It also makes predictions about future actions, activity or situations. In general, the appeal of social theory derives from the fact that it takes the focus away from the individual which is how most humans look at the world and focuses it on the society itself and the social forces that affect our lives. This sociological insight often termed the "sociological imagination" looks beyond the assumption that social structures and patterns are purely random, and attempts to provide greater understanding and meaning to human existence.
Social influence Social influence is an overarching term given to describe the persuasive effects people have on each other. It is seen as a fundamental value in social psychology and overlaps considerably with research on attitudes and persuasion.
The three main areas of social influence include: Social influence is also closely related to the study of group dynamics, as most principles of influence are strongest when they take place in social groups.
The first major area of social influence is conformity. Conformity is defined as the tendency to act or think like other members of a group.
The identity of members within a group, i. Individual variation among group members plays a key role in the dynamic of how willing people will be to conform.
In the Asch conformity experimentspeople frequently followed the majority judgment, even when the majority was objectively wrong. The second major area of social influence research is compliance.
Compliance refers to any change in behavior that is due to a request or suggestion from another person. The foot-in-the-door technique is a compliance method in which the persuader requests a small favor and then follows up with requesting a larger favor, e.
A related trick is the bait and switch. Obedience as a form of compliance was dramatically highlighted by the Milgram studywherein people were ready to administer shocks to a person in distress on a researcher's command. This is a prediction that, in being made, actually causes itself to become true.
For example, in the stock marketif it is widely believed that a crash is imminent, investors may lose confidence, sell most of their stock, and thus actually cause the crash. Similarly, people may expect hostility in others and actually induce this hostility by their own behavior. Group dynamics A group can be defined as two or more individuals that are connected to each another by social relationships.
They have a number of emergent qualities that distinguish them from aggregates: Implicit rules and expectations for group members to follow, e. Implicit rules and expectations for specific members within the group, e. Patterns of liking within the group, and also differences in prestige or status, e.
Temporary groups and aggregates share few or none of these features, and do not qualify as true social groups. People waiting in line to get on a bus, for example, do not constitute a group. To a large extent, humans define themselves by the group memberships which form their social identity.
The shared social identity of individuals within a group influences intergroup behavior, the way in which groups behave towards and perceive each other. These perceptions and behaviors in turn define the social identity of individuals within the interacting groups.
The tendency to define oneself by membership in a group may lead to intergroup discrimination, which involves favorable perceptions and behaviors directed towards the in-group, but negative perceptions and behaviors directed towards the out-group.
Groups often moderate and improve decision making ,[ citation needed ] and are frequently relied upon for these benefits, such as in committees and juries. A number of group biases, however, can interfere with effective decision making. For example, group polarization, formerly known as the "risky shift," occurs when people polarize their views in a more extreme direction after group discussion.
More problematic is the phenomenon of groupthink.
This is a collective thinking defect that is characterized by a premature consensus or an incorrect assumption of consensus, caused by members of a group failing to promote views which are not consistent with the views of other members.
Groupthink occurs in a variety of situations, including isolation of a group and the presence of a highly directive leader. Janis offered the Bay of Pigs Invasion as a historical case of groupthink.
Social facilitation, for example, is a tendency to work harder and faster in the presence of others. Social facilitation increases the dominant response 's likelihood, which tends to improve performance on simple tasks and reduce it on complex tasks. Social loafing is common when the task is considered unimportant and individual contributions are not easy to see.The Social Psychology of Organizations [Daniel Katz, Robert L.
Kahn] on leslutinsduphoenix.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Analyzes the essential problems of human organizations--the motivation to work, the resolution of conflict. - Realistic Conflict Theory As one of the oldest social psychology theories, the Realistic Conflict Theory deals with the conflict and hostility that is projected to arise between individuals or groups competing over the same limited resources.
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. In this definition, scientific refers to the empirical investigation using the scientific leslutinsduphoenix.com terms thoughts, feelings, and behavior refer to psychological variables that can be measured in humans.
Since conflict theory is not a fully established, independent sociological paradigm, the number of introductory texts and reflections on the history of conflict theoretical thinking is rather limited. Bartos and Wehr provide a general and comprehensive introduction to the explanation of social.
The first notable book in English was published by McDougall in (An Introduction to Social Psychology), which included chapters on emotion and sentiment, morality, character and religion, quite different to those incorporated in the field today. This can be accounted for by Tajfel & Turner’s social identity theory, which states that Author: Saul Mcleod.
This paper, coauthored with James S. Simkin in , was the Gestalt Therapy chapter in the edition of Corsini and Wedding's Current Psychotherapies (4th Edition). It appears here with the kind permission of the publisher, F.E.
Peacock, Publishers, Inc. of Itasca, Illinois.