Social Psychology Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Psychology Type: Essay Paper: #55172065 Related Topics: Interconnection, Social Cognitive Theory, Social Control Theory, Social Influences On Behavior
Excerpt from Essay :

Social psychology has only existed as it is defined, within the last eighty years, with growth accelerating in the past four decades. Social psychology enables analysis of the cognitive and social processes in relation to human-to-human interaction. "Social psychology, the scientific study of the effects of social and cognitive processes on the way individuals perceive, influence, and relate to others" (Smith, Mackie & Claypool, 2014, p. 11). It allows people to see from an objective standpoint how people engage with each other on a social level. Studies concerning social psychology, test reactions of people and social groups.

In the modern era, contemporary social psychology takes on its own history and meaning within the field of social psychology. "Contemporary social psychology is a product of its own history and of the history of the societies in which it developed" (Smith, Mackie & Claypool, 2014, p. 9). Delving deeper into the context surrounding modern societies and providing information that would otherwise be excluded from social psychology. Contemporary social psychological theories often feature exploration of modern day concepts and environments as it relates to social interaction.

Primary Research Strategies

The primary research strategies used in social psychology vary. In fact, in general, psychologists utilize a number of various scientific approaches in order to research social psychology centered topics. The methods enable researchers to test theories and hypothesis as well as look for relationships among various variables. Depending on the topic the researcher explores, the hypothesis or theory being investigated, and the resources available, certain research...


Descriptive research aims to portray what has been proven to already exist in a population or group. A good example of this kind of research approach is an opinion poll to discover which political candidate the populace plan to elect in an impending election. Unlike relation and causal studies, studies following the descriptive method cannot determine whether a relationship exists between two variables. This method only describes what already exists within any given population or group. Another good example of this research method are surveys discovering people's attitudes towards capital punishment.

The next one is correlational research. Social psychologist utilize this research method to identify relationships between variables. An example of this would be a correlational study in pursuit of discovering the connection between aggression and media violence. Researchers use this method through direct observation or conducting surveys, even compiling research from previous studies. These are just some ways to gather information for correlational research. Some limits to using correlational research methods are researchers cannot determine if one variable causes alterations in another variable.

The last research method social psychologists use is experimental research. Experimental research remains…

Sources Used in Documents:


Leong, F., Hartung, P., & Pearce, M. (2014). Work and career development: Theory and research. APA Handbook Of Multicultural Psychology, 1, 451-469. doi:10.1037/14189-024

Reid, P., Lewis, L., & Wyche, K. (2014). An intersectional framework for a multicultural analysis of gender. APA Handbook Of Multicultural Psychology,1, 379-394. doi:10.1037/14189-020

Smith, E., Mackie, D., & Claypool, H. (2014). Social psychology (4th ed.). Taylor & Francis.

Cite this Document:

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