Explore BrainMass

Explore BrainMass

    Social Psychology Theories and Theorists

    Social psychology is the branch of psychology that studies our social nature. Social psychologists are interested in how the presence of others influence our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Those in the field apply basic psychological processes to understanding social cognition - the processes involving in perceiving interpreting and acting on social information.¹

    One of the the most important concepts studied in social psychology is that of attribution; the process by which people infer causes of other people's behavior. Everyone is practicing attribution, whether consciously or subconsciously, almost all the time. Kelley’s Theory of Attribution suggests that we attribute the behavior of other people to external or internal causes on the basis of three types of information: consensus, distinctiveness, and consistency(1). We make attributions based on our personal experiences, meaning that these attributions are always partial and biased to an extent. There are two types of attributional biases:

    1. Fundamental attribution error is the tendency to “overestimate the significance of internal factors and underestimate the significance of external factors in explaining other people’s behavior."¹ Three examples of a fundamental attribution error are: (1) people get what they deserve in life; (2 )the actor-observer effect and (3) the self-serving bias. Learn about these and more in this section of BrainMass.
    2. The false consensus is “the tendency of a person to perceive his or her own response as representative of a general consensus."¹

    Another popular model studied in social psychology is the elaboration likelihood model of attitude change to explain the effectiveness of persuasion. As illustrated in the attached table, the central route requires critical thinking and the peripheral route associates an argument with something positive.¹

    Discover more about interpersonal attraction, social influences, group behaviour, social cognition and attitudes in the Social Psychology section of BrainMass!



    1. Carlson, Neil R., William Buskist, and G. Neil. Martin. Psychology: The Science of Behaviour. Harlow: Allyn and Bacon, 2000.

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com December 9, 2022, 9:41 pm ad1c9bdddf

    BrainMass Solutions Available for Instant Download

    The Halo Effect, and how it can affect children

    Can the halo effect affect a child's perception of others? How is the halo effect a learned behavior for children? Children learn from their environment, others around them, and society in general. Children may often alter their perceptions of someone based on the halo effect.

    Gender, Leadership, and Advantages

    Are there any gender considerations in leadership? Can both men and women serve as effective leaders? Are there situations where one gender might have a leadership advantage? Please explain.

    Restorative Justice VS Traditional Justice

    1. In what way would understanding the causes of crime aid offenders in the restorative-justice process. 2. How do restorative justice principle aid in providing justice for victims. 3. How does restorative justice aim to serve society better than traditional, adversarial model of justice.

    Professional Boundaries

    What are some potential consequences if a professional has loose or poor professional boundaries? What are some factors that may make it difficult to maintain professional boundaries?

    Deception validity

    Give an example of how using deception in research can and should be used. Describe why the use of deception can be considered acceptable while some of the classic research methods are not.

    Biology and Crime

    Assuming that males are more violent than females; does that mean crime has a biological rather than a social basis? Would you classify this as an individual or a societal issue? Explain. Give examples of theories of criminology that might explain gender differences in why certain crimes are committed. Select an example of t

    Unraveling Obesity Labels

    As an expert in the area of prevention, you have been asked by a journalist to write a column for an online newsletter for teachers and other professionals who work with youth and young adults. You have chosen to discuss a myth about body image or eating disturbances as your first posting. Because you are writing for a professio

    Theories and Types of Theories

    I have a question that needs to be answered - Discuss scholarly views of the nature and types of theory. I am a bit confuse when it says "the nature" of theory. Can you help enlighten me on what I need to be looking at for this portion of the question or how to answer this? The types of theory - Kind of unsure whether to use s

    Big Five Model pop culture examples

    Select five well-known individuals (living or deceased) to illustrate the two extremes of the Big Five Model dimensions. Identify where the individual falls for each of the Big Five traits. Summarize using examples of the individual's behavior that supports your analysis.

