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Social Psychology

Subject: Psychology
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Almost all have friends or colleagues who you hang out with almost daily. Exchanging feelings, words, thoughts and actions all the time. It need not just be of the positive kind, but often it's about the negative things people talk about. Can you live with these exchanges without being affected? No I think it is impossible to avoid being influenced by others. Social psychology is precisely the influence of others. Gordon Allport (1897 - 1967) lets summarize social psychology in a single sentence: "Those who study social psychology seeks to understand, explain and predict how a person's thoughts, feelings and actions are influenced by her interpretations and perceptions of others' thoughts, feelings and actions." 1
I think this is a very interesting topic because I recently have been thinking a lot about how I influenced by my own friends. The purpose of writing about social psychology is to learn more about the subject and about how and why we are affected so easily.
I will in this work with some help from various theorists writing about social psychology and its basic ideas.

Internet sources should be examined critically and I have tried to do. But the source references to colleges, I feel real when they describe social psychology in brief and what college courses in this area raises. I have also used two printed literatures written as studentlitteraturer. These are available as teaching material at several colleges.

The questions I address are:
What is social psychology?
How and why are we influenced by others?
Why is there currently a great need for self-knowledge?

What is social psychology?

There are many different perspectives and views of what social psychology is. I will touch on some of the approaches in this work.

Social psychology is according to Johan Asplund (1983), about a "science of the slash between individual and society '2 where, according to Bjorn Sennbrink (2003), focuses on how people think about, influence, and relate to others. This science investigates and explains why we behave differently in different situations with different socializing. "Why some go from being good neighbors to become rapists and murderers." 3

Davis G. Myers (2000: XV), on the other hand, sees social psychology from a different angle. He argues that social psychology is as an academic discipline where its goal is to scientifically study how we think about, influence and interact with each other. The difference between these two is that Sennbrink social psychology looks more like a learning where research through to answer while Myers sees it as a field of knowledge where learned men or women have been studying and studying.

Myers (2000: xi) argues that the social psychological processes is the essence of our lives. This, he claims, because our fellowmen in a critical impact on us, our development and our liv.4

I shall take another approach to social psychology. An approach that is quite similar to Myers. Nilsson (1996: 71) argues that social psychology is and is more about the interaction between society / social and all that entails (structures, norms, groups, culture, etc.) and individuals with their physical, mental and emotional conditions. Nilsson (1996: 71) argues further that it is in the interaction with other people and within a social context in which each individual develops his thoughts, feelings, attitudes and handlingar.5 This should in theory mean that people who have never come in contact with the social life never even develop their thoughts and feelings. Ie "The general affect the specific." (Nilsson, 1996: 71). Would you then put a small boy alone on a desert island and come back 50 years later, he would still think the same as he did when he was fitted, powered. This assumes that he had begun to think that the fish in the water that he might come to know.

This interaction between people and their social interaction as Nilsson points out, one can relate to it Myer says that our fellow humans affect us and our lives.

On 18 January 2007 an article was published in Expressen, where it was written that a girl had been found again after 19 years in the jungle. According to the article, she went like a monkey and behaved like a monkey. When she was hungry she patted on, inter alia magen.6 This supports definitely Nilsson's theory that man is influenced by social interaction, I think.

A definition of social psychology is considered the most comprehensive, the most accurate and useful. It's Gordon Allport (1897 - 1967) view that I quoted in the introduction. According to him, social psychology "of how people's thoughts, feelings and actions are influenced by the actual or imagined presence of others". What he would say is that it is through other people that we meet the community and that we also find ourselves in andra.7

To draw any parallels to Gordon Allport I can say from personal experience that it is very easily influenced by the surroundings. What I first think of is how the mood of a group is contagious. If someone is very happy and talkative so soon becomes also the greater part of the group. However, this phenomenon also acts in the opposite direction. And that's when, I think, as you notice it the most because a negative attitude often more noticeable than a positive. If someone in the group is irritable and grumpy so it is very easy to others in the group can irritate on the fact that he or she is acidic. Then it will automatically so that the group as a whole becomes the miserable character.

How is the behavior of individuals when you have a social life?

A theory that Zajonc (1965) had was "The drive theory of social facilitation". This theory is about the social gain. This means that when others are present, you improve the trained and simple tasks but impairs the difficult and less trained uppgifterna.8

This is something I've noticed especially on my soccer practice. Things that you have practiced a lot on, on their own, people often like to show off that you are capable of. Then you get some kind of kick that makes it usually works well. But when it comes to exercises that are a little worse and that it is not practiced as much as it is often generally much worse. I think this may have something to do with that one is afraid of failure, and then fail to even more. You dare not beat that important dared to pass or take a shot from outside but just trying to get rid of the ball. I can also see a clear difference in my playing style and settings, depending on who's in training. When only their teammates that I like to hang out with so I can play out in a different way and really have fun. But when it is with teammates that I think less about and who do not think that is good enough it will be automatically that you do not dare to do as much and are afraid to show their weak points.

Effect of group
For example, group projects at school talking about a different social impact than social improvement. Now it's all about a tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working in groups than when alone. According Karau & Williams (1993), this trend (social loafing = Social masking) occur when a number of circumstances arises. Some of them are when the task may seem meaningless, when the individual's commitment is low, while the other group members are unknown and when the individual expects that the others in the group will perform well.

