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Unit 2 (Lecture 1): What is Social Psychology?

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Sociology 2234E
Brendan Murphy

Lecture 1 What is Social PsychologyA A definitionSocial psychology is the scientific study of the nature and causes of normal individual behaviour emotion and thought in social situations Sociological social psychology puts special emphasis on the social context of all individual actions especially the ways in which we attempt to exert social influence on others and how we react to the influencing attempts of othersy The nature of social science itself is not depending on our intuitive understanding or what we believe passes for knowledge o Counterintuitive what most of us believe is the truth is not ex study concerning people helping strangers on a residential street vs busy intersectiondowntown o Using scientific method to learn things about social behaviour o We tend not to doubt the information we receive however we are the subjects of sociologywe are the rockswe are studying ourselves and have views about ourselves that have not been proved of being true ex assuming humans are naturally aggressiveno evidence to suggest this y What constitutes normalo In social sciences we use bell curves to define what normal is o Sociology cant help us do an analysis of people who are abnormal y 3 dimensions thought cognitive emotion affect behaviour o Concerned about what we ultimately doanything that is external to thoughtemotional processes o When dealing with our thoughts they are the things that ultimately control our action
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