movements and social philosophies in the United Stated of America (US). Secondary, it can be argued that social psychology developed due to the response of social and political needs.
3. There have been debates regarding whether social psychology should be dealt as a natural science or not. The ideology of natural science is very important as it affects the way the social psychologist deal with situations. For example, if there are specific scientific objectives then the study is laboratory based and uses experimental procedures in order to gain knowledge. Psychologists who use this positivistic method are classified as experimental social psychologists. On the other hand, critical-social psychology has competed with experimental-social psychologists. The strength of the critical-social psychologists is that they use a range of different methods in research, and are not limited to scienti...


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...ocial psychology now has a great impact on social cognitive approach. Social cognition includes attribution, stereotypes, autism, (Striano & Reid, 2008). The European roots of social psychology have led to social constructionism and social representation. The modern social psychology is now constructed with the American and European doctrines. However, due to the political events and developing researches in social psychology, the disciple has only been able to contain within America (Cartwright, 1979). On the other hand, Gergen (1973) argued that social psychology cannot be interpreted as a science because social psychology is historically and culturally specific, which is the reason why the discipline is continuously changing. Critically speaking, there is an advantage of different approaches to social psychology, as it views dilemmas in different perspectives.



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