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1                HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY     Man always seeks company. He is gregarious by nature. He a...
2science. As a matter of fact, this phase is never given up in the development of socialpsychology this phase is clearly m...
3     Aristotle’s views are different from Plato’s views. Aristotle consider that the will to mix upor gregarious motive i...
4racial groups. Tarde in 1890 in his book “Laws of imitation” laid much stress on the influence ofthe social environment o...
5     Special groups of techniques Psychodrama, Sociodrama and Sociometry are beingemployed. The American Sociometric Soci...
6The oldest stage of the study of social behaviour is that of social philosophy. At this stageemphasis was laid on hypothe...
7they behave in this particular manner. For seeking the answer to the question “why” weexperiment by producing an environm...
8psychologists became so vast that all the possible aspects of social behaviour which could bethought of were included in ...
9      The teacher or the worker burn out in the school or industrial situation have also beeninvestigated in the 80’s and...
10on Aggression and Violence. The answer to the question "Is aggression hereditary” wasexplored by the researchers.     So...
113.      The various dimensions of sexual behaviour, sexual deviations and the -social life ofsexually deviants; relation...
12DEFINITION, NATURE, PROBLEMS AND SCOPE OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY     Social psychology is one of the most important branches ...
13     Krech and Crutchfield in their book “Social’ Psychology” define Social Psychology as “Thescience of behaviour of th...
14defined as a science which is to study the psychology of the individual man, when he isconfronted with a social situatio...
15          In a group there develop interpersonal relationships among the members of the group.Every individual influence...
16      “Social Interaction is a process whereby man interperietrates the minds of each other.”      According to this def...
17types of interactions but it must be remembered that the individual is the unit of analysis insocial interaction.LEVELS ...
18abstract objects as traditions, customs, laws, values etc. which are known as non-materialculture.     If we consider th...
19     The social psychologist has to make a study of the endowment with which a child is borninto this world. He will als...
20greatly governed by the social heritage of the society. The individuals are bound by the morallaws of the society. They ...
21in the socirty. How does the social changes take place ? What type of conflicts in the membersof the society these chang...
22    2.    The problems concerning the social heritage as it influences the behaviour of individuals in    social situati...
23problems the study of social perceptions is made Along with social perception we also studyperson perception.6     Socia...
24     In every society there are some disruptive elements. These create social tension. Somesuch elements are prejudices ...
25other individuals. Social psychology tells him the ways which may help him to lead a useful andhealthy life in the socie...
26and present. This knowledge helps us in our adjustment in a better manner to the changingsocial situations.7.    In toda...
27the differences which exist or may exist between the people of different nations. They canunderstand the causes of such ...
28then only we will be able to attain an integration between the different communities which go tomake out nation.SOME OBJ...
29there will be an accuracy in prediction there will be an effective check on understanding. Thusthe three main ideals bef...
30unless we understand clearly how the wire is heated up, we can never be able to predict that inwhat conditions the heati...
31    forms of specific institutions Krech and Crutchfield say that “Social Psychology on the other    hand, is concerned ...
32    individual’s general behaviour in social situation. We must know how from birth to death the    individual’s process...
33.   Social Psychology and Sociology    Social psychology has also very intimate relationship with sociology. Sociology m...
34    subject-matter of psychology and sociology. This overlapping is sometimes so much in quantity    that we consider so...
35    different cultures. Thus, from anthropological studies our attention is directed towards many of    those problems w...
36    of biology. On the other hand, his behaviour in the environment is studied by social psychology.    But the social b...
37it is. The ethics forms the norms pertaining to good or bad behaviour. How these norms affectthe individual behaviour in...
38all tries to fill its stomach and whole of his life pattern is motivated by the. satisfaction of hiseconomic needs.     ...
39propagate what are the traits, of leadership, how the group leaders control. Emotions andpassions of the people how the ...
40in the people against dowry system. Thus the films, press and help in the formation of publicopinions and are handy tool...
41      Social psychology is now concerned with a scientific study of the extent, direction andconsequences of the impact ...
42     experienced during the experiment. The subject answers this question on the basis of     introspection. Thus, we ca...
43      unconscious wishes desires and motivations and thus gives a report which he himself feels to be      true but in f...
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
Social psychology introduction
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Social psychology introduction

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Social psychology introduction

  1. 1. 1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Man always seeks company. He is gregarious by nature. He always likes to be with theother people. He mixes with different individuals and influence them with his own nature,outlook, views and opinions and is himself influenced by their ideas and behaviour. Every mantries for social approval. He behaves in such a way that the others may respect his individualityand consider him as someone who counts. The mans social ‘nature is the foundation of socialpsychology. His interaction with other people and with other groups, his wish for socialapproval, his attitude towards social groups, his quarrels with his neighbours, his fights with hisenemy, etc., etc., are all the subject-matter of social psychology. In fact we can say that socialpsychology makes a study of man in his interaction with the society. Social psychology is considered to be very modern. It will not be wrong to say that it isultra modern. It is a creature of the mid-twentieth century. But there is no doubt in it thatmuch earlier than that period in which social psychology took the form of a science, the politicalphilosophers were seeking an answer to the questions pertaining to the social nature of men.In fact, we can say that the roots of social psychology are quite ancient while its developmentin the present form is modern. Plato and Aristotle are the philosophers, who can be put, associal theorists. Some other names of the important psychologists and philosophers, who havecontributed towards the development of social theory are these Hartley, Steinthal and Lazarus,Tarde, Ross and Mcdougall. In the following paragraphs we will endeavour to throw some lighton the development of social psychology from the historical angle.HISTORICAL RETROSPECT The development of social psychology is akin to the historical development of othersciences. Whatever phases occur in the development of a particular science similar phases haveoccurred in the development of social psychology. The first phase or the earliest phase in thedevelopment of a science is the arm-chair phase. In this phase, the physical equipment isabsent: The thinker sits on an arm-chair and puts forward his theories regarding that particular
  2. 2. 2science. As a matter of fact, this phase is never given up in the development of socialpsychology this phase is clearly marked. After the first phase comes the second phase at which the observations are made, thedata is recorded and the theories which have been propounded at the first phase are tested.The social psychology entered this phase even earlier than twentieth century. For examplethere were tarried some early investigations with the man of genius to determine his origin andhis social function. In this connection Galton’s name is prominent, who published in 1869 abook Hereditary Genius. Besides Galton we can name Starbuch -who wrote ‘Psychology ofReligion in 1898, Lombrose who wrote Criminal Man- in 1889 and Myers, McDougall and Rivers. In the third stage of the development of a science, laboratories are set up and researchinstitutes are founded. New research operations are conducted on a larger scale and arecontinuous. In the field of social psychology, the earliest research programmes in socialbehavior were carried on by those institutions whose primary interest was outside the socialpsychology. For example, the child research institutes conducted quite a good number ofinvestigations in. the field of social development in childhood.SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY—IN ANCIENT AND MODERN TIMES From Plato to Comte the theories concerned with the social nature of the man were basedon the theories of state. We may say that early social psychology was largely a branch ofpolitical philosophy.Views of Greek Thinkers Plato and Aristotle were the first among the Western thinkers, who gave some veryinteresting ideas regarding the social nature of man Plato in his book “The Republic” wrote thatthe need of states is felt because the individual himself is not self-sufficient. He needs the helpof many other individuals. The State which emerges out with the help of different individuals isbased on the predominance of certain social sentiments. The social groups are formed becauseman feels a need for them. We may put Plato’s views as’, of the “utilitarian” or “ social contract”type.
