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History and Social Psychology - Research Paper Example

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History and Social Psychology Abstract This paper expounds upon the historical influences of social psychology, which is relatively a young scientific discipline. By analyzing the contemporary status of social psychology in the lights of its historical and social contexts, this document focuses on a clear-cut understanding of this scientific discipline…
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History and Social Psychology

Download file to see previous pages... The major concern of the social psychologist is to examine the role of other individuals on the behavior and attitudes of a certain group or individual. As defined by the famous psychologist Gordon Allport, social psychology is a discipline which makes use of scientific methods in order to “understand and explain how the thought, feeling and behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined or implied presence of other human beings” (Allport, 1985). This scientific discipline, which is of comparatively recent origin, has acquired a significant growth and expansion altogether. In a personal, historical review of the discipline of social psychology, it becomes evident that the contemporary social psychology has developed vastly from the historical times, cultural, and social location, and several factors have contributed to this growth. The developments in the theories of cognitive and behavioral psychology influenced the growth of social psychology, in which cognitive and behavioral factors were essential. ...
“the Second World War and the political upheaval in Europe that preceded it.” (Cartwright, 1971, p. 83). He also suggests that the most crucial individual in the development of this scientific study is Adolph Hitler, who came at a critical stage in its development. These two factors, i.e. the Second World War and Adolph Hitler, “were largely responsible for the spectacular increase in its rate of growth; they basically influenced the subsequent demographic composition of the field; and they have exerted a fundamental influence upon its entire intellectual complexion right up to the present.” (Cartwright, 1971, p. 83). The major scholars who contributed to the growth of social psychology in the early stage includes scientists such as Wundt, Helmholtz, James, Hall, Cattell, Titchner, Brentano, and Ebbinghaus, et al. and different philosophies were replaced by empirical studies during this stage. The contributions of researchers such as Kurt Lewin, Hovland, Sherif, Asch, and Leon Festinger were essential during the later stage in the growth of social psychology. Apart from the human influences, the societal influences also contributed greatly to the growth of social psychology in the modern world, and the American society played a significant role in this. “The history and agenda of social psychology seems inextricably entwined with the history and priorities of American society in which it was developed.” (Fiske, Gilbert, Lindzey, 2009, p. 13). Therefore, it is fundamental to maintain that several essential factors in the history of social psychology, such as human influences, societal influences, political and scientific influences, have contributed to the growth ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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