Social Psychology Differ When Applied in Different Cultural Context Term Paper

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Social Psychology Differ When Applied in Different Cultural Context

Social Psychology within a humanistic critique

Being social is a harmless and innate characteristic of the human nature. People who like to socialize like to share their own personal space with people around them. They encourage and even initiate interactions like conversation and friendship. The reality TV shows have become a rage due to the fact that our society as a whole has become so interested in the social lives of other people. The word 'sociable' has been described by the Merriam-Webster online dictionary as "inclined by nature to companionship with others of the same species" and/or "inclined to seek or enjoy companionship" ("Sociable," 2013, n.d.). In other words, we can say that sociable is looking for companionship as, it's a part of our nature to look for companions belonging to the same genus and searching or looking for company that one can enjoy ("Sociable," 2013, n.d.).

The meaning of the word psychology doesn't get changed when social is applied with it however; the term 'social psychology' in application does become scientific. This concept is used by the psychologists and sociologists so that they can answer the questions regarding the world and life (Fiske, 2010, p. 1, para. 1).

The central themes which you glean from these readings

Broad Scope

There are four major characteristics that form social pshychology according to Susan Fiske (2010) who is not only an author but Professor of Psychology as well. Following are these four characteristics:

1. broad scope,

2. cultural mandate,

3. scientific methods and

4. search for wisdom (p. 31, para. 1).

Social psychology has been influenced by a number of things as this field has a very broad scope. Broad scope has a lot of relevance to the social psychology as there are a lot of various aspects of socialization that are addressed by it such as; self and groups, conformity and deviance, attitudes and action, and loving and hating as, all of these things are related to the human behaviour (Fiske, 2010, p. 32, para. 1). Ideas are borrowed from the principles of social psychology on continuous basis by other scholars, scientists, researchers and even other colleagues.

Cultural Mandate

Cultural mandate is the 2nd and certainly most crucial feature of social psychology. Culturally speaking a society is influenced by a number of factors like music, cuisine, fashion, music and many other fads. If this same principle is applied to the social psychology then a particular path can be seen followed by the cultural mandate which will dictate the response of an individual to a specific social scenario (Fiske, 2010, p. 32).

Exactly like religions and cultures are essential to many cultures, the social psychology is paid a lot of attention in some cultures as well as, it is considered to be very important and a source of great understanding (Fiske, 2010). It was further said by Fiske (2010) that, "social psychology is something that is mandated by a culture as an established type of knowledge" (p. 33, para. 2).

Scientific Methods

There are basically three important ways in which the social psychologists have been aided by the scientific methods in giving shape to the social psychology. Firstly, scientific theories are developed by the social psychologists and the validity of those theories is tested in order to move the scientific understandings forward (Fiske, 2010).

Secondly, in order to get trustworthy answers for the current as well as future scientific references, the scientific methods are made use of by the researches which help them in creating and using innovative ways and technologies (Fiske, 2010). Lastly, suitable research engines should be used by the social psychologists. Therefore, it can be said that at the end of the day all kinds of scientific studies are dependent upon the scientific methods to help them in supporting, proving, expanding and introducing new theories. Same is the case with social psychology (Fiske, 2010).

Search for Wisdom

Wisdom has been defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as, "scientific or philosophic learning / knowledge that has been accumulated" ("Wisdom," 2013, n.d.). However, it has to be kept in mind that wisdom itself or the search for it as it is related to the social psychology is a lot more than mere knowledge. In every field of study knowledge has an important place and efforts should always be made to obtain more and more knowledge however, a platform to make use of this knowledge in our daily lives is provided by wisdom along with improving the overall quality of a person's life (Baron et al., 2008, p. 35-6).

Concept of Situationism

Situation has been defined by Hewitt and Shulman (2011) as "a container which contains social interaction" (p. 223, para.4) which shows the affects of the various circumstances on the individuals and the way that individuals influence various scenarios. Three ways in which individual influence the social scenarios and vice versa have been explained by Snyder and Ickes (1995, as cited in Myers, 2009):

1. A particular situation will have different impact of different individuals as, all of us the reality differently.

2. When provided with a choice, people mostly choose the situations for themselves, for example the social people look for situations in which they can socialize and interact with others.

3. Situations are often created by the people themselves. Such as, if we would expect a person to be hostile, sexy, extrovert or intelligent we might behave in a way that would make them behave in the way that we were expecting them to. (p. 224, para. 1)

Important roles are played by various situations in social psychology. As it has been mentioned above people and their behaviours play a very important role in shaping up the outcomes of various situations.

Core Social Motives

Five of the core social motives are; controlling, belonging, self-enhancing, understanding and trusting (Fiske, 2010). The most important from among all of these core social motives is belonging while the rest support balanced functioning within the social situations. Belonging was defined by Fiske (2010) as this need or want to create and cherish strong and steady relationships with others. People are motivated to create affiliations and relationships with others that are meaningful to them when they that they belong to someone or someplace and are accepted. As, the feelings and behaviours of people influence others, in the same way belonging has a positive effect on the social psychology (Baron et al., 2008, p. 41).

What do these readings tell you about social psychology, both its strengths and limitations?

Social psychology is a vast flied and there are a number of factors that can influence it such as situations and assertions (). For this reason the definition has not yet been developed by the experts that could define the term social psychology in a concrete, universal and concise manner. Social Psychology was defined by a group of researchers -- Ron, Branscombe, and Byrne (2009) as "a scientific field which tries to understand the reasons behind the way an individual thinks and acts in the social situations" (pp. 5-6, para. 5).

Another definition was given by David G. Myers (2009) according to which "the scientific study regarding the way we think is related to the things that influence us" (p. 21, para. 1). It was stated by the psychologist Gordon Allport (1968 and has been cited in Hewitt & Shulman, 2011) that social psychology is "the effort to understand and describe the way that the behaviour, thoughts and feelings of individuals are affected and influenced by the implied, actual or imagined presence of others around them" (p. 2, para. 3).

An opinion about the term social psychology has been given by Allport (as cited in Hewitt & Shulman, 2011) in the light of the above mentioned definition as she has described the concept as being overarching since social psychology can be related to everything which affects shapes or changes the decision and life of an individual (Allport, 1968 as cited in Hewitt & Shulman, 2011).

What is the use/purpose of social psychology in today's world?

The effort to understand and describe the way that the behaviour, thoughts and feelings of individuals are affected and influenced by the implied, actual or imagined presence of others around them is social psychology (Allport, 1968, as cited in Hewitt & Shulman, 2011). The four major characteristics of social psychology which are scientific methods, broad scope, search for wisdom and cultural mandate make up a very important part of the whole research process. It has also been proved by the empirical evidence that the level of sociability among individual with a society is measured to a certain extent with the help of some measurable situations (Allport, 1968, as cited in Hewitt & Shulman, 2011). The five social motives: trusting, belonging, understanding, self-enhancing and controlling also influence social psychology to a great extent (Allport, 1968, as cited in Hewitt & Shulman, 2011).

How does social psychology differ when applied in different cultural context, be it…

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