What is Social Psychology

Social psychology is linked with sociology but it is related with the individual’s activities instead of the society or a socioeconomic class as a whole. It also relates you with the theories of social behavior created through certain scientific researches. Widely speaking social psychology considers a vast range of social behaviors such as social perception, group behavior, nonverbal behavior, leadership, conformity, prejudice and aggression. It not only the studies of social behaviors but also the interactions and perceptions of the society that are crucial to understand the behavior of the society.

The factors of social psychology can be understood as under:

Social Perception: It relates the individuals with the awareness about himself and others as individuals and the groups as a whole. While perceiving himself, as a subject of social psychology, one can consider all the negative and positive points for him. It may result in self estimation as compared to other people in the society or in his own link. If the assessment is negative then it may increase the defeating behavior, depression and other psychological disorders in the subject. Normally people put lesser attention towards their own behavior but the behavior of others towards them discloses all the misunderstanding developed in their mind about themselves.

Perceptions of others and groups: In social psychology, perception of others is based on Attribution theory. It is linked with the individual’s behavior in response to the behavior of others. While recognizing the behavior of others one emphasizes on the underestimation of situational causes or more on personal causes which may lead to wrong perception of other’s behavior. Similarly, perceiving the society on the basis of grouping of likewise persons on the base sex, race and other categorizing methods which may lead to discriminations and prejudices in society. 

Social influences: In social psychology, Social influences can be depicted through various factors like aggression, altruism or humanitarian behavior, attraction and love. The aggression in the behavior of an individual can be caused due to frustration, pollution, crowds in the cities, aggressive personal behavior and heavy consumption of stimulus elements. Altruism or humanitarian behavior arises when people work leaving aside their self interests. Attraction and love are wrongly considered to be developed among ‘unlike poles’ though there are several ‘like poles’ that can develop attraction and love among people of society like personality, moods, physical attractiveness, attitudes and demographic status among the people.   

Social Interaction: Social interaction, in social psychology, can be understood as the interaction among the groups through group discussions and debates on the matters that are related to the society as a whole, though they may not be among the like minded people. Thus people of society may reach to some decision favorable for the society on the basis of confirmation through majority of votes.

Thus, social psychology is the study of the behavior of an individual or a group of people which they show in a particular situation.