Social psychology is about understanding individual behavior in a social context. According to psychologist Gordon Allport, 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). Baron, Byrne & Suls (1989) define social psychology as ….“the scientific field that seeks to understand the nature and causes of individual behavior in social situations”. (p. 6).
It therefore looks at human behavior as influenced by other people and the social context in which this occurs.
Social psychologists therefore deal with the factors that lead us to behave in a given way in the presence of others, and look at the conditions under which certain behavior/actions and feelings occur. Social psychology is to do with the way these feelings, thoughts, beliefs, intentions and goals are constructed and how such psychological factors, in turn, influence our interactions with others. While Plato referred to the idea of the “crowd mind” and concepts such as social loafing and social facilitation were introduced in the late-1800s, it wasn’t until after World War II that research on social psychology began in earnest. The horrors of the Holocaust led researchers to study the effects of social influence, conformity and obedience. Baca lebih lanjut