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SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY

Study guide for Chapter 1


Bold parts are only in the text
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What is social psychology? What does it mean to study something scientifically?

To study something scientifically implies the scientific method is being employed,


as well as an objective observation of certain events,(whether generated or naturally
occurring), is being recorded.

Social psychology differs from sociology in the way each occupation conducts their
research and targets their concern of said research. Social psychologists tend to focus on
the individual in a particular environment, while a sociologists tends to study the
interactions of groups/communities as a whole.
Social psychology differs from clinical psychology in that clinical psychology focuses on
the abnormal, or illnesses and psychological difficulties that are not prominent in
everyday life. Social psychologists do the exact opposite.
Social psychology differs from personality psychology in that, as the name states, this
field focuses on an individuals personality and how said personalities of human beings
interact positively or negatively with one another. A social psychologist tends to focus on
how social factors,(regardless of personalities), affect individual interaction.
Social psychology differs from cognitive psychology in that cognitive psycholy deals with
cognition, or the internal thought processes of the human mind,(i.e. remembering,
thinking, learning). While Social psychologists are concerned with this, they more
specifically focus on how our thoughts and behaviors are influenced by social situations.

What are some problems with relying entirely on common sense?

4.

Social psychology is the study of how people behave think and feel in a social
environment/context.

How is social psychology different from sociology, clinical psychology, personality


psychology, and cognitive psychology?

3.

Some problems with relying entirely on common sense include the possibility of such
thoughts being entirely inaccurate, as there is more than likely no valid research
supporting such thoughts.
Common sense also tends to leave questions answered too simply, when multiple
variables could affect the situation at hand.

Who was Kurt Lewin (pronounced Le-VEEN), and what fundamental principles of social
psychology did he establish? What is the interactionist perspective? Specifically, when
we talk about the interactionist perspective in social psychology, which type of interaction
do we usually mean: interactions between situation/environment (social) and person
(personality) factors, interaction between thoughts and behavior, or interaction between
cognitive and personality psychology? (Its only one of the ones I just listed.)

Kurt Lewin was a theorist who established that behavior can be defined as the interaction
between an individual and their environment,known as the interactionist perspective,
( as opposed to internal motives and external rewards/punishments).
Interaction perspective primarily involves interactions between situation/environment and
person (personality) factors.

5.

Differentiate between social neuroscience, behavioral genetics and evolutionary


psychology. (You can stay pretty general here.)

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Social neuroscience focuses on how social occurrences of the individual can be


explained by neurological processes,(ex. Aggression levels and playing violent video
games).
Behavioral genetics focuses on studying which social behaviors are possibly genetically
present, and therefore passed on to future offspring.
Evolutionary psychology focuses on explaining human behavior based on evolutionary
factors,(ex. Jealousy may have evolved from natural selection pressures).

What is culture? Differentiate between cross-cultural and multicultural research. Why are
both important?

Culture can be defined as long lasting traditions, beliefs, values, and institutions held by a
large group.
Cross cultural research studies the similarities and differences between varying cultures.
Multicultural research examine racial and ethnic groups WITHIN said cultures.
Both are important due to the findings serving to distinguish what makes each culture
different, as well as what can be done to produce harmony between said groups,(i.e.
conflict resolution).