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Social psychology - Essay Example

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In recent years the field of social psychology has advanced sufficiently so that it is now possible to do strictly controlled laboratory experiments in many areas. What is important is that it is now possible to do these experiments so that they effectively add to our understanding of the dynamics of the behavior of groups in real-life situations.
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Download file to see previous pages owerful technique of laboratory experimentation effectively, we must already have gained much understanding by means of other techniques, such as observation of uncontrolled situations and field experiments under less strictly controlled conditions.
From the controversy in above, it is obvious that there is no definite decision whether laboratory experiments are the best way to conduct the research in the field of social psychology. Some scientists believe that laboratory experiments do not help to proceed with getting exact and effective final outcome in the research of one or another issue of social psychology; those are discourse analysts. Others keep the opinion that laboratory experiments is the best way to empirically identify the nature of a social problem as when using cognitive approach towards dealing with the problem is a pledge of its successful outcome.
I will further gradually review each approach in order to define whe...
For the past two decades, psychological social psychologists have largely focused on the latter tenet, emphasizing inside-the-head phenomena, and have left the former tenet to sociological social psychologists. As it was observed, [psychological] "social psychology and cognitive social psychology are today nearly synonymous. The cognitive approach is now clearly the dominant approach among social psychologists, having virtually no competitors" (Gergen, 1992). Moreover, the nature of cognitive theorizing shifted from an emphasis on "warm" cognition and motivated reasoning to an emphasis on "cold" cognition. Consequently, memory processes, logical inference, and cognitive biases became key topics of interest in cognitive social psychology. This shift reflected the advent of information processing models in cognitive psychology in the late 1990s and their rapid adoption by social psychologists, documented in a seminal volume on person memory. The resulting theoretical approach, known as social cognition, has been characterized as social psychology under the paradigm of information processing. It emphasized information encoding, storage, and retrieval and drew heavily on computer metaphors.
On the positive side, the information processing approach has rapidly advanced our understanding of the cognitive processes underlying many social phenomena (for reviews, see Devine et al 1994). Moreover, its emphasis on detailed process models has changed the field's standards for what counts as appropriate evidence: "It was no longer enough to detail a theoretical model and use the results as confirmation of the model. If one stated what one thought the process was, one had to demonstrate the intervening steps" (Taylor 1998, p. 74). To obtain ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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