When working in a group, one can also talk about another effect called ring electrically effect. It means that the individual effort decreases as the size of the group ökar.9 This is an effect that is often seen in school. At the individual works are accustomed to doing everything yourself and have all the responsibility on himself. But the group work must divide responsibilities between themselves and when you then become numerous in a group you do not feel the effort very much. You think: "That they may take care of, I can not stand it."

Three categories of social influence

According to Cialdini (2002), there are three different categories of social influence.
Conformity: A social impact, and individuals themselves change their attitudes and behaviors to adapt to a group. This adjustment I think is very interesting. They use it virtually every day. Talk with a group of children in kindergarten adapt it to their sayings and skills. When you talk to people in their own environment is man them and uses a completely different language that is difficult for older people to understand. Why do you change their attitude and behavior even when one turns to the elderly and talk one on one with "mature" way.
Compliance: This means you give in. It bends quite easy for someone else's statement will.
Obedience: A social impact, and obey someone else's orders, such as a state superior (police), a teacher or a förälder.10

Social psychology even say what it is that enables us to help others, sometimes completely unknown, people without thinking about our own well-being. This is called altruism, which is the opposite of egoism.11 This can for example be when helping an old man down a flight of stairs or picking up something he or she lost in the elevator.

Why is there currently a great need for self-knowledge?

To know oneself in social psychological sense, says Björn Nilsson (lecturer in social psychology), means that we are dependent on knowing who we are, that we "must be others to be ourselves." Man has from birth a social skills and are born into a social context. To awareness and self-concept will be developed, there must be other people's reactions and bekräftelser.12

"Gnothi seauton," know thyself, it was the temple of Apollo at Delphi. This quote wanted to point out a warning for people to realize their limitations and do not magnify themselves. Today, it sounds different. Today, when we use the same motto / quote is not about external borders, but about the interior. The quest for self-knowledge is virtually unlimited and will continue throughout life. It depends not least on us during life changing social position and thus enter into new roles and get other forms of acknowledgment from the new environment. (Björn Nilsson) 13

In the past, people who lived in the same place more similar to each other in the background, experience and expectations and direction in life. Over a generation had the social environment has barely changed anything. This change took a long time and it did not then the same self-awareness because everything was the same. But today these changes much faster. We live thus in an uncertain world and the future is equally uncertain. Björn Nilsson argues that this results to a disorientation in life that can not be sorted out as quickly. It requires an inner stability and strength to cope with life's crises and unpredictable units. Today, there is also a much stronger focus on the individual. A focus that was once the collective. Nilsson continues to point to the increasing demands on the individual, the family, education, leisure and work. This can apply to life, happiness, but also work performance, study skills and conflict tolerance. Therefore, the individual has currently a great need to be seen and heard in these social sammanhang.14

The large and often recurring question of how to behave to find self-knowledge is difficult to answer. Björn Nilsson believes that there are many ways to answer the question but if just one way, depends entirely on the individual. But can ask for feedback - ie that you ask others in its vicinity what their image of us. One can also think about their own values, which mankind has been so on.

A famous philosopher and theorist - Aristotle - believes that man is a social being who therefore must have an understanding of relationships between people. This means that you should have an understanding of what happens when she is with others and how both groups and organizations may be managed. In other words: You should have an understanding of a social skills.
In addition to social skills are also required psychological expertise. The psychological competence is about maturity, self-awareness and reflection on experience.

Another so-called path to self-knowledge, according to Nilsson, can go through the relationship between reason and according instinctively thinking of the individual. Just rationally thinking of who you are is often rapidly running out. You only see closed doors for a greater understanding of and views into the psyche mazes, writes Björn Nilsson. He continues with the instinctive thinking in which he sees the keys to the closed doors. These keys sees as the instinctive thinking is not limited by language categories, but holds that the word "imagination" really means: "make possible" .15

Further reflections and termination
Social psychology is about seeing the relationship between the individual and his fellows. We constantly receive impressions and behaviors of our fellow human beings and it can not fail to affect us very much of them. Just like Myer once said, it is our fellows that affect us, our development and our lives. I think that's pretty scary. Although Myer is a theorist like so many others, and perhaps can not fully trust his opinion, I realize that this really can sue. We are affected quite differently based on which group we find ourselves in. I think everyone in a group. Family, or colleagues can be a group, vagrant belong to a group and so on.

I also think that Allport's theory that we find ourselves through other people is very interesting. I'm starting to think about how I no its might find myself and know who I really am if I do not get the impression of how others perceive me. Although Allport's theory is considered the most comprehensive, it is still worth pointing out that this too is just a theory like any other.

The question recurs on how we are affected when we are together with others. The conclusion I can draw after writing this work is that it is a natural reaction. All the impressions we receive from our surroundings are collected and formed into a behavior that I believe may be perceived as our personality.

For me, self-knowledge something that I try to achieve every day. Knowing yourself, I think that one can also get to know others better. In addition, improved self-awareness can know itself. This under a condition that one sees himself as a positive being. If one sees himself as negative you have to work more on that see the positive in itself. Aristotle says that an important way to self-knowledge is by having an understanding of each other as individuals. Understanding of each other relationships get through to communicate with each other and then they should immediately impression of how others react to what you say, which can lead to increased self-knowledge.

Nathaniel Larsson

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