What is Social Psychology?
Social psychology can be seen as a combination of psychology (an expansion of this topic to the more general) and of sociology (a concentration of on a certain area of the psychology discipline). The discipline is based on the belief that social behaviour is governed by psychological principles that can be discovered by observation and experiment. It began as a part of the discipline of psychology about 100 years ago, and it focused on concepts such as suggestibility, crowd behaviour, social movements, prejudice and group thinking. The discipline grew quickly after World War 2 and concepts such as attitude measurement, leadership, group dynamics and person perception were included in the study of social psychology. By 1970, it had grown to include concepts such as social images of ourselves, altruism, social motives and interpersonal communication. Social psychology is a source of ideas about interesting phenomena such as friendships, love, advertising and politics. It adds a useful perspective on human behaviour and experiences and provides an overall understanding why people as groups behave as they do rather than just how individuals act.