Social Psychology

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Socializing is a fundamental norm to live in this world. Social interaction is a basic need of every human being because they are a social animal, from attending office to going grocery shopping, every interaction requires society hence understanding societal psychology or social psychology is essential to survive while living in the world, as it can develop the understanding of the world around a human being, by learning to read peoples view through their habits, facial expressions, actions/reactions, and attitude helps an individual to process the life better and draws a contemporary analysis on the behavior by observing the social psychology. By recognizing habit, or behavior, an individual gets a fundamental mechanism idea by which actions continue in daily life. (Wood, 2017). The fused pro and con of Social Psychology is that people beliefs, feelings, Intentions, and goals are built in a social perspective by the interactions with others.

Social psychology is used in many professions to examine a problem such as murder, For instance; a crime scene investigator uses it to understand the traits, attitudes, and behavioral patterns of a criminal. Similarly, researchers have investigated social psychology in various topics such as social perception, social influence, Attitude, and Attitude Change, Violence and Aggression, Prosocial Behavior, Self and Social Identity, Social Influence, Social Cognition, Interpersonal Relationships, Prejudice and Discrimination, and Group Behavior, etc. A study refers humans behaviors tends to be different when they are socializing in comparison to their personality, which validates that understanding social psychology is important (Flake, et al., 2017) The Social Psychology focused on the three main key areas of studies that are known as social thinking, social influences, and social behavior. In this essay, social psychology and its key areas will be examined and evaluated.


Social Thinking 

Social thinking focuses on, Cognitive flexibility, problem-solving, and the emotional viewpoint which is connected with processing, storing, perceiving, and applying social information about situations and people. It is processed in the cognitive part of the brain which focuses on social interaction. It develops in childhood and adolescence; For instance; in a jungle, the dominancy of territory animals will be perceived as a cognitive response by the secondary and primary animals as social pressure, hassle, and stress to survive. (Augoustinos, 2014) The influence on an individual of social thinking could be negative mostly, because social thinking in some cases is intimidating, which affects the freedom of a human being as a result. It is for sure ethically unjustified. Emphasizing moral values and cultural values could result in an anti-paradoxical societal future. (Chowdhury, M., 2018)

Social Influence 

Likewise, Social influence can be detected with an individual’s attitude, behavior, and noticeable actions of others. It can affect the behavior of a person through actions, commands, requests, and alter the behavior of attitude of individuals because they got treated the same way. It compromises an individual’s personality which is the reason why people have to change their behavior to meet others’ needs or to treat others the same way because they were treated like it previously. Consequently, good social influences affect in a good manner and bad social influence results in a bad