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Outlining a Paper on Social Psychology

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Outline a paper of 2000 words on any topic related to social psychology. Please include at least eight sources, four of those with publication dates from the past two years.

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Dear Student,
Hi and thank you for using BrainMass. The solution below should get you started. In this particular task, you are asking for help in putting together a 2,000 word paper in any topic in the social psychology. This is a rather wide net as social psychology is a very broad discipline. You can study attitudes, prejudice, social issues related to attitudes, group behavior, perception, aggression, etc. For me, a good topic to study would be a social issue related to behavior and development - like Risky Teen behaviors (i.e. substance abuse and teen pregnancy). Below, I have presented this possible research for you via an outline and information that will be useful to put such a paper together. As you know, I cannot complete this task for you but I can give you the tools to make this happen. As for your outline, I suggest using this:

1. On Social psychology - 150 words
2. About your topic & its relevance - 150 words
3. Risky Teen Behaviors - 200 words
4. Teen Pregnancy - 200 words
5. Adolescent Sexuality - 200 words
6. Causes - 400 words
7. Impact - 400 words
8. Prevention & Mitigation - 300 words
9. Resources

This will allow you to cover all relevant topics - from social psychology at large to risky teen behaviors to a social issue - teen pregnancy. You can use the listed resources to further explore the topic. Just let me know via the feedback section if you need further clarification.

Topics in Social Psychology: Risky Behaviors, Teen Sexuality & Pregnancy

On Social Psychology

According to McLeod (2007),"Social psychology is about understanding individual behavior in a social context." This field is interested this in (McLeod, 2007) in studying, "human behavior as influenced by other people and the social context in which this occurs. Social psychologists therefore deal with the factors that lead us to behave in a given way in the presence of others, and look at the conditions under which certain behavior/actions and feelings occur." If self-concept, social cognition, attitudes, social behavior and stereotypes are among the main topics, then studying behaviors leading to social issues impacting the youth and their eventual outcomes, including the impact of such in the wide society falls into the interest of social psychology.

There are 2 key figures I believe that can find relevance in exploring risky teen behaviors, in particular teen pregnancy. Gordon Allport's Social facilitation theory who according to McLeod (2011), "Studies on social facilitation concern the extent to which a given piece of an individual's behavior is affected by the real, imagined or implied presence of others." Essentially, how we behave in a social setting is influenced by those around us so we either modify our behavior to fit expectations or inhibit ourselves from behaving in a particular way to find 'fit'. In a way this can be utilized to explain 'peer pressure' as most children and adolescents behave to find 'fit' among their friends in the community and in the school where belonging to a group and finding a particular role and identity is a key part of development. Another key figure is Albert Bandura (McLeod, 2011) whose social learning theory suggests that, "behavior is learned from the environment through the process of observational learning...humans are active information processors and think about the relationship between their behavior and its consequences...Children pay attention to some of these people (models) and encode their behavior. At a later time they may imitate (i.e. copy) the behavior they have observed." If we then utilize Allport's and Bandura's theories, and apply it to risky teen behaviors, we can propose that risky behaviors are modelled and learned in an environment where information and behavior that provides models and influences towards particular stereotypes, ideals and roles are plenty.

On Risky Teen Behaviors

Among parents of teens and adolescents, a common issue faced is the notion of 'teen rebellion'. Rebellion however can be explained by the particular goal of this stage in development when the teen is working towards finding an identity in a stage where a lot of changes are taking place - physical, emotional and social leading to confusion, in particular role confusion (where the teen is testing boundaries) and where certain elements are present, rebellion (i.e. rebellion against parental rules, rebellion against school rules) in acts of self expression or exploration. For Lehman (2015), 'messing up' is a typical teen outcome. Lehman (2015) writes, "A breach of trust usually happens when you've given your child some responsibility, freedom ...