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History and Social Psychology - Research Paper Example

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By analyzing the contemporary status of social psychology in the lights of its historical and social contexts, this document focuses on a clear-cut…
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History and Social Psychology

reas in modern studies and it combines the theories of sociology and psychology to deal with how human thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, etc are determined by the social factors such as the presence of other people. The major concern of the social psychologist is to examine the role of other individuals on the behavior and attitudes of a certain group or individual. As defined by the famous psychologist Gordon Allport, social psychology is a discipline which makes use of scientific methods in order to “understand and explain how the thought, feeling and behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined or implied presence of other human beings” (Allport, 1985). This scientific discipline, which is of comparatively recent origin, has acquired a significant growth and expansion altogether. In a personal, historical review of the discipline of social psychology, it becomes evident that the contemporary social psychology has developed vastly from the historical times, cultural, and social location, and several factors have contributed to this growth. The developments in the theories of cognitive and behavioral psychology influenced the growth of social psychology, in which cognitive and behavioral factors were essential.
The history of social psychology as a scientific or empirical study extends merely over a period of four decades. However, the evolvement this discipline as a scientific study is the result of the scholars over the last eighty years or more. Dorwin Cartwright, who has been an active player in the growth of social psychology as a scientific discipline, maintains that the most essential single influence on the development of this discipline came from outside the system, i.e. “the Second World War and the political upheaval in Europe that preceded it.” (Cartwright, 1971, p. 83). He also suggests that the most crucial individual in the development of this scientific study is Adolph Hitler, who came at a critical stage in its ... Read More
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