  3. 3. 3 Aristotle’s views are different from Plato’s views. Aristotle consider that the will to mix upor gregarious motive is something instinctive. He considers that man by nature is a “politicalanimal”. He feels that it is the basis of our inborn nature that we adhere to positive affiliationsand collective way of living.Influence of Thinkers of Seventeenth Century After viewing the developments of social Psychology in the ancient times we come downto the seventeenth century in seventeenth century, we can name Male-Branche as an exponentof social psychology. He indirectly mentioned in his writing the two tendencies of suggestibilityand imitation and about out the shared norms of thinking. Hobbes in his book Leviathan in1651, tried to give a theory regarding the origin of the Society. Similarly John Locke inGovernment made an effort to give a theory regarding the origin of society. Thomas Moore inhis book Utopia referred to the importance of the socialization of the individuals His emphasiswas on the group value of sympathy.Development of Social Psychology in 18th & 19th CenturiesIn the eighteenth and nineteenth Centur1es we can name David Hume, Bain Hegel Comte andMai as the exponents of social psychology Comte gave the famous “Law of three stages “. ‘Hesaid that a science emerges gradually from the theological through the metaphysical into thePositive stages of development. In 1839 Comte Concluded that sociology must be regarded as anew Positive Science. Comte had put forward a very important question, “How can theindividual be at once cause and consequence of society?” The individual is a product of thesociety yet the society is created by him. Man is not merely a biological organism but hassomething more than this He is social being and moral agent who needs a special science toexplore and give interpretations to his nature. On the basis of these views, we may put Comteas one of the founders of social Psychology. But social psychology took the form of distinct science after Darwins theory of evolutionhas been propagated. In 1860 a journal, “Folk Psychology", was started by Steinthal andLazarus." This Journal was devoted to the study of the psychological characteristics of different
  4. 4. 4racial groups. Tarde in 1890 in his book “Laws of imitation” laid much stress on the influence ofthe social environment on the individual life. Le Bon in 1892 made an effort to explain crowdbehaviour. J. N. Baldwin in 1897 propagated the concepts of imitation, intervention and socialaspects of personality Charles Cooley made a study of the Primary groups like the family andcommunity and stressed their importance in the moral and social development of theindividual.SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY The Year I908 is notable. In that year E. A. ROSS gave a very convincing explanation ofthe behaviour of crowd strikers and revolutionary mobs. He also paid attention to thesimilarities which are found among groups in respect of religious behaviour and culturalelements arid language patterns. In the same year McDougall gave his theory of socialbehaviour. In this theory he gave an explanation of social behaviour on the basis of instinctsand emotions He considered that in social interaction, the instincts and emotions are dynamicdeterminants. McDougall emphasized that one must study the impulses and emotions which sustain themental and bodily activity of the individual and regulate his conduct. He considered them as“the springs of human action’. McDougall was of the opinion that man’s mind is the product ofmolding influences which are exerted upon the social environment. After McDougall there was rapid development in the field of. Social psychology. Therewere many who were in favor of McDougall’s view regarding the instincts and emotions. But hisopposition also began to grow and social psychology began to take a new turn. Social psychology has now progressed towards experimental side. Many experiments inthe field of social psychology are being conducted in U. K., U. S. A. and other advancedcountries. These experiments are being conducted in many directions. The fields, in which muchexperimentation is being carried on are pertaining to the public opinion research, marketresearch and survey sample interviewing.
  5. 5. 5 Special groups of techniques Psychodrama, Sociodrama and Sociometry are beingemployed. The American Sociometric Society was founded in 1945. The research centres forgroup dynamics were also founded in 1945 by Kurt Lewin. By the middle of twentieth century experiment social psychology had gained muchground. Lewin, Lippit and. White were the persons who introduced the conception of socialclimates or group atmosphere. Following their historic experiments regarding the various typesof leaderships, which approximated authoritarian, democratic and laissez- faire, socialatmosphere in the experimental groups, the experiments in the group dynamics, groupstructure, group decision and group cohesion, had begun to be conducted on a large scale. We may say that the historical development of social psychology was based on the twodirectional approaches of psychological and sociological interest. According to Newcomb: The history of social psychology may be likened to the digging of a tunnel. Sociologists didthe first digging, starting from their own side of the mountain. Their information as to what layon the psychological side of the mountain was necessarily limited and was mainly applied byway of speculation and analogy. The psychologists, who started burrowing somewhat later, hada vague sense of direction, but no map of the terrain where they needed to emerge. These twotunnels have been building for more than a half century now, and they are still, nowhere nearmeeting. They are not even going toward each other. The two teams of engineers scarcelybother to read each other’s maps, though they have free access to them." It is to be remembered that the development of social psychology was to understand thesocial behaviour. The social behaviour was studied in three stages. We will now describe thesestages.THREE STAGES IN THE STUDY OF SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR From the historical perspective we can describe the study of social behaviour in threestages. Each stage prompted the ‘next stage and incorporated new knowledge in it. Today allthe three stages are actively involved in studying social behaviour.
  6. 6. 6The oldest stage of the study of social behaviour is that of social philosophy. At this stageemphasis was laid on hypotheses and discussions because there was no attempt to obtain validinformation in’ a systematic manner. On the basis of authority r rationality the ‘conclusionswere drawn. This stage is still active in the study of modern, human behaviour through the’drawing of conclusions on the basis of reasoning rather than on’ experimentation. The second stage commenced since Nineteenth century. This is the stage of socialempiricism. This stage points towards the comprehensive study of human qualities and thestate of the human society. At this stage a systematic collection of data is encouraged. Thusthis stage advanced from the stage of discussion. Yet it continued to apply reasoning to socialproblems. One illustration of this stage we can find in opinion poll. When we estimate that howmany individuals would vote in which direction in a given sample then we are at this stage. Butat this stage we do not try to find out why do individuals vote in a particular manner. Social empiricism led to the third stage which we may call as the stage of Social Analysis.This is the development of twentieth century and is very significant in the study ofcontemporary social psychology. At this stage the relationships are studied more deeply and the social principles, areexamined and established. The social analysis is directed towards causation. The data iscollected systematically and the causes are drawn from it. The main characteristic of this stageis that it goes beyond the description stage to find out the relationships among variables. Forthis experimentations are also done. For example, at this stage we do not confine ourselves tothe study of how the students behave while facing a strict teacher but also investigate why do
  7. 7. 7they behave in this particular manner. For seeking the answer to the question “why” weexperiment by producing an environment of strictness. In the modern times investigations are carried on at all the three stages and also often inone investigation all the three stages are more or less involved. SIX DECADES OF GROWTH OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY (1940’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s) The Second World War (1939 to 1944) especially attracted the attention of investigatorstowards social psychology. The social psychologists in the Forties made special studies of thepsychology of Prejudices, Propaganda, Rumours etc. The tyranny of the Nazis in Germany wasthe main reason for developing interest in these and similar topics. The social psychologistswanted to understand those characteristics of personality which make individuals vulnerable tothe acceptance of fascist viewpoint or similar other political views. In the fifties the scope of investigations of social psychologists became more broadbased. Now the group behaviour became: the important subject of study. Another directionwhich the investigations took was towards finding out the relationship of various personalityqualities (like achievement or need for social approval) with the social behaviour. Perhaps themost significant contribution of this decade was the theory of Cognitive Dissonance propogatedby Festinger. Festinger emphaized that basically human beings do not like dissonance andwherever or whenever dissonance occur they try to reduce it. In the sixties there were more refinements in investigations in social psychology. Theresearches were carried on cognitive dissonance with more sophistication but besides these,studies in many other areas also began to be undertaken. The number of such areas is so vastthat we can not describe all of them in this brief historical survey. Still we can mention some ofthose topics which were studied more deeply. These were Aggression and Violence, Attractionand Love, Altruism and Helping, Social Exchange Imitation and Modelling, Group DecisionMaking, Person Perception etc. We may emphasize herein that the area of investigation of social
  8. 8. 8psychologists became so vast that all the possible aspects of social behaviour which could bethought of were included in its scope. The pace of researches in the area of social psychology continued to be very rapid in thedecade of seventies In this decade there was increase in the number of researches and thetopics of -researches Better scientific approaches began to be employed in the investigationsand the results of the studies started having wider applications There was all round refinementin the investigations now. The researches were conducted about the impact of heat, noise;crowd, mob etc. on the social behaviour. This was one area of research of this decade. A second important area in which much research work was done in .the seventies was‘Attribution”. The social Psychologists studied the process through which the motivationswishes, desires and characteristics of the other persons are known This area is still the mostsignificant research area in which investigations are continuing in the nineties. The third area in which the researches in the seventies were conducted was that of non-verbal communication. In nineties this s also a significant field of research in which socialPsychologists are involved The fourth area of investigations in seventies was the area of sexual behaviour. Thewomen studies were also began to be seriously undertaken in ‘the seventies’ which continued togain attention in next two decades of eighties and nineties. The emphasis in the decade, of seventies was on such investigations which haverelevance to the society and social life. Many intricate social problems began to be investigatedin this decade. In the 80’s the social psychologists were studying the social phenomena in the controlledenvironment in the laboratories. But field studies were also given equal importance. In thesestudies the social behaviour was investigated in the actual situation in which it occurred. Forexample, in the actual school situation in which different type of teachers were serving theimpact of teacher behaviour on the discipline of the students or on the school climate wasstudied.
