Social psychology can be basically defined as the scientific study of the way of peoples feelings, thoughts and behaviors are influenced by the implied and imagined presence of their fellow around them. According to social psychologists, human beings are influenced by the way their fellow human beings who live around them. This paper will critically examine the social psychology concepts based on the media resources.
Human beings are known to be prone to social influence even if they are alone in a place. Therefore, social psychologist emphasize on the factors that drive people to behave the way they do in the presence of their fellows. They emphasize on the way human thoughts and feelings are influenced when they interact with others (Bolger, N. I. A. L. L, 998).
There several theories associated with the social psychology. Some of the theories include; attribution theory- this theory is concerned with the way people explain other peoples behaviors Bolger, N. I. A. L. L, 1998). This theory divides how people view other peoples thoughts into two; the external attribution which explains the outside factors that influence other peoples behaviors. The second is the internal attributions which explains the internal personality of someone. Another theory of social psychology is the cognitive dissonance- this theory is concerned with the concept of cognitive consistence. This theory states that when people do something that is not right with their conscience then they get motivated to change that behavior. For instance the cognitive dissonance theory can be explained by idea that smoking cigarettes can increase the chances of cancer effects. This can be further explained using the following journal. In Associations between pain and current smoking status among cancer patients by Joseph W (2011), most of people are undergoing cancer diagnosis with smokers experiencing greater pain than other cancer patients. According to the journal, survey showed that 6 patients out of 7 were suffering from severe pain. The journal recommends that doctors to help their patients especially those with cancer problems to stop smoking in order to prevent the excess pain. According to the journal, smoking cessation will greatly assist in cancer treatment.
The third theory is the dive theory that the presence of others around us causes arousal of our emotions which therefore affects the way we behave.
Social influence is the persuasive impacts people have on one another (Ball-Rokeach, S. J., & DeFleur, M. L, 1976). It is one of the major elements of social psychology and depends heavily on the attitudes and persuasion. Social influence has the following areas of interest; conformity- this is the way people act and think like other members of their peer group. The level of the conformity of a given group of people highly depend on the accountability and initial commitment of the group members. Secondly, compliance is another major area of interest of study in social influence. Compliance is the way people change their behavior based on the request or suggestion from other members of the group. A good example of such case is when someone request a small favor from his/her fellow and is then followed by another greater favor. The third level of social influence is the obedience. This is where one changes her/his behavior as a result of a command from another person within the group. Social influence is where one can make interpersonal predictions on a given phenomenon. For instance, in the journal Public and private spheres of neighborhood disorders: Assessing pathways to violence using large-scale digital records by Daniel O Brien and Robert J. Sampson (2005), explains that the interpersonal conflict can be used as to make predictions on the community crime or misconduct. In the journal, the authors argue that increase in private conflict and violence may result in increase in use of guns which in turn result in crime rate. According to the journal, most people with stressful conflicts are most likely to respond to a situation violently. In the journal, the authors argue that more incidents involving use of guns in 2011 in Boston predicted the homicide cases in the following year, 2012. This theory of social influence calls the prediction of things as the self- fulfilling prophecy. This theory further explains that people may predict something from others and they induce that thing with their own behavior.
Social psychology involves the study of peoples attitudes and how these attitudes influence their behavior. Attitudes is associated with the conformity, interpersonal attractions and how people perceive their social environment (Ball-Rokeach, S. J., & DeFleur, M. L, 1976). Social psychologist are interested in the study of attitude formation, its structure, roles in human behavior change and its relationship with the human behavior. Attitudes are not recommended for human behavior prediction because people are highly influenced by the circumstances that surrounds them. Group dynamics also affects the social psychological set up of people. There are different groups of people in the society and this difference results in their difference in the perception of things. This idea can be explained in the journal Class position and musical tastes: A sing- off between the cultural omnivorism and bourdieusian homology frameworks by Gerry Veenstra (2015). In this journal, Gerry argues that breadth of tastes cannot be linked to class, bit class determines a specific dislike and likes of a group. According to Gerry (2015), a class of people influence their likes and dislikes. In his analysis of musical likes and dislikes, he found that poorer and the less educated people in the society tend to like certain genre of songs and their counterparts the rich also have their taste of likes. In his analysis of musical likes and dislikes in Toronto and Vancouver, he says that the less educated people like country, disco and rap music while the rich have their musical taste on jazz, blues and opera music. According to the study, wealth and education status do not highly influence peoples likes and dislikes of music, but the class difference do. This difference include; age, ethnicity and other class factors may also affect someones taste for music. According to the study, what the upper class like the lower class dislikes.
Persuasion is another factor that is associated with the social psychology. Persuasion is basically the act of convincing others to adopt another idea or belief. It depends on the appeals and not on pressure. This theory requires motivation in order to be effected. The social cognition is also one of the basic elements of social psychology that deals with how people perceive things, thinks about things and others. People think about their fellows differently. This difference is based on the non-social target.
In conclusion, social psychology is part of human daily life and everything that people do is either influenced by one thing or the other. Social psychologists argue that the mind plays a major role in determining ones perception. This paper has examine the social psychology concepts with the experience examples from different journals.
Bolger, N. I. A. L. L. (1998). Data analysis in social psychology. Handbook of social psychology, 1, 233-265.
Ball-Rokeach, S. J., & DeFleur, M. L. (1976). A dependency model of mass-media effects. Communication research, 3(1), 3-21.
Daniel OBrien and Robert J. Sampson. Public and private spheres of neighborhood disorder: Assessing pathways to violence using large-scale digital records. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, June 2015
Gerry Veenstra. Class Position and Musical Tastes: A Sing-Off between the Cultural Omnivorism and Bourdieusian Homology Frameworks. Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue canadienne de sociologie, 2015; 52 (2): 134 DOI: 10.1111/cars.12068Joseph W. Ditre, Brian D. Gonzalez, Vani N. Simmons, Leigh Anne Faul, Thomas H. Brandon, Paul B. Jacobsen. Associations between pain and current smoking status among cancer patients. Pain, 2011; 152 (1): 60 DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2010.09.001Wood, W., Wong, F. Y., & Chachere, J. G. (1991). Effects of media violence on viewers' aggression in unconstrained social interaction. Psychological bulletin, 109(3), 371.
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