Article

Social Psychology

Alison Bianchi

in Sociology

ISBN: 9780199756384
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756384-0069
Social Psychology

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  • Sociology
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  • Social Movements and Social Change
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According to one of its most notable early researchers, the psychologist Gordon Allport, social psychology is the scientific investigation of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. Given this broad definition, studying social psychology would require a truly interdisciplinary effort from researchers in the fields of psychology, political science, anthropology, economics, sports science, and sociology. Indeed, during the nascent period of the field, before and directly after World War II, psychologists and sociologists collaborated on important explorations of social behavior. However, over time researchers from these two disciplines began to specialize in certain aspects of social psychology, with sociologists concentrating more on how social structure shapes people and how people in turn change or maintain social structure and social organization. This article focuses on the major contributions of sociological social psychologists to the field of social psychology with an emphasis on theoretical works. In general, sociological social psychologists study the interplay among culture, social structure, and individual conscious and nonconscious processes of the mind and emotions.

Article.  19697 words. 

Subjects: Sociology ; Comparative and Historical Sociology ; Economic Sociology ; Gender and Sexuality ; Health, Illness, and Medicine ; Population and Demography ; Race and Ethnicity ; Social Movements and Social Change ; Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility ; Social Theory

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