  9. 9. 9 The teacher or the worker burn out in the school or industrial situation have also beeninvestigated in the 80’s and in the 90’s. The teacher bum out refers to the tiredness,exhaustion, boredom or a stressed existence of the teacher which impedes his normal functionof teaching. . In the 90s the development of social psychology is taking place at a rapid pace. Thecultural influences of mental life of the individuals is one such significant area in whichresearches from 50’s onwards are seriously being undertaken. Leadership behaviour which wasstudied in the early stages of the development of social psychology is still engaging theattention of investigators who are now using much more sophisticated tools in such studies. The space research has also involved the impact of loneliness on individual behaviour. Thesocial dimensions of life in space are being investigated. Studies on terrorism, internal or external, have been undertake by many socialpsychologists in the 80’s and 90’s. In short at the threshold of twenty first century the researchers in social psychology aretaking interest in all those activities, processes and happenings which are altering the pace ofsocial life and are influencing the social behaviour of the individuals.PRESENT POSITION OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY We have described the directions in which the researches in social psychology are takingplace in the nineties. Earlier in this chapter we have traced the development of socialpsychology since the time of its earliest exponents. Now let us focus our attention on thepresent position of social psychology. We have already mentioned that the significance of social psychology was greatlyenhanced after the Second World War. The main reasons for this were the miseries caused bythe war and the killing of lakhs of people. The miseries of war and the plight of the orphans andwidows led the scholars towards the understanding of the causes of wars and the steps forpreventing them. They started investigating the social phenomena like Propaganda, Rumour,Prejudice, International Relations, Mass Communication etc. Many studies were also conducted
  10. 10. 10on Aggression and Violence. The answer to the question "Is aggression hereditary” wasexplored by the researchers. Some prominent social psychologists who contributed significantly in the development ofsocial psychology are as follows: William White : He on the basis’ of his studies on children explained the process of socialinteraction among them. Theodore Newcomb : He studied the influence of Reference Group. Asch : In 1951-52 studied the phenomenon of social conformity. Sheriff and his associates conducted many studies on competition, cooperation etc. Adorno and his associates investigated those personality traits which were responsiblefor the acceptance of a political viewpoint without critically examining it. Besides the above the work of Aronson, Bales, Berkowitz, Fiedler, Hovland, Milgram,Raven, Festinger etc. also led to the growth of social psychology. In this last decade of the twentieth century social psychology is showing tremendousgrowth. Now it is being universally recognized that the society exerts very deep influence on thehuman behaviour. To save the human beings from conflict or tension producing situations it isnecessary to understand the sociological tendencies of the man and the manner in which theydevelop and influence the human behaviour. The psychologists are busy in developing such anunderstanding. The investigations are now being conducted in the following directions1. The influence of crowd, noise, temperature, pollution etc. on the human behaviour. Theinvestigations are interested in finding out the influence, of various elements in theenvironment on the social behaviour pattern of the human beings.2. Various aspects of Mass Communication’ such as the influence of TV programmes oncultural development, the influence of information technology on social and individual lifepatterns etc.
  11. 11. 113. The various dimensions of sexual behaviour, sexual deviations and the -social life ofsexually deviants; relationship between crime and sexology; impotency and frigidity in socialcontext; attitudes towards birth control of different communities and religious groups.4. Aggression, violence, altruism, segregation, social injustice. political corruption etc.5. Social behaviour in space and space age.6. Cross cultural studies.7. In Indian situation there are many social problems about which investigations are eitherbeing carried on or are being planned or there is simple awareness of these problems withoutany concrete attempt towards- investigating them. Some of the existing problems are:(i) Religious Fundamentalism.(ii) Casteism and the behaviour towards socially deprived.(iii) Cruelty towards women, status and position of women, dowryetc(iv) Family disharmony, marital problems, divorce, abortion and their sociological implications.(v) Obstacles in the development of democratic outlook.(vi) Corruption, socio-psychological aspects of political corruption and nexus betweenpolitician, criminal and police.(vii) Role of bureaucracy in present social and political environment.(viii) Population and birth control.(ix) Problems of working women.(x) Unemployment and its influence on social life.(xi) National and industrial tensions.(xii) Community life in slum and congested areas of towns.(xiii) Problems of youth.(xiv) Typical problems of old age and rehabilitation of the old.(xv) Impact of violence and aggression on public life.(xvi) Crime and criminal behaviour.
  12. 12. 12DEFINITION, NATURE, PROBLEMS AND SCOPE OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Social psychology is one of the most important branches of human knowledge. No doubt,it is a new study but its real merit lies in its scope of tackling the multifarious problems withwhich the individuals are confronted in their interaction with the society. Society, today, hasbecome quite complex From the simple group in which individuals were living on the basis ofsome natural urges it has assumed very complex shape Today there are large number ofgroups interacting with one another. There are various types of societies. There are varioustypes of social groupings like clubs associations and institutions. An individual can be a memberof more than one group of many societies, of many clubs and institutions or many associations.This complexity of an individual’s membership to various forms of social groupings have raisedmany typical problems for the individual himself and for the social groupings of which hebecomes a member. To understand the man’s conduct in his interaction with the various formsof groupings it is essential that we study social, psychology.DEFINITION AND NATURE OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGYKimball Young says. “Social Psychology is the study of persons in their interactions with oneanother and with reference to the effects of this interplay upon the individual’s thoughts,feelings, emotions and habits.’ According to this definition social psychology deals with theindividuals interrelations with one another and it also studies the effects of individualinteractions with one another upon their own thoughts, feelings, emotions and habits. Thus wecan say that this definition seeks the roots of social psychology, mainly in Sociology andPsychology. It must however, be remembered that in the development of this psychology,history, political science, economics and philosophy have contributed much. These branches ofknowledge have also thrown much light on the interactions of men with one another.
  13. 13. 13 Krech and Crutchfield in their book “Social’ Psychology” define Social Psychology as “Thescience of behaviour of the individual in society.” According to’ this definition social psychologyis put as a science. It is considered as a science of behaviour of the individual in society. Krechand Crutchfield consider that social psychology is the only science of society which is concernedwith “Every aspect of the individual’s behavior in society.” Thus, in this definition wholeindividual in his total behaviour with the society is the subject-matter of the study. F. H. Allport in his book, “Social Psychology” defines it as “Social Psychology is the studyof behaviour of individuals in their relations to other individuals and in social situation.” In thedefinition Allport has dealt with the study of behaviour of the individual in two-fold ways. Hehas emphasised the relationship of individual with one another and also the individualsbehaviour in social situation. This definition deals not only with the behaviour of the individualsbut with their attitudes also. We can quote another definition by Klineberg who says that,“Social Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour of the individuals as related to otherindividuals.” In this definition scientific study of individual’s behaviour in interaction with otherindividuals is emphasised. Another definition of Social Psychology is, “Social Psychology is the study of the way inwhich individuals are affected by social situation.” (Stephen Worchel and Ted Cooper) Fisher in 1982 defined Social Psychology, “As the scientific study of how the behaviour ofan individual is influenced by and in turn influences the others in the social environment." Sherif and Sherif consider that, “Social Psychology is the scientific study of the experienceand behaviour of individual in relation to social stimulus situations." Myers has defined Social Psychology as “The scientific study of how people think about,influence and relate to one another.” Feldman says that; “Social Psychology is the discipline that examines how a person’sthoughts, feelings and actions are affected by others. “ In all the above definitions, the study of the interaction of the individual with society hasbeen emphasised. Thus, all the above definitions point out that social psychology should be
  14. 14. 14defined as a science which is to study the psychology of the individual man, when he isconfronted with a social situation. Individual behaviour, when he will interact with the otherindividuals will always be dependent on his own nature. But the social surroundings, socialsetting and social situations will also be responsible to a great extent for his behaviour. Thus, tounderstand what type of behaviour the individual will depict in social situations, the study ofindividual psychology and sociology is essential. Hence any definition of social –must includeboth the psychological and sociological aspects of the individual’s behavior. Thus, it can besaid that Social Psychology is scientific study of the behaviour of an individual when he comesin contact with the other individuals or interacts with any social group or groups or is confrontedwith some social situation in which he participates consciously or unconsciously.NATURE OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Social Psychology in its nature is scientific. This is because it employs scientific techniquesin enhancing its knowledge. As in sciences it makes systematic observations and through directexperimentations it studies social problems. It is true that in the study of this subject it doesnot use the similar type of tools as are used in scientific subjects like physics or chemistry. Butthe general techniques used in the study of Social Psychology are similar to those used in othersciences. (* Detailed description of the scientific nature of Social Psychology given later.)CONCEPT OF SOCIAL INTERACTIONAs explained above social psychology is a scientific study of an individuals experiences andbehaviour which occur in relationship with social stimulus situations. It describes therelationship of the individual with the social environment. When we define social psychology asthe- study of the behaviour of an individual in relation to the behavior of other individual thenwe are paying attention to the process of social interaction. The second person or otherindividuals provide social stimulus. Hence the concept of social interaction depends on themutual influence of one person on another person or persons.
