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Introduction to Social Psychology

Introduction to Social Psychology
Course from BitDegree
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History of Social Psychology
What is meant by Social Influence
Lewin’s Equation of Individual-Society Interaction
What is Human Characteristics & Fitness
Evolutionary Adaptation

Social psychology experiments to study group behaviour were being conducted in as early as before the year 1900. These experiments were conducted to logically, scientifically, and systematically measure and record the feelings, behaviors, attributes, thoughts, patterns, and attitudes of social behavior among human beings. By the year 1908, the first social psychology textbooks were published. These include several books written on an introduction to social psychology which outlines the principles which govern the field of social psychology. The social psychologists, Kurt Lewin and Leon Festinger helped establish social psychology as a strictly scientific discipline and developed the need for experimentation and its approaches to studying behavior during the years 1940s and 1950s. Lewin is also known as “the father of social psychology” as he was responsible for developing several important ideas on social psychology on the dynamic interactions among groups. During the Second World War, social psychologists tried to analyze and understand how Adolf Hitler was able to produce such massive and large-scale impact and gather obedience from masses to create such horrors on other people of their own same species or humans. By the year 1954, social psychologists started to greatly focus on laboratory experiments to test their theories and hypotheses on social and group behavior and to use such experiments to measure variables to get results based on conclusive data. In the 1960s, Philip Zimbardo, conducted his well-known ‘Prison Experiment’ in which is simulated a prison environment. He then placed normal college-going male students playing the role of guards and prisoners in this simulated prison. This experiment was aimed at understanding the interpersonal and group dynamics that go on in a prison. Zimbardo found that the students got so involved in the prison setting that they became extremely violent and the study had to be terminated prematurely. This prison experiment conducted by Zimbardo in the portrayed the powerful role of the social situation on human behavior.

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