Last modified on 11 July 2009, at 21:14

Introduction to Psychology/Social Psychology

Social Psychology is the branch of Psychology or Sociology that deals with the study of individual behaviour in a society. Psychology is the study of mind and behaviour and the basic subject matter for the study of psychology is the individual difference. The individual becomes the part of a society by the process of socialization. The major and most determining part of socialization occurs in the early childhood. This is the time when the child learns all the social norms and values.

The social psychology can be divided into two major categories based on the emphasis given to either of the constituing disciplines, Psychology and Sociology. Psychological Social Psychology (PSP) emphasizes its study on the subject's mental processes, experiences and dispositions while Sociological Social Psychology (SSP) emphasizes its study on the individual's social order, roles and the historical base of social behaviour.

Social psychology is the study of the nature and causes of human social behavior, with an emphasis on how people think towards each other and how they relate to each other. Social Psychology aims to understand how we make sense of social situations. For example, this could involve the influence of others on an individual's behavior (e.g., conformity or persuasion), the perception and understanding of social cues, or the formation of attitudes or stereotypes about other people. Social cognition is a common approach and involves a mostly cognitive and scientific approach to understanding social behavior.

A related area is community psychology, which examines psychological and mental health issues on the level of the community rather than using the individual as the unit of measurement.

Social psychology studies how the presence or perceived presence of others impacts human behavior, emotion, and cognition.