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Social Psychology

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Social Psychology

Social psychology is the scientific study of how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. By this definition, scientific refers to the empirical method of investigation. The terms thoughts, feelings, and behaviors include all of the psychological variables that are measurable in a human being. The statement that others may be imagined or implied suggests that we are prone to social influence even when no other people are present, such as when watching television, or following internalized cultural norms.

Social psychologists typically explain human behavior as a result of the interaction of mental states and immediate social situations. In Kurt Lewin's conceptual formula, behavior can be viewed as a function of the person in the environment, B = f(P , E). In general, social psychologists have a preference for laboratory based, empirical findings. Social psychology theories tend to be specific and focused, rather than global and general.

Social psychology is an interdisciplinary domain that bridges the gap between psychology and sociology. During the years immediately following World War II, there was frequent collaboration between psychologists and sociologists. However, the two disciplines have become increasingly specialized and isolated from each other in recent years, with sociologists focusing on "macro variables" (e.g. social structure) to a much greater extent. Nevertheless, sociological approaches to social psychology remain an important counterpart to psychological research in this area.

In addition to the split between psychology and sociology, there has been a somewhat less pronounced difference in emphasis between American social psychologists and European social psychologists. As a broad generalization, American researchers traditionally have focused more on the individual, whereas Europeans have paid more attention to group level phenomena. See Group dynamics.

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Matching Social Psychology Colleges

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Social Psychology Scholarships

Name Amount Deadline
Dr. Marie Dellas and Poppy Dellas Scholarship $12,569 July 04, 2017
Constance M. Ferwerda Endowment for the Humanities Award $2,500 February 01, 2018
Thomas Decker Memorial Endowed Scholarship $1,000 February 01, 2018
McConnell-Robinson Scholarship $500 February 01, 2018
Jose and B.J. Cuesta Memorial Psychology Scholarship Up to $500 March 01, 2018
Matthew E. Russ and Ann Fitzmaurice-Russ Scholarship Varies March 01, 2018
Graduate Psychology Award Varies March 01, 2018
Katherine Vickery Scholarship Varies March 01, 2018
Charles W. Dobson Memorial Research Scholarship Varies December 01, 2017
Albert and Adele Krotzer Fund Scholarship Varies December 01, 2017