Ch 1: Introduction to Social Psychology

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons to get an introduction to social psychology, including major perspectives, themes and prevalent studies in the field. These lessons use engaging animations and on-screen graphics to help you retain critical info quickly and efficiently.

Introduction to Social Psychology - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

What is social psychology? This is the question answered in this chapter. We have a lesson dedicated to defining this area of psychology, so you can be sure you understand exactly what it encompasses. From here, our lessons move into covering the background of social psychology. You'll explore major perspectives and the seven major themes. In addition, you'll get to learn more about studies that have been done in social psychology. Studies done by people like Kurt Lewin and Stanley Milgram will be the focus of lessons so that you can begin to see the inner workings of this psychological perspective. Some of the specific things you will learn include:

  • How social psychology is distinguished from other fields
  • Forms of group membership
  • The power of obedience
  • Conformity in the history of social psychology
  • Examples of applied social psychology
  • Social learning

VideoObjective
What is Social Psychology? - Definition & Professions in the Field Study what social psychology is, and explore career possibilities.
Major Perspectives of Social Psychology Examine the different perspectives in the field - social cognition, sociocultural, evolutionary and social learning.
The 7 Major Themes of Social Psychology Discover the seven major themes of social psychology, which include social cognition and perception, the self in a social context, attitudes and persuasion, group decision, attraction and close relationships, pro-social behavior and stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination.
Forms of Group Membership: Kurt Lewin's Leadership Study Find out more about Lewin's study of the effects of different forms of group membership, such as laissez-faire, autocratic and democratic.
Stanley Milgram's Famous Study of Obedience Take a look at Milgram's study of the power of obedience, how it fits in the history of social psychology and why it is considered unethical by many people today.
Conformity: Solomon Asch's Study of Informational vs. Normative Conformity Examine Asch's study of the power of conformity, including a distinction between information vs. normative conformity.
Social Learning: Albert Bandura's Bobo Doll Study Explore Bandura's Bobo doll study and the relationship to behavioral theories of learning.
Social Roles: Philip Zimbardo's Prison Experiment Discover Zimbardo's prison study, including its relevance to modern ethical criteria.
Group Prejudice: Jane Elliott's Brown Eyes vs. Blue Eyes Experiment Analyze Elliott's blue eyes vs. brown eyes study of group prejudice.

7 Lessons in Chapter 1: Introduction to Social Psychology
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What Is Social Psychology? - Definition & Professions in the Field

1. What Is Social Psychology? - Definition & Professions in the Field

Social psychology is the study of how people act, think, and feel in the context of society. In this lesson, we will learn more about social psychology, what it has in common with other fields of study, and what types of careers are available in social psychology.

Major Perspectives of Social Psychology

2. Major Perspectives of Social Psychology

There are four major perspectives in social psychology. Let's look at each perspective and how each one might approach a common question in social psychology.

The 7 Major Themes of Social Psychology

3. The 7 Major Themes of Social Psychology

Social psychology can be divided up into seven main themes, or categories. Under each theme is a whole host of more specific topics. In this lesson, we will look at each of the seven major themes and examples of topics that each theme covers.

Forms of Group Membership: Kurt Lewin's Leadership Study

4. Forms of Group Membership: Kurt Lewin's Leadership Study

Kurt Lewin is often described as the father of social psychology. His famous study about the three types of leadership helped psychologists and leaders understand how to form and lead effective groups. Let's take a closer look at Kurt Lewin's leadership study and how it impacted the field of psychology.

Conformity: Solomon Asch's Study of Informational vs. Normative Conformity

5. Conformity: Solomon Asch's Study of Informational vs. Normative Conformity

Solomon Asch was a famous social psychologist whose study on conformity showed that people often conform to the group, even when they know the correct answer. In this lesson, we'll learn about his experiment, as well as the different types of conformity.

Social Learning: Albert Bandura's Bobo Doll Study

6. Social Learning: Albert Bandura's Bobo Doll Study

Albert Bandura is a famous social psychologist whose Bobo doll study illustrates the social learning theory of psychology. In this lesson, we'll look at the Bobo doll study, its impact on the field of psychology, and what it can tell us about the effects of watching violent television.

Group Prejudice: Jane Elliott's Brown Eyes vs. Blue Eyes Experiment

7. Group Prejudice: Jane Elliott's Brown Eyes vs. Blue Eyes Experiment

Jane Elliott is an educator whose famous blue eyes/brown eyes exercise showed social psychologists (and her students) the impact that racism has on education and how social psychology can be applied to real-world situations. In this lesson, we'll learn about the exercise and its impact on social psychology.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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