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What is social psychology?

Address the following items:

- Define social psychology.
- Discuss how social psychology differs from other disciplines, such as clinical psychology, general psychology, and sociology.
- Explain the role of research in social psychology.
- Incorporate at least two references.

Solution Preview

Let's take a closer look. One approach to help you with an essay assignment like this one is to address each question, which you can then consider for your final copy. Like all academic papers, it will include an Introduction, Body and Conclusion.

1. Define social psychology.

Social 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, cited in,+social+cognition,+cognitive+dissonance,+social+influence,+and+interpersonal+behaviors+such+as+altruism+and+aggression.+Research+in+these+areas+test+theories,+add+knowledge+to+the+field+and+also+leads+to+new&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk)

Another definition was proposed by Gordon W. Allport's (1954), who defined social psychology sis:

"An attempt to understand and explain how the thought, feeling and behavior of individuals is influenced by the actual, imagined or implied presence of others" (

Following from Allport's above definition of social psychology, there are three broad domains of social psychology: social perception, social influence and social interaction. Whereas social perception is defined as "how we see other social objects (i.e., people and groups)", social interaction "includes areas like cooperation and conflict, aggression, helping, interpersonal relationships and many others" and social influence "is actually the link between social perception and social interaction" (

According to Myers (1987), social psychology is "a subfield of its parent disciplines, sociology and psychology" and "shares common interests with sociology (studying how people behave in groups), and personality psychology (focusing on the individual person)" ...

Solution Summary

By addressing the questions, this solution discusses aspects of social psychology, including its definition, how it relates to other disciplines, and the role of research in social psychology. References are provided to support the response.