  15. 15. 15 In a group there develop interpersonal relationships among the members of the group.Every individual influences the others behaviour and thinking. For example in a family ahusband influences his wife and his wife influences him. The child influences parents and ishimself being influenced by them. Thus in a social group the people exert mutual influencesand this process is known as the process of social interaction. .Young defines social interaction as follows: “Broadly defined interaction refers to the fact that the response gesture words, or grossbodily movements of one individual is the stimulus of another, who in turn, responds to thefirst”.We may explain it in a simple manner as follows: S1—R1(S2) R1 (S2) – R2 (S2)whereas S1 is the stimulus of first individual R1 is the response of the first individual S2 is the stimulus of the second individual R2 is the response of the second individual which becomes the stimulus to the firstindividual Thus R1 represents the stimulus S2 & R2 to stimulus S1. We can further clarify the implications of the above definition by an example. Let us take“the example of a social interaction between a child and his mother. The child is hungry. Thehunger is the stimulus (S1) of the first person. The child asks the mother, “Mother give mefood.” This is the response of the first person (R1). The mother replies, “ Food is not ready.”This is her response (R2). The stimulus for mother’s response was R1. In the above schematicdiagram it is shown as R1(S2). The child after getting the mother’s response that food is notready asks, “Why is food not ready.” This is shown as R2 (S1). This is in response to mother.Thus mother’s response becomes the stimulus to the child. A simple definition of Social Interaction is given by Dawson & Gettys -
  16. 16. 16 “Social Interaction is a process whereby man interperietrates the minds of each other.” According to this definition the social interaction is a mental process which establishmental relationships among different persons. In social interactions the members of a groupinfluence each other.TYPES OF SOCIAL INTERACTIONThree types of social interactions can be described -(1) Person to Person(2) Person to Group(3) Group to Group(1) Person to Person - In this type of interaction only a few persons are involved. When therelationships are established between a person and one or two other persons it is person toperson interaction. A mothers relationship with her son or a husbands relationship with hiswife are the examples of person to person interaction. We may say that in person to personsocial interaction inter personal relationship is established. Such interactions are very commonin our everyday life.2. Person to Group - When an individual comes in contact with a group and interacts withit the person to group type of social interaction takes place. These type of interactions occurwhen the individual gets stimulus from the group and he responds to it. An individualestablishes relationships with his family, neighbourhood, community, caste and religion. Theserelationships form the foundation of his personality. The family, neighbourhood and communityetc. are mostly responsible for the development of his personality.3. Group to Group- In group to group interactions Kuppuswami says. “Individual identifieshimself with a group and reacts to another group as a whole.” The examples of this type of interactions are those that occur between the residents oftwo villages or the relationships between different caste groups in the same village or therelationships between the resident of two nations. The social psychology studies all the three
  17. 17. 17types of interactions but it must be remembered that the individual is the unit of analysis insocial interaction.LEVELS OF SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR In 1924 Floyd Allport defined Social Psychology "as the scientific study of the experienceand behaviour of individuals in relation to other individual, group and culture." In this definition the three’ levels of social interactions are described 1aking the individualas the central figure.(i) Person with other persons. .(ii) Person, with collectivity which is like a, group.(iii) Person with the consequences of the behaviour of other individuals (with culture).(1) Person with other Persons—The broad ‘field of human behaviour is the socialinteraction of one person with another person. The social interactions take place in the presenceOf more ‘than one person.. The individuals perceive each other, are mutually attracted andinfluence each other. This level of behaviour is visible in the case of Interpersonal, perception friendship, socialpower social reinforcement etc.(ii) Person with Collectivity—The second important level of human social behaviour is therelationship of the individual with collectivity or group. The individual establishes his own statesin the group and plays a definite role. His behaviour may be influenced bythe group He may interact with those groups whose member he is as well a with those groupswhose membership he does not’ hold.(iii) Person with Culture—The third important level of human behaviour is the mutualexchange of ideas between one individual and many of the products of behaviour of the groups.These products appear in the form of culture of the society. In one respect the culture may beconsidered as a residue of human behaviour. In culture there are included such material objectsas arms, instruments, arte-facts etc. which are known as material culture and also such
  18. 18. 18abstract objects as traditions, customs, laws, values etc. which are known as non-materialculture. If we consider these three levels of human behaviour in a unified form then we can saythat there is hardly any situation which can be described as unsocial.PROBLEMS OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY The definitions of social psychology clearly, show that it is a science which has quite awide scope. It deals with the individuals and also deals with the society. The problems withwhich individual is confronted when he comes in contact with the other individuals or with the‘social situations’ form the subject-matter of social psychology. Below we are dealing with theproblems of social psychology.1 Study of Socialisation The child as soon as he comes to this world finds himself in a social situation He is born toa woman and is fathered by a man both of whom- take care of him as soon as he sees the lightof the first day. As he begins to grow, the, other individuals come in his contact and the processof his socialisation extends from his parents to others: How this socialisation takes place is oneof the most important problems of social psychology. It may however, be remembered that the child at birth is not like a clean slate. He is bornwith certain native endowments: He comes to this world with some abilities, capacities,aptitudes, urges and impulses. These native endowments play an important role in the processof his socialization. This means that the child is governed to quite an appreciable extent by hisown individual endowment in his behaviour with the other individuals. Thus, to understand theprocess of his socialization the understanding of his nature is a1so essential. Hence, secondproblem of Social Psychology is with respect to the individual’s nature and process ofsocialization. Under these two main problems; there are many subsidiary problems which wemay now consider.2. Study of Innate Tendencies
  19. 19. 19 The social psychologist has to make a study of the endowment with which a child is borninto this world. He will also have to make a study of the problems relating to the modification ofthe individuals inborn traits under the effect of environment. He will have to tackle the problemof individuals becoming easily suggestible. The imitation sympathy, emotion etc. affectdifferently the different individuals and how do they do so are the other problems which willneed his attention.3. Study of Social Interaction In whatever way the individual acts, his behaviour is bound to affect the other individuals.The child is affected by the behaviour of his parents and other family members and they also inturn are affected by his behaviour. How this interaction of one individual with the other takesplace and what forces govern it, are the other problems of social psychology. The individual willbehave differently with the different individuals and with different social groups. Why aredifferent behavioural responses shown by different individuals in similar social settings are alsothe problems of social psychology.4. Study of Group Behaviour There are various types of social groups. Each social group entails different types ofbehavioural responses from individuals. To a great extent, the individual’s behaviour will bedifferent in different social groups. For example, you will behave differently when you are in acrowd from that when you are in the company of your family members. Thus, the problemsdealing with the various types of groups are also important for a social psychologist.5. Study of Social Heritage As the individual inherits certain abilities and capacities. certain impulses and emotionsand certain physical and mental characteristics. so also the group or the society inherits certaincustoms and traditions certain ideals and practices and certain institutions and moral norms. The social inheritance is very important for the integration in society. The society is madestable as its social inheritance becomes richer. The social inheritance affects the individuals whoare the members of that particular society. Individuals’ behaviours in social situations are very
  20. 20. 20greatly governed by the social heritage of the society. The individuals are bound by the morallaws of the society. They are motivated for action for up keeping the traditions of the society.Their behaviour in society is very much governed by its social customs. Hence, a socialpsychologist has also to study the various aspects of social heritage. He has to deal with theproblems concerning the formation of the traditions, customs, social norms social ideals andmoral conduct etc. The study of these aspects of the social heritage will help him in tackling theproblems relating to the individuals’ behaviours in the society. The study of social heredity,therefore, comes within the scope of social psychology.6. Study of Influence of Culture on Personality The social situations affect the personality of the individuals. As a matter of fact thepersonality of an individual develops in keeping with the social surroundings around him. Thesocial groups affect the personality of the individual in one way or the other. Through theinteraction of the individual with society, his personality begins to grow in a definite direction.How the personality grows in different social surrounding is one of the very important problemsof social psychology. .Thus, the study of personality as moulded by social cultural factors in theindividuals’ environment come under the scope of social psychology.7 Study of Social Change The society is never static. It is dynamic. It is always changing. The social changes arebrought about by the individuals, and when are introduced in any society they affect thepersonalities of all the members of the society. For example, in Indian society the untouchableswere looked down upon. But through the efforts of great reformers like Mahatma Gandhi, theuntouchables were given a better social status. A social change was brought about in the Hindusociety and this change began to influence a number of members of this society. Theuntouchables began to command self-respect and the Hindus began to consider them as humanbeings who were to be given a status equal to all others. However, it must be remembered thatthe process of such type of social change is not very smooth. At each stage of the change thereoccur conflicts and it requires great courage on the part of those who initiate the social reforms
  21. 21. 21in the socirty. How does the social changes take place ? What type of conflicts in the membersof the society these changes initiate? How the personalities of the individuals comprising thesociety are being affected by the social changes or social reforms ? These are some otherproblems which need a careful study by a social psychologist. Hence, we may also include thestudy of social change and the effect of cultural pattern, on the personalities of the members ofa society within the scope of social psychology.8. Experimental Study of Behaviour Problems in Social Situations The social psychology in not only theoretical. Its greater use lies in its application to thepractical problems concerning the behaviour of the individuals in the social situations. Theproblems concerning the leading of the best possible life in the society by its members are thetypical problems of social psychology. We want to have better society and better individual. Wewant that the people may live in harmony with each other. We want that the people may lead ahealthy moral life. How these things can be achieved, depends upon the study of the theoreticaland practical aspects of social psychology. A social psychologist will have to study the basis ofdifferent attitudes of different individuals towards the same ideals or principles or things He willhave to make a scientific study of group differences, prejudices and attitude.9. Study of Social Tension The task of the social psychologist is to help in reducing the tensions among the people ofthe different countries arid different races. He will have to understand the psychology of warand peace For this purpose. Besides this he will have to find out how the public opinion isformed, what role propaganda plays in its formation and how the opinions govern the social lifeof the people. Hence, in the scope of social psychology we can include the study of attitudes,prejudices, public opinions, propaganda and psychology of war and peace. In brief, we may put the following problems under the scope of social psychology:1. The problems of socialisation.
