According to psychologist Gordon Lopper, social psychology is a discipline that Uses scientific methods “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” (1985). Social psychology looks at a wide range of social topics, including group behavior, social perception, leadership, nonverbal behavior, conformity, aggression, and prejudice. It is important to note that social psychology is not just about looking at social influences. Social perception and social interaction are also vital to understanding social behavior.
The primary research strategies used in social psychology are descriptive, correlation, and experimental research . The goal of descriptive research is to portray what already exists in a group or population. Unlike causal and relational studies, descriptive studies cannot determine if there is a relationship between two variables. They can only describe what exists within a given population. An example of descriptive research would be conducting a survey to find out people’s attitudes toward a reticular social issue such as divorce, capital punishment, or gambling laws.
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Social psychologists use correlation research to look for relationships between variables. For example, a social psychology might carry out a correlation study looking at the relationship between media violence and aggression. Experimental research is the key to uncovering causal relationships between variables. In experimental research, the experimenter randomly assigns participants to one of two groups: the control group and the experimental group. The control group receives no treatment and serves s a baseline.
Researchers manipulate the levels of some independent variable in the experimental group and then measure the effects. Because researchers are able to control the independent variables, experimental research can be used to find causal relationships between variables. One example of experimental research would be finding the relationship between a group who does yoga everyday and one that does yoga everyday while eating a balanced diet. Multicultural psychology is the systematic study of all aspects of human behavior as it occurs in settings where people of different ultra backgrounds encounter each other.
Multiculturalism has been considered a “fourth force” in the field of psychology, supplementing behaviorism, psychodrama theories, and humanistic psychology. Multicultural psychologists prefer a salad bowl rather than a melting pot as metaphorical image, viewing the United States, for example, as a society in which groups maintain their distinctiveness (Modeled & Curling, 2006). They stress and argue for the necessary development of multicultural competence by psychologists and others. Such competence includes understanding of our own culture, respect for other cultures, and acquiring appropriate culturally sensitive interpersonal skills.
To this end, professional guidelines have been proposed (and adopted) for education, training, and practice. Such guidelines are approved by the American Psychological Association (PAP) for practice with persons of color (PAP, 2003), practice with sexual minorities (PAP, 2000), and practice with girls and women (PAP, 2007). In conclusion, the textbook stated that each of us is a multicultural human being. This simple and basic proposition, most descriptive of those of us who live in anthropometry heterogeneous societies, constitutes the basic (though complex) theme of this book.