Social psychology is concerned with comprehending how the existence of other people affects our behaviors, feelings, and thoughts. Like clinical psychology concentrates on mental illness and its treatment, and developmental psychology assesses the way individuals change across their span of life, social psychology has its own concentration.
As its name suggests, science is about evaluating how groups function, the benefits and costs of social status, influences of culture, and all of the additional psychological processes that involve two or more individuals.
If you’re interested in learning more about the science behind this, you can read articles like “Risky Shift: The Dynamics Of Group Choices“, which explores how decision-making can be influenced when in larger gorups.
Humans are social animals
Psychological science is such an interesting science because it deals with problems that are so relevant and so familiar to our daily life. Human beings are “social animals.” Like deer and bees, we reside together in groups. However, unlike these animals, humans are unique, in that we care about our relationships. As a matter of fact, classic research on life stress discovered that the majority of stressful events in an individual’s life—going to jail, divorce, death of a spouse—are so painful because they involve a loss of a relationship. We spend a lot of time interacting with and thinking about others, and scientists are curious about understanding those actions and thoughts.
Psychological science tackles universal psychological processes to which individuals easily can relate
Psychological science feels close to home because it frequently tackles universal psychological processes to which individuals easily can relate. For instance, folks have an extreme need to belong. It does not matter if someone is from Mexico, Israel, or the Philippines; all of us have a solid need to start families, make friends, and spend time with each other. We’ll fulfill that need by doing things like joining clubs and teams, wearing clothes that represent “our group,” as well as identifying ourselves based upon religious or national affiliation. It feels great to belong. Studies support that idea. In psychological science research on the least and happiest people, the differentiating factor wasn’t religion, income, or gender; it involved having quality relationships. Further proof may be found by examining the negative psychological experiences of those who don’t feel that they belong. Folks who feel isolated or lonely are more susceptible to depression and physical health problems.
People are more connected now more than ever
Humans are more connected to each other now than ever. For the very first time, it’s simple to have hundreds of friends on social media. It’s easier to travel to meet others from various cultures. Schools, businesses, political parties, religious groups, and governments interact now more than ever before. For the very first time, folks in higher numbers live in cities than those spread across rural settings. Those changes have psychological consequences. Over the past century, we’ve witnessed substantial shifts in ethnic relations, political engagement, and even the exact definition of the family itself.
Social psychologists are scientists curious about comprehending how we relate to each other, and the effect that those relationships have on us, collectively and individually. Not just will social psychology studies lead to a better knowledge of personal relationships, they may lead to practical solutions for several social ills. Policymakers, therapists, parents, teachers, and lawmakers all can use science to assist in developing societies with more social support and less conflict.