  22. 22. 22 2. The problems concerning the social heritage as it influences the behaviour of individuals in social situations. 3. The problems concerning the social interaction which influence the individual’s behaviour in social situations. 4. The problems relating to the group behaviour. 5. The problems related to social heritage.. The problems relating to the impact of culture upon personality. 7. The problems relating to the social change.. The problems relating to putting of .the theoretical knowledge of social psychology into practical use so that better social living may be organised. 9. The problems related to social tensions. SCOPE OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Taking into consideration the above mentioned problem of social psychology we may consider the following topics under the scope of social psychology. 1 Socialisation of the Child—The study of the process of socialisation is an important topic of social psychology. 2 Social Motivation—What do we mean by social motivation? What are its influences on individual behaviour? These are some of the problems which are included in the scope of social psychology? 3. Attitudes and their Measurement—In the study of social psychology the attitudes—their definition socia1-attitudes the development and measurement of attitudes are included. 4 Social Interaction— To understand social behaviour it s essential to understand the nature of social interactions It is because of its importance that social interactions fall under the scope of social psychology. 5 Social Perception—Our perceptions are influenced by the perceptions of others. How and why we are influenced by the others perceptions? To understand these and similar
  23. 23. 23problems the study of social perceptions is made Along with social perception we also studyperson perception.6 Social Learning—The learning of an individual is very greatly influenced by socialenvironment Some of the learning takes place on the basis of individuals capabilities and muchof it takes place because of the association of the individual with the society.7. Culture and Personality—Every society has its own culture. It influences the membersof the society. The study of these influences provide us much information about’ thedevelopmental process of theindividual.8 Language and Communication—In the scope of social psychology the topic of languageand communication is also included. We are in contact with others through language. Thelanguage helps us in communication of our thoughts. But communication can also be non-verbal. Our facial expressions, eye contacts, movements of hands and feet convey many of ourmessages to the others. Hence the problems of language and communication need careful anddeep study.9. Group Structure, Group Morale, Group Decision and Leadership—Theunderstanding of the formation of groups and the influence of groups on individual behaviour isessential’ for finding the solutions of social problems. Hence the topics like group structure etc.come under the scope of social psychology.10. Public Opinion, Propaganda & Rumour—The formation of public opinion, the influenceof propaganda on individual and social behaviour and the psychological aspects of rumour areall very important topics of social psychology.11. Social Change—In every society there is social change do we mean by social change?When does it take place? What are the factors and dimensions of social change? Why do somesocieties strongly resist any reforms or progressive outlook ? These are unique problems onwhich social psychologist conduct many of their investigations.12. Prejudices, Stereotypes and Social Tensions
  24. 24. 24 In every society there are some disruptive elements. These create social tension. Somesuch elements are prejudices and stereotypes. The study of these elements or factors lead ustowards an understanding of disruptions in the society and the social tensions.13 Altruism, Aggressiveness, Cooperation and Competition—Altruism means helping anindividual without any hope for reciprocity. Aggressiveness refers to that behavior which harmsor injures the others. Cooperation is working together by two or more individuals. Incompetitive behaviour the individuals try to push ahead of others. These four are socialbehaviours which have their own specificity and are adopted in special situations. The socialpsychologist want to understand the various aspects of such behaviours so that they can knowthe importance of these in social behaviour.14. International Tensions and Industrial Conflicts— Modern social psychologists areconducting investigations for finding the cause of social tensions. They are concerned with theproblems of war and peace terrorism at national and international levels and the industrialdisputes and disharmony in labour-management relationships. All these are being studied sothat there may be refinement in social life patterns.15. Applications of Social Psychology in Education Business, Military, National Affairsetc.—The knowledge of social psychology is now being widely used in various activities. Itsapplication in Education, Business etc. have benefitted both itself and those branches ofknowledge or the social activities which make use of its knowledge. Hence now under the scopeof social psychology are included its application in various fields.IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGYSocial psychology is an important study. It is important because of the following reasons :1. Social Psychology touches one of the most fundamental aspect of human living. We knowthat man seeks the company of others. He has a desire to live a life of ease in association with
  25. 25. 25other individuals. Social psychology tells him the ways which may help him to lead a useful andhealthy life in the society.2. The better integrated a society is the less chances of conflicts will be there. The socialpsychology points out the ways for the integration in society. It makes a study of differenttypes of groups. It emphasises that those groups have a better chance of survival which have abetter organisation. Thus, for the stability in the society and for avoiding conflicts among thevarious members of the society, the study of social psychology is important.3. There are certain individuals in the society who indulge in anti-social behaviour. Socialpsychology makes a study of such individuals and enlists the reasons for their anti-socialbehaviour. This knowledge helps us in dealing effectively with anti-social elements in thesociety. Thus, to rid the society of anti-social elements, the study of social psychology isimportant.4. The social psychology also makes a study of the individuals innate endowments. It alsostudies the effect of culture on the personalities of the individuals. Both of these knowledgehelp us in organising better social situation in which the personality of all the members of thesociety will grow in right directions.5. The importance of social psychology in the present times is very great. To avoid war andto obtain peace, we have to understand the basis of racial prejudices, the group differences, thenational malaise and the economic and political conditions prevalent in various societies. We getthe knowledge of these things by studying social psychology.6. Today, the society has become very much industrialized. With the rapid industralization,the complexion of the society has also changed. The easy going life of a farmer is changed tothe fast moving life of an industrial worker. The result of the change is that old social valuesocial norms and social ideals have been dispensed with and in their place new values, newnorms and new ideals have been put forward. The social psychology makes a study of socialchange and makes us understand the differences between values, norms and ideals in the past
  26. 26. 26and present. This knowledge helps us in our adjustment in a better manner to the changingsocial situations.7. In todays India, social psychology has a very important role to play. This country is atsuch a juncture that the old values are changing and the new ones are slowly and graduallytaking their place. This process of change is however, not smooth. The country was verybackward in the pre-independence days. Today, there is an all round progress. But the progressin industrialization and in technological and scientific developments is much more rapid than:the progress in, sociological sphere. The result of this is that on our social life such demands arebeing made for which we are no prepared. This lead to the emergence of conflicts. For example.the old customs of marriage in the Hindu society have no place today in the era of rapidindustrialization. The dowry is outdated. The marriage festivities now cannot last for many daysas the people are busy and cannot afford to take long leave from their work. But still somepeople especially of older generation, who want to stick to the old customs, find the themselvesmisfit in the modern times. The study of social psychology informs us about this disparitybetween the pace of social and industrial progress and thus equips us in a better manner forproper social growth of our people.8. Besides social developments, the political development can also take place on proper linesby making a study of social psychology. In our country the form of Government is democratic.But the people do not understand the significance of their votes. They often choose theirrepresentatives not on the basis of their qualities of head and heart but on the basis of someother considerations like caste community, religion and personals prejudices. The study ofsocial psychology informs us how the public opinions are formed, what are the qualities a leaderhow propaganda plays an important role in elections and how can the electorate be educated.9. The social psychology can also help in the removal of international tensions. Theinternational tensions are often the result of religious, social, political or economic differencesamong the people of various nationalities. Students of social psychology can probe into
  27. 27. 27the differences which exist or may exist between the people of different nations. They canunderstand the causes of such differences and can help in the solution of the problems,connected with the international tensions. The people can be taught to tolerate others. Theycan be made to see the merits in respecting the national sentiments of the people of the othernations.10. The knowledge of social psychology is also helpful in the industrial situations. The socialpsychology can tell us how better relations can be promoted between the labourers andmillowners. The millowners can be made to realise the view-point of labourers and also thelabourers can be encouraged to produce more. The social psychology also throws light on theformation of labour unions and indicates the directions in which these Unions can have betterrelationships with the millowners. Besides this, the knowledge of the propaganda techniqueshelp the salesmen in selling their wares.11. Social psychology is also important, because it studies the mental processes as theymanifest themselves in social situations. Thus this psychology studies the many mentalprocesses studied in concrete form. The general psychology studies sensation, perception,motivation etc. in an abstract manner. The social psychology studies these processes inconcrete form.12. Many of our abnormalities have social background. For example, it is on account of socialtaboo that the individuals are forced to suppress many of their desires, feelings and wishesThese suppressed desires etc. develop in them certain mal -adjustments of personality. Socialpsychology throws light on the social conduct, social norms and tries to explain the causes ofcertain abnormal behaviour of-individuals. Hence, its study is important from this point of viewalso. In the end, we’ may say that this subject is to be very carefully studied in our country. Wecan never attain true democratic living un1ess and until we understand the socialisationprocesses, which predominate in different types of communities in our country. We will have tomake a study of the mental conditions prevalent in various types of societies of our country and