    Eyewitness Testimony & Psychology

    Cacioppo and Freberg (2013, pg. 434) stated" It may be quite unsettling to realize that memories are open to change and revision, and that those distinct and confident childhood memories we cherish may be somewhat inaccurate or even flat out wrong". Apply this statement to the "Psychology as a Hub Science: How Reliable are Eyewi

    Hearing Loss among Elders

    Consider this statement "Helen Keller, who was both blind and deaf was asked which disability affected her the most, she replied that blindness separated her from things, while deafness separated her from people" (Cacioppo and Freberg, 2013, pg 209). As people age, hearing loss is normal developmental change. How does loss of

    Neuroscience in Criminal Justice

    Read Cacioppo and Freberg (2013, pgs. 160-161) "Psychology as a Hub Science: Law, Responsibility and the Brain". Does neuroscience have a place in the criminal justice system? Before being paroled, would brain imaging help to protect society? Why or why not?

    Drugs reading Reaction

    Cacioppo and Freberg (2013) discussed the various types of addictive substances, to include: hallucinogens, stimulants, depressants, and opiates. Choose the area of addictive substance that you believe causes the most damage to the biological and social health of the individual. What facts surprised you? How does this help

    Personality Theory

    Brainstorming is given to offer some background on Penelope Garcia from Criminal minds in relation to two personality theories that can possibly relate to her personality.

    How Heruristics Affects Our Perceptions of the World

    I am in need of help to complete this assignment. I need a 12 slide PowerPoint on heuristics (mental shortcuts). In the PowerPoint I need to provide an overview of the concept of heuristics. I need to explain how these mental shortcuts can undermine the need to social cognition or accuracy in our perceptions of the world ar

    Group counseling psychiatry

    PS521-4: Determine the ethical, legal, and socio-cultural appropriate practice in group counseling. In a 5- to 7-page paper combining all prior reading and material, you will be assessing your personal and professional abilities as a group counselor and integrating the important aspect of cultural diversity. Also, using the c

    Spencer Reid: Fictional Character Personality Analysis

    fictional character and two personality theories related to them spencer reid from criminal minds with references at least 700 words with references -using eyesynck trait theory and Allport theory of traits or any more appropriate theories


    Name and briefly describe two of the many possible explanations for people's aggression and hatred. Which explanation makes the most sense to you? Why? What are the weaknesses of this approach?

    Ring Around the Roses

    A children's song, Ring around the Rosie, is traceable back to at least 1790 in the United States and 1796 in Germany. It was widely held that it was a reference to one of the last outbreaks of the bubonic plague (The Black Death that struck England in the 1660s). Some folklorists disputed the connection, though this belief in t

    Public Awareness Campaign

    Briefly analyze a public awareness campaign by a nationally or internationally-based nonprofit or government agency. (1) Describe briefly the elaboration likelihood model and what it is all about. (2) Discuss how the central and peripheral routes to attitude change promote changes differently. (3) Discuss the different

    Audrey Hepburn: personality theories

    This solution brainstorms some brief ideas about Audrey Hepburn's personality and two theories (Freudian and Adler theories) related to her. References are also cited.

    Cognitive Dissonance, Self-Perception Theories: a Discussion

    Good morning: I need help in explaining in my own words Festinger and Carlsmith's cognitive dissonance theory and Bern's self-perception theory. Next, I need to locate a news article that illustrates each of the theories and summarize the article as it relates to the theory. Finally, contrast the differences between these tw

    Use of Qualitative Triangulation

    What is qualitative triangulation? Why might this extension be viewed by traditional researchers as controversial? Is this extension valid and meaningful for qualitative researchers?

    Test Scores: Qualitative Research Interpretation

    Assume the role of a chief researcher for the state Department of Education who is examining two groups with similar educational deficiencies. One group involved in the study is a rural, ethnically-defined, aboriginal group with a high rate of health issues including diabetes, vision impairment, and heart disease. The other grou