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Social Psychology textbook notes.docx

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Western University
Sociology 2233

• Clinical psychology: focuses on behavior disorders and other forms of mental illness and how to treat them. Social psychology focuses on “normal” behavior whereas clinical psychology focuses on “abnormal” behavior. Social and clinical psychology have had a long tradition of exchanging ideas and stimulating insights into each others fields. • Cognitive Psychology: the study of thought processes, such as how memory works and what people notice. Social psychology ‘borrows’methods for measuring cognitive processes. • Developmental psychology: the study of how people change across their lives, from conception and birth to old age and death. Developmental psychology often borrows social psychology theories and builds on them. • Personality psychology: focuses on important differences between individuals. Social and personality psychology have had a long and close relationship ⇒ Asocial psychologist is usually interested in studying the individual. ⇒ “Abnormal” behavior is to “normal” behavior as clinical psychology is to social psychology. Why do people study Social Psychology? ⇒ Curiosity about people, social psychology can teach you a great deal about how to understand people ⇒ Experimental philosophy • Philosophy: “love of wisdom”; the pursuit of knowledge about fundamental matters such as life, death, meaning, reality, and truth. • Psychology addresses many questions that pertain to the love of wisdom and that also interest philosophers • What separates them is psychology’s heavy reliance on the scientific method ⇒ Making the world better • Applied research: research that focuses on solving particular practical problems. The research is applied to a specific problem. • Basic research: research that focuses on a general understanding of basic principles that can be applied to many different problems. How do Social Psychologists answer their own questions? ⇒ Accumulated common wisdom ⇒ Overview of the scientific method The scientific method involves 5 basic steps: 1. The researcher states a problem for study 3
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