Exploring Social Psychology Thesis

Exploring Social Psychology


PurposeThis assignment should demonstrate your understanding of social psychology as a scientific discipline that is both connected with–and distinct from– other fields of social science. You will also gain appreciation of the various research methods associated with social psychology versus other disciplines. Finally, you will deepen your knowledge of history by reviewing a traditional theory and a contemporary theory of social psychology.


Assignment Instructions: There are three sections to this short essay.


Section 1: Social Psychology versus Sociology


Compare and contrast social psychology to sociology and include the following information:


· A definition of the field including the unit of analysis (e.g., person, group, society, etc.)

· Major assumptions and principles

· Typical research topics/areas


Section 2: Research Methods of Social Psychology


The next section covers research methods typical of the field of social psychology:


· Discuss why social psychologists use the empirical method to study behavior

· Contrast a conceptual definition and an operational definition and provide an example

· Provide 1) definitions and 2) pros and cons of the three major types of research


Section 3: The History of Social Psychology


Your final section covers the history of social psychology.

· Identify and discuss a traditional approach (theory or concept developed before 1990) to social psychology, such as cognitive dissonance theory or social cognition. Describe the major theoretical assumptions, and include the social psychologist(s) who came up with the theory or idea.

· Identify and discuss a contemporary approach (theory or concept developed after 1990) to social psychology, such as evolutionary psychology, social neuroscience, or the theory of the “need to belong.” Describe the major theoretical assumptions, and include the social psychologist(s) who came up with the theory or idea.

· For both your selected Traditional Approach and Contemporary Approach, discuss an example of how the approach or theory explains a social behavior of your choice (e.g. quitting smoking, joining a social movement, volunteering).




· Support factual information and assertions with at least two credible and/or scholarly sources.

· Follow APA guidelines to format your essay.

· Use in-text citations and include a reference page at the end of your essay – APA format.