Humanistic Approaches to Positive Growth and Self-Acceptance

Social Psychology


The scientific study of the way in which people’s thoughts, feelings, and actions are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people; How people think, feel, and behave in social situations.

Theories and Concepts:

Social Influence

Social Environments

Using Power to Influence Others

Central Vs. Peripheral Route to Persuasion

Fundamental Attribution Error

Self-Serving Bias

Group Think


Bystander Effect

Diffusion of Responsibility

Social Cognition – Our View of Self and Others

The effect that words, actions, or mere presence of other people have on our thoughts, feelings, attitudes, or behavior.

Social Psychology
Social Psychology is the study of the combination of the elements of chemistry and biology.

A change in a person’s behavior or beliefs in response to the intentional or unintentional influence of others. The study of the effect of situational factors and other people on an individual’s behavior.

The reference to imagined or implied others suggests that we are prone to social influence even when no other people are present, such as when watching television, or following internalized cultural norms.  Social Psychology is the study of influence, persuasion, attitudes, and conformity.  Social Psychology attempts to explain human behavior and the relationship between the interaction of the person, environment, and social situation(i, ii).

Solomon Asch is best known for laboratory studies on conformity showing that under certain circumstances, a large percentage of people will conform to a majority position even when the position is clearly incorrect. He also published seminal studies on the primacy effect and halo effect, and helped inspire Stanley Milgram’s research on obedience to authority (iii)

Stanley Milgram is famous for a set of studies suggesting that most people will obey an experimenter’s order to administer potentially deadly levels of electric shock to a protesting stranger. He also invented several research techniques unrelated to obedience, such as the lost-letter technique, cyranoid technique, and small-world (“six degrees of separation”) technique (iii).

Phillip Zimbardo is famous for the Stanford Prison experiment and is the author of The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil (iii).

(i) Aronson, E.,(2012) The Social Animal,(11th ed). New York: Worth Publishers

(ii) Myers, D.,(2015) Exploring Social Psychology,(7 th ed). McGraw Hill.

(iii)Social Psychology Network, http://www.socialpsychology.org/

41 thoughts on “Social Psychology

  1. read and understood that social psychology studies the interaction a person has within the environment or social situation.


  2. read and somewhat understood kinda confused on the part it said under certain circumstances, a large percentage of people will conform to a majority position even when the position is clearly incorrect.


  3. Read and let me elaborate on what I understood. Human behavior changes base on the environment that you are in at the time (ASCH studies display something similar). In some people it changes base on what they observe as well. Often time we blame other people for our behavior. Milgam Techniques to me are more likely punishment than obedience.
    I will get more clarification in class.


  4. Read and somewhat understood, Asch is known for experimenting with conformity, I dont understand “a large percentage of people will conform to a majority position even when the position is clearly incorrect” need more clarification on what this exactly means. Milgram is known for experimenting with the electrical chair.


  5. Read and mostly understood. Asch’s theory somewhat supports the idea of peer pressure since when people see a lot of people doing something, they don’t want to be left out so they end up participating in whatever the activity may be even if it doesn’t follow his/her morals.


  6. Read and understood. Milgram’s experiment does prove a point and maybe a few people really were just following orders during WWII (?)


      1. The point of the experiment was to prove that some people can be pressured to do something if an authority figure tells them to do so, right?


      2. His experiment proved that the greater percentage of people will to horrific things to other people as long as there’s someone else to blame, This is called a diffusion of responsibility


    1. I understand that social psychology is based on how other people influence your behavior regardless of it being intentional or unintentional


  7. Read and understood (Solomon Asch helped inspire Stanley Milgram’s research on obedience to authority- glad I read it)


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