  28. 28. 28then only we will be able to attain an integration between the different communities which go tomake out nation.SOME OBJECTIONS AGAINST SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGYThere are some people who are opposed to the study of social psychology. They say that socialpsychology studies the social behaviour only. It is a sort of descriptive study. This study canonly tell us as to how the individuals behave in society, but it cannot equip us to predict thefuture social behaviour of any individual in a particular social setting. This means that thispsychology is not at all helpful in pointing out that under such circumstances the individuals willbehave in such a manner. It is just possible that the individuals may behave entirely in areverse manner from what has been observed previously in particular social situations. Thus,this psychology will not be a help in the formation of a better society and will not promote thebetter understanding among the different people.The above objections though they look to be quite forceful are not correct. Social psychologyhas today gained much importance as an experimental science. It studies the social behaviourin man different situations. Such knowledge will always be helpful in understanding humannature and human behaviour in society. This may not help perfectly in predicting socialbehaviour of individuals in a given situation. But it will definitely point out those directions inwhich we can expect the individuals to behave. The study of social psychology will throw lighton prejudices and this knowledge will help us in attaining better relations in society. SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY AS A SCIENCE Social psychology is a science in the sense that it makes the general assumptions andadopts the same methods as other empirical sciences make and adopt." Every science has itsmajor goal as understanding. Social psychology also rays emphasis on understanding. It is truethat when there will be proper understanding then an effective control can be applied Also when
  29. 29. 29there will be an accuracy in prediction there will be an effective check on understanding. Thusthe three main ideals before a scientist are understanding, prediction and control. In the studyof social psychology all these three ideals are applicable. Here to explain what we mean by theabove statement will give one example from an empirical science and one from socialpsychology. Let us take an example from the empirical science namely physics A physicist throughexperiments know that when electric current is passed through a narrow wire it is heated updue to resistance. This understanding of the heating effect of the current on the basis of manyexperiments enables him to predict that on any future occasion the electric current will, passthrough a thin wire, it will be heated up. His understanding of the situation, in which the wirewill be heated up to the red-hot position or white-hot position enable him to control theconditions in which the wire can be heated up to a particular limit. Thus, the understanding ofthe heating effect ‘of the current, the control of condition, in which the wire will be heated up tothe white-hot position, and -his ability to predict the limit to which the wire will be heated up inthe particular circumstances has led him to invent the electric bulb. This process of inventionwe clearly put in the category of-science. Now, taking an example from social psychology, we can say that this subject also makesan effort to adopt the above-mentioned processes of a typical scientific study in order to makethe discoveries regarding the behaviour of the individual in society. A social psychologistobserves that on the roadside a crowd has been formed. He tries to understand why, the crowdhas been formed and how the individuals behave in it. His understanding will help him in theprediction of the formation of the crowds on the future occasions and this understanding willalso help him to have a control over the conditions which go to form a crowd. Hence, the socialpsychologist discovers the behaviour of the individuals in a crowd by adopting, the method ofscientific invention. However, it must be remembered that unless and until there is a proper understanding,the control and prediction are not possible. Everyone of u must have seen an electric bulb, but
  30. 30. 30unless we understand clearly how the wire is heated up, we can never be able to predict that inwhat conditions the heating up of the wire at future occasions will, take place nor will we beable to control the conditions so that the wire may be heated up to the white hot position togive the light. Similarly, when a politician, who does not understand the masses at all, tries tocontrol the situations of mass behaviour and makes an effort to predict the behaviour of thepublic he will fail in his efforts. He may control and predict correctly at one or the other time butwithout understanding his knowledge of social psychology will be just like that of a labourerwho works in an electric bulb factory. The main reason for the failure of the politician will bethat his scientific understanding of behaviour will- be very nearer. Hence, we have no,inhibitions in saying that the study of social psychology can only be successful, in those caseswhere it applies the scientific methods in making its discoveries. Though social psychology is a science yet it is different from the natural sciences.According to the opinion of Seligman: "that from the very beginning the sciences are divided inthose which deals with the phenomena of physical nature and those sciences which deal withthe phenomena of mind.” This means that the natural sciences are concerned with the physicalnature and the mental or cultural sciences deal with the mental aspects of the man. Thus, theinternal processes of the man which are controlled and initiated by the mind come under thehead of mental sciences. The mental sciences can also be divided into two. The first type ofsciences are those which the study of man in isolation from his companions and the e ofsciences are those, which study man in- his relationship with a group or a society. The secondtype of sciences are known as social sciences. Seligman defines social sciences “as thosemental or cultural sciences which deal with the activities of individuals as a member of agroup.” Among all the social sciences only social psychology is such a science which dealsprimarily with the whole individual. Social sciences like Economics Political ‘Science, Sociologyetc., make a study, of the structure and function of social organisations. They also study theinstitutional behaviour which is displayed by the people when they are within the confines and
  31. 31. 31 forms of specific institutions Krech and Crutchfield say that “Social Psychology on the other hand, is concerned with every aspect of the individual’s behaviour in’ society.” Today, there is no denying of the fact that social psychology is a science because now it is based on experimental findings. Today, a social psychologist does not form his opinion on mere assumptions. He does not believe in anything unless it is tested on the anvil of a number of investigations. For example, to explain why a leader can would crowd in any way he likes, a social Psychologist will not his merely on one of his observations. He will study the phenomena in a number of similar situations. Then he will form hypothesis. He will further test this hypothesis by analysing it on the bases of the data which will be collected by social survey, When he the hypothesis to be true in the light of the, data collected he the hypothesis as proper, This method by which the subject-matter of the social Psychology is collected is the same as is employed a natural scientist to discover and invent. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY AND OTHER SOCIAL SCIENCES We can understand the problems of social psychology in a much better manner if we understand its relationship with the other social sciences. Social Psychology and General Psychology The social psychology is quite intimately related with the general psychology. General psychology makes a study of the individual behaviour. It studies the individual without making any reference to the social environment. On the other hand, social psychology studies the social behaviour of the individual. But it is perfectly clear that individual behaviour in the society cannot be studied unless and -- thorough study of the individual’s behaviour in general is made and so also general behaviour has no meaning unless and until it is study in social context. Thus, we can say the psychology is not very much different from the general psychology. We can very easily establish the dependence of one psychology upon the other by taking into consideration the following points—. The social psychology has its main purpose the “establishment of universal laws of the social behaviour of the individual.” This can be achieved only if we can make a study of the
  32. 32. 32 individual’s general behaviour in social situation. We must know how from birth to death the individual’s processes of socialisation progress. We have to find out how he gets sense-stimuli from his social environment, ho perceives environment and how he reacts to it. The process sensation, perception, motivation are to be clearly understood understanding the above things. These processes naturally form of subject-matter of the general psychology. Thus without the knowledge of general psychology, the knowledge of social psychology cannot be attained.. Secondly, the identity between general psychology and social psychology is on account of the fact that both must make a study of the behaviour of an individual as a social being. We cannot make study of the behaviour of an individual without taking into consider the social setting in which he is placed. When we study how the is getting perceptions, using intelligence learning an- activity exploring a new situation, we are actually studying the individuals the situations in which he is or will be or has been influenced b social surroundings. Thus the study of behaviour of the man in isolation is not possible. Whether we are studying his behaviour in the light social psychology or in the light of general psychology, we are study him as a social being. Thus, the two psychologies look to be more less identical.. We have defined social psychology as the scientific study the individuals behaviour in the social situation or the social field our study of general psychology, we do not refer to the social situation at all. But if we will look deeply into the meaning of the social field, we will find that for all practical purposes the individual will always be confronted with the social situation or he will always be in some social arena. For all practical purposes there is no distinction between social and non-social fields. Whatever is the situation it is in some way social. For example, even when you are alone and doing something you are aware of the fact that there are others around you. Even when you have no relations or friends and you are perfectly alone in the world the satisfaction of your bare needs of subsistence influence the others and also you socially. Thus, to think of a situation which is entirely devoid of all the social elements may be theoretically possible but is not prctica1ly feasible. This clearly shows that the fields of social and general psychology overlap each other.
