Social psychology is the branch of psychology which focus on the individuals’ behaviours, thoughts and feelings and how these are influenced by the presence of other individuals.
Traditionally, social psychology was the closing gap between psychology and sociology. Nevertheless, over the years, the two disciplines have become more specialised and isolated as sociologists focus more on macro variables such as the social structure rather than psychologists.
Social psychology as a discipline began in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. Nevertheless, the foundations of this discipline relate to the 18th century when different explanations on the aspects of human nature were provided.
In social psychology, both intrapersonal and interpersonal phenomena are considered. Intrapersonal phenomena include attitudes, persuasion, self-concept and social cognition. On the contrary, interpersonal aspects include social influence, group dynamics and interpersonal attraction.
The discipline adopts also specific methodologies. Due to the fact that social psychology is an empirical science, the discipline tries to answer questions about the human behaviours by testing hypotheses in laboratories and in the field. Therefore, experimental methods, correlational methods and observational methods are adopted by this discipline.
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