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Social Psychology Essay

1260 words - 6 pages

Social Psychology PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 2
Running Header: SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY DEFINITIONSocial Psychology DefinitionSandra LattinTessie BlakeUniversity of PhoenixSocial Psychology DefinitionSocial psychology is the study of the relations between people and groups. Scholars in this interdisciplinary area are typically either psychologists or sociologists, though all social psychologists employ both the individual and the group as their units of analysis (Myers, 1993).In the text Social Psychology, Myers (1987) defines social psychology as "the scientific study of how people think about, influence and relate to one another." (p. 3) Another definition was proposed by Gordon W. Allport (1954), who ...view middle of the document...

Social psychology and sociology also have separate academic journals and professional associations (Sewell, 1989). Whereas sociologists are trained in sociology (Flick, 1998), most social psychologists are trained within psychology, as are general and clinical psychologists.According to social psychology, behavior often occurs in a social situation, which involves two or more individuals. Therefore, researchers in social psychology, who are experimental psychologists, "study how these social conditions affect the behavior of individuals. They investigate matters such as intergroup conflict, prejudices, and what kind of leadership styles is effective in various situations. Like other experimental psychologists, most social psychologists are affiliated with universities and colleges, but some work in other research settings."On the other hand, sociologists are more interested in various demographic, social, and cultural factors. They investigate such phenomenon as social inequality, group dynamics, social change, socialization, social identity, and symbolic interactionism. The main sociological journal is Social Psychology Quarterly. In contrast, Social psychology journals include the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.Clinical psychology, on the other hand, is "the branch of psychology concerned with the treatment of abnormal...behavior". Clinical psychologists are involved in research or work in university psychology departments or medical schools. "Most clinical psychologists, however, are involved in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders in settings such as hospitals, community mental health centers, crisis counseling services, drug rehabilitation centers, and their own private offices. Unlike social Clinical psychologists deal with the same sets of problems that psychiatrists treat, however psychologists are trained in psychology and hold a doctoral degree, typically a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) while psychiatrists are trained in medicine and hold a doctor of medicine (M.D.)".In contrast, general psychology is the often referred to the "study of the soul" or "study of the mind". Specifically, general psychology is an academic and applied discipline which involves the scientific study of human or animal mental functions and behaviors. They "study both normal and abnormal functioning, and also treat patients with mental and emotional problems. They also concentrate on behaviors that affect the mental and emotional health and mental functioning of healthy human beings. For example, they work with business executives, performers, and athletes to reduce stress and improve performance. They advise lawyers on jury selection and collaborate with educators on school reform. Immediately following a disaster, such as a plane crash or bombing, psychologists help victims and bystanders recover from the trauma, or shock, of the...

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