Social Psychology Essay

Social Psychology Essay

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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 an individual’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 (Sewell, 1989). Social psychology cannot be seen as a linear phenomenon. This is because social psychology has been derived from a 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). Secondly, it can be argued that social psychology has developed in response to social and political needs.
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 deals with the situations. For example, if there are specific scientific objectives then the study can be laboratory based and use 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 psychologists have competed with the experimental-social psychologists. The strength of the critical-social psychologists is that they’ve used a range of different methods in research, and have...


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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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