  33. 33. 33. Social Psychology and Sociology Social psychology has also very intimate relationship with sociology. Sociology makes a study of the group. This subject makes a scientific study of social organisation and group behaviour as distinct from the behaviour of the individuals in the group. It studies how the groups are organized and what are their structures. Thus, it is more or less concerned with the study of the group in its various aspects. The social psychology also makes study of the groups with respect to the behaviour of the individuals in them. Thus, both the sciences study the group but from different angles. However, it can be said with full confidence that social psychology cannot be studied properly unless until it fries to understand the organisation and structure of the group etc. that is, unless it seeks the aid of sociology. On the other hand, the formation of groups, their developments, the discipline it imposes on its members and demands for compliance it makes can be understood unless the behaviour of the individuals in group is studied that is the help of social psychology is sought. We may clarify the point which we have just now made regarding the dependence of both the sciences on each other by referring to the following points—. A sociologist studies how the societies are formed, what type of structure these societies have, how these societies form larger wholes or larger societies or smaller units or smaller societies. For example, the sociologist will make a study of the urban or rural society of their composition: and the patterns of behaviour of the members of the society. The social psychologist also studies the human nature and behaviour in these type of societies. Thus, there is not a very great difference between these sciences. It is clear that a social psychologist will not be able to understand the human nature and behaviour unless he studies the structure, organisation and culture of societies.. When any social science after studying the problems of societies proceeds further then it becomes sociology. In sociology, all those aspects of individual’s behaviour are studied which create problems for the group. In social psychology, the individual behaviour is studied as it is depicted in group. Thus, we may clearly see that there is a clear overlapping between the
  34. 34. 34 subject-matter of psychology and sociology. This overlapping is sometimes so much in quantity that we consider social psychology and sociology as two aspects of one science. But here we must note that both the sciences overlap to a certain limit only. Beyond that limit both the sciences begin to differ from each other. The sociology studies the individual to the limit that it helps in the understanding of the society. In the field of social psychology, we study, all the aspects of behaviour of the individual in society. We are not much concerned in the study of social psychology with a direct understanding of the nature, structure, functions, objectives etc. bf various social groups. Thus, more or less the viewpoint of sociology is social, while that of social psychology is individualistic. The sociology is also related to social psychology in another way. The sociology after making a study of social groups tries to understand the different type of social behviours of- different individuals in same, or different groups. But this then becomes the problem of social psychology. The internal reasons of the individual behaviour in society are studied by social psychology.. Social Psychology and Cultural Anthropology The social psychology is also quite closely related with anthropology. According to Wissler, the psychology studies the behaviour of the individual while cultural anthropology studies group behaviour. According to this view it may be said that tultural anthropology is not concerned with the individuals. But sometimes, it so happens that cultural anthropology has also to make a study of individuals and then this study becomes a part of general psychology. Many studies which have been conducted for the investigations in different pattern of cultures have also contributed to the development of social psychology. In this connection, we may mention the studies conducted by Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, etc. In these studies man primitive cultures were thoroughly studied. The details of the folk ways, moral notions, customs, family relationship, ways of educating young children, religious beliefs, ideals, values etc. were thoroughly enquired into. On the basis of these investigations, it has been established that the human motives, leaving only a few like hunger thirst, sex, protection etc. are different in
  35. 35. 35 different cultures. Thus, from anthropological studies our attention is directed towards many of those problems which the social psychology has to face. The cultural anthropology when it makes a study of different cultures clearly informs us that human beings differ in their outlooks in different cultures. For example, the values and ideals which one considers precious in Hindu culture and which motivate most of the actions of a Hindu may not at all appeal to’ a Muslim or Christian individual. Hindus consider widow remarriage as sin and widows are usually looked down upon while in other cultures widow remarriages are accepted as a matter of fact and so the people of those cultures are motivated in a different way in their relations with widows than the Hindus. All these details of motivating forces in varying cultures e get through the study of cultural we get through the study of culture anthropology and when we extend this understanding further to the understanding of the individual bahviour as a whole in different cultures we easily enter from the field of cultural anthropology to the field of social psychology.. Biology, Physiology and Social Psychology Biology and Physiology are also related to Social Psychology. Biology studies heredity It also tells us how an organism develops from a tiny embryo to a full grown up individual. It gives us the details of the beginning of life. In this way it is more of less concerned with the individual in the process of his development but it is to be remembered that as soon as the conception takes a child is in the making his social environment is ready made around him. 0n the other hand, as soon the conception takes place the purely biological phenomena begins of effect the social life of the parents. The parents begin to prepare themselves to receive the child in the world It may also be noted that the pregnant mother is given extra care by the other members in her xial group She all the time feels that something new is going to open to her and this feeling definitely affects her social behaviour it is in this respect that the study of biology is linked with the study of social psychology. After the birth of the child two forces govern his social behaviour the heredity and the environment. The details of with what endowments the child is born are provided by the study
  36. 36. 36 of biology. On the other hand, his behaviour in the environment is studied by social psychology. But the social behaviour in the environment is based to a great extent on the innate forces with which the child is born. Thus, to understand the basis, of the social behaviour of the child the study of biology is also essential. Just as the biology is, important in the understanding of the sod behaviour of the individual so also is physiology. The famous physioIog Bard has come to the conclusion that emotional activity is mediated Hypothalamus. Similar are the conclusions of many other physiologist who have tried to search out the physiological reasons of emotions. The emotions govern to a great extent the behaviour of the individuals in the society. Thus, social psychology in its study will have to understand the physiology of emotions etc. Arid then only it will be in a position understand the individual behaviour.. Social Psychology and Abnormal Psychology The social psychology depends to a very great extent on abnormal psychology for understanding the abnormal or anti-social behaviour individuals. The abnormal behaviour of the individual, many a times, is a consequence of brain injury, alcoholism, syphilis and diseases Thus, if one individual behaves in an abnormal or anti-social manner then the real cause of his such behaviour can be found with the help of abnormal psychology. . The study of social psychology is also helpful in the ‘study d abnormal psychology. Many of the abnormalities of the behaviour mal have social origin. They may be ‘dependent on the culture which prevalent in the society of which the individual is a member’. For example, in a culture ridden with wealth phobia the neurotics will be found to be suffering from over ambition towards the money. In a culture where celibacy is overemphasised ‘the individual might be found to be suffering from sex-phobia.. Social Psychology and Ethics Ethics is a normative science. It is a science which deals with the order and control of the individual behaviour. Psychology is on the other hand, a science which studies the behaviour as
  37. 37. 37it is. The ethics forms the norms pertaining to good or bad behaviour. How these norms affectthe individual behaviour in society is the subject-matter of social psychology Thus, we canclearly see the dependence of one on the other. The ethical norms are formed in relation to the society. The different societies havedifferent codes of conduct or norms. of behaviour. The social organisation, customs andtraditions etc. of a society influence they formation of norms in that society; How these normsare formed and how the individual behaves in the light of these norms in social situations arethe problems of social psychology. On the other hand, the prob1ems of ethics are pertaining tothe prevalence of different types of norms in different societies.7. Social Psychology and Economics Economics deals with earning and spending of money. This science makes a study ofproductivity, trade, distribution of money etc. All e subject-matters of Economics, aredependent on the co-operation of the people. The productivity, the trade, the home economics,the expenditure, the currency, the inflation and the deflation are all dependent on theindividual’s behaviour. When men labour hard and work in co-operation then the productivity ishigher, on the other productivity diminishes when there is discontent. If you do not payattention to the individuals then all the laws of economics are of no value. As a matter of fact,laws of economics are framed with reference to the individual’s living in the society. The socialpsychology also deals with the individual’s living in the society. Thus, each of these sciencesinfluence each other. If we look deeply into the economic principles we will find that the important one’s arebased on psychological principles. When will and Bentham propagated their economic policy ofindividualism then its, basis was the famous psychological principle of Hedonism. Hedonismtells us that man always makes an effort to get pleasure d’ he always, tries to avoid pain. Thisprinciple is also applicable in economics. Man follows those aspects of individual economicswhich him maximum pleasure and try to avoid those which give him’-- Similarly, we can saythat Karl Marx has based his theory of Marxism on the psychological principle that man first of
  38. 38. 38all tries to fill its stomach and whole of his life pattern is motivated by the. satisfaction of hiseconomic needs. Many of the economic problems are also the problems of social psychology. For example,if we want to know why there are strikes in he mills, why the sales of a particular thing are low,how the advertisement can be effective, how the labour can be satisfied, how he things can bestopped from becoming dear, we will have to understand the group behaviour of the individualsand the nature and he aspiration of those individuals who are responsible for creating theseproblems. In many respects the understanding of many problems of social psychology is facilitatedby studying the economic conditions of the people and the economic principles applicable in thegroup. For example, it is a common law of economics that if there is employment and povertyin any society the crimes will increase in it. Now if a social psychologist finds in a group anincrease in crime he will first of all make a study of economic conditions of the member of thatgroup. Most often find that the abnormal behaviour of the criminal behaviour of the individualsis a direct result of the economic conditions Hence, we can very easily say that soon psychologyand economics are interrelated.8. Social Psychology and Political Science Political science is mainly concerned with the Administration and Government of differentnations. It studies the constitutions of countries. It probes into the nature of the Government. Itdeals with the rights and duties of the citizens. But the constitutions are n the people thegovernments are run by individuals and the right duties. are taken into consideration withrespect to the people a particular nation. This clearly shows that the study of the nature is ofgreat importance in understanding political, science. means that the social psychology is ofgreat help in understand political, principles. Many of the problems of social psychology and political science are common. For example,both of these sciences study how the opinions are formed how the electorate is guided by
  39. 39. 39propagate what are the traits, of leadership, how the group leaders control. Emotions andpassions of the people how the group mind is fon and why the wars are fought. However it must be remembered that these sciences also d from one another in manyrespects The political science studies those group ‘activities which deal with, the formation oflaws organisation of Government while the social psychology studies aspect of the individualbehaviour in the society. The social psycho is much more concerned with the mental processesand in conditions. The political science is concerned with the’ ext obedience of ‘these laws of agroup ‘or nation by the members of’ group or nation. The political laws may be many a times inop - to the public opinion. In such conditions social psychology will light on the law-breakingbehaviour of the individuals. The pc science will merely refer that the laws are against publicopink will not try to answer these questions’: why the people do no them ? What are the baseson which they are opposed by the p and similar other question. These questions will .beanswered by psychology.9. Social Psychology, Radio Technology, Press and Films Today radio, film and press play important roles in inculcate social virtues ideals amongthe people. Trough the Broad people are kept informed. They get news from whole of the world.They get the information about the governments achievements and failure. They, heardifferent points of views and are guided in the nation of their opinion. The radio, in fact, servesthe purpose of bringing people together even though there is no face to face contact it is apowerful force of bringing cohesion and integration in the society. As the radio is important in bringing the people together, so also are the press and thefilms. Through the press, the public opinions helped to be formed. The people at the differentplaces read the newspapers and thus are guided by the opinions expressed in papers they haveread. Thus, they form a public opinion based the views expressed in the press. The films depict various types of social ‘living. In them the social of the people is shown.The defects of society are pointedly brought the notice of the people and ‘public opinion isformed against them example, films depicting the evil effect of dowry help in developing hatred
  40. 40. 40in the people against dowry system. Thus the films, press and help in the formation of publicopinions and are handy tools of propaganda of any sort. They are the media of socialintercourse in society and in fact they, are related to social psychology in that they areconvenient for making the society better in controlling the individual behaviour.10. Social Psychology, Television and other Electronic Media The electronic revolution of late twentieth century has thrown a very serious challenge tothe stability of various societies. Particular developing societies are finding it very difficult toadhere to any particular value system or ideology. The advent of satellite telecasting and thecable television has brought the good or the evil of various culture of the world inside thehomes of a large number of people in all the countries of the world. As may be evident the goodpoints of various cultures projected on the television screens have a beneficial effect on theemergence of a new cultural pattern based on inter-culture transmissions but the evils are alsoinfluencing the young generation of various nations resulting in a degenerative social order ofthem. The social psychology is concerned with the good-bad effects of across the nations. Thelinks between social psychology and ‘are very close. The social psychologists are conductinginvestigations on the role of television and other electronic media in shaping the life style andculture of people in different societies. The internet, the web site and the E-Mail etc. have brought the people of the world closer.There is now the explosion of information. In minutes one can get such a bulk of information forwhich years were being spent earlier. This glut of information is effecting the social life of thepeople. The impact is clearly in two directions:(1) People are learning much about the politics economics and; psychology of other peopleand are being influences by such learning in their individual or social life.(2) People are now glued to the television sets or computers for hours together leaving forthemselves very little time for social interactions.
  41. 41. 41 Social psychology is now concerned with a scientific study of the extent, direction andconsequences of the impact of electronic media on the social development of the people.METHODS OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY In the development of social psychology, the psychologists have employed variousmethods from time to time. Some of them are now no more used. There are some others whichhave been perfected in recent times. In this chapter our aim is to throw light on all theimportant methods of social psychology.INTROSPECTION Introspection is the oldest method for the collection of the data of social psychology. Thismethod is now no more considered as important as it was considered in the eighteenth century.However, this method has not been totally discarded. In certain problems, the need of thismethod of this method is still felt.Introspection is Looking Within During introspection, one concentrates his ideals towards his own inner mental processes.He then makes a report on his own present and past experiences. Introspection can be profitably in many situations dealing with social behavior. Forexample, if an individual shows a particular type of attitude towards the people of a particulargroup or class he may be asked to introspect and give a reply to the question: why does heshow such an attitude? Similarly, we can understand the psychology of fashion if we ask thosewho invent fashion and those who follow them to introspect and to make a report as to whatprompts them to do so. Introspection is also of great help in verifying the results of observation. If one observesthat the individuals show more activity when they are in a group then when they are alone hecan ask the subjects who are more active in a group to introspect and to answer the questionthat what factors motivate them to be more active. In experimental situation, introspection has its own place. After the performance of theexperiment the experimenter asks the subject to report what mental processes he has
  42. 42. 42 experienced during the experiment. The subject answers this question on the basis of introspection. Thus, we cannot avoid introspection in the field of social psychology. The rating scales and public opinion polls are based on introspection. In these techniques, the respondents are asked to describe their private views. Advantages of Introspection Through introspection we can study those mental processes of individuals which are peculiarly private to them and cannot be studied by any other method. For example, the individuals hopes, wishes, attitudes etc. can be studied only through introspections. Introspection is also of great use in supplementing the data collected by experimental observations. It helps in the verification of the observed hypotheses made on the basis of observations. The introspection is of great value when one who is introspecting gives his replies truthfully and whatever happens in his mind, reports correctly and without inhibitions. Limitations of Introspection Introspection also suffers from many limitations. We can put them as follows:1. Introspection reports are quite often inaccurate, if the respondent is careless or ignorant.2. In controversial situations introspection is not very valid. In such situations and also in complicated situations the introspectionist may not truthfully express his opinions and may allow his subjective bias to weigh on heavily upon his judgment of the present situation.3. From the primitives and young children who do not know language we cannot obtain the reports of introspection.4. Many a times the introspectionist’s consicious mind prompts him to distort the facts and give a wrong report of introspection. The introspectionist himself does not understand his
  43. 43. 43 unconscious wishes desires and motivations and thus gives a report which he himself feels to be true but in fact which does not tell clearly of his actual mental conditions. SCIENTIFIC METHOD In second chapter we have explained that the nature of social psychology is scientific. It is scientific because in its study the scientific methods are used. Characteristics of the Scientific Method The following are the characteristics of scientific method:(1) The scientific method is based on determinism. It means that science assumes that the nature is systematic and follow certain laws. The events are the result of certain causes. They do not occur randomly without any reason.(2) The scientific method follow empirical approach. It means that scientific method involves the collection of data by following well defined techniques so that hypotheses are accepted or rejected.(3) In scientific method the operational definitions of those concepts are given which are under study. These definitions are given in such a manner that the processes or the techniques which are to be employed for investigation become explicit. For example, if we are to study class discipline then we will define discipline in such a manner that the record or data regarding class discipline can be easily obtained. We may define class discipline as “Obedience to the teacher”. We can now enumerate the times the students obey the teacher and this type of measurement will lead us to draw conclusions regarding class discipline.(4) The scientific method is objective. It means that a number of observers or experimenters reach to similar conclusions. The results or conclusions are not based on the subjective opinion of any one observer. Goals of Scientific Research Five goals of scientific research can be identified. We are mentioning them in hierarchical order as follows:

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