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Psychological Social Psychology

Joel Powell

Subject Psychology
Sociology » Social Psychology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Psychological social psychology is concerned with social influences on individual behavior. In its century of modern history, psychological social psychology has addressed issues of attitude, perception, memory, prejudice, personality, emotion, conformity, learning, socialization, persuasion, and cognition. In topics, methods, and theory there has been minimal overlap with sociological social psychology primarily because of psychology's persistent emphasis on the individual as the most important unit of analysis. Social scientists made no significant proprietary claims on early modern social psychology. Anthropologists and sociologists were investigating small groups and large populations. Psychologists had already staked out productive areas of research and debate in learning, memory, motivation, and animal behavior. Before the twentieth century, psychological experiments in human social influence had been conducted, notably Norman Triplett's 1897 study of the effects of competition upon performance. But social context was seen as a given feature of the environment and psychologists seemed content to share the study of social life with other disciplines. The first systematic attempt in psychology to account for human group life was William McDougall's Introduction to Social Psychology in 1908. McDougall argued that group behavior was innate, instinctive, and modified in experience. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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