Social psychology is an interesting subfield in psychology.
There are many interesting studies, findings, ideas, concepts,
theories, and topics in social psychology.
What is Social Psychology?
It is important to gain an understanding of the definition of
social psychology. Social psychology involves the scientific
investigation of how we perceive and think about others, how
we influence others, and the nature of our social relationships.
Three basic areas of social psychology are social cognition,
social influence, and social relationships.
Why is Social Psychology Important?
Social psychology may be important for a few reasons. First,
some research findings and theories in social psychology may
help to understand social behavior. Second, some theories and
research findings in social psychology may help to understand
ourselves. Third, there may be some important applications of
social psychology. Some research findings may have
implications for solving certain problems.
Social Psychology Research Methods
What are the research methods in social psychology? One
primary research method in social psychology is the randomized
experiment. A randomized experiment without confounding
variables would allow the researcher to make conclusions about
contributory causation. In a randomized experiment,
participants would be randomly assigned to the conditions of the
experiment. Random assignment would allow the researcher to
rule out personality and individual differences as a explanation
for the differences between the conditions of the experiment.
Imagine that a researcher was interested in investigating
whether humor in a fundraising letter increases donations. The
researcher could randomly assign each of the previous donors to
one of two conditions. In one condition, previous donors would
receive a fundraising letter with humor. In the other condition,
previous donors would receive a fundraising letter with the same
information as in the other condition except without the humor.
The researcher could find out whether there was a stastically
significant difference between the two conditions with respect to
total amount of the donations. This is one hypothetical example
of a social psychology experiment.
Another research method in social psychology is the
correlational study. A correlational study would address
associations between variables. However, a correlational study
does not allow the researcher to make causal conclusions. This
is true because one cannot rule out alternative explanations with
a correlational study. A correlational study may be conducted
when it is not possible, realistic, or ethical to conduct a
Imagine that a researcher was interested in whether the
number of pets a person has is associated with loneliness.
Participants in this study could answer questions on a
questionnaire concerning loneliness and the number of pets that
they have. The researcher could find out whether there was a
statistically significant correlation between loneliness and the
number of pets. This is one hypothetical example of a
Topics in Social Psychology
There are a significant number of topics in social
psychology. Below are some general articles on some
important social psychology topics (some of the topics may also
be topics in organizational psychology). More social psychology
topics may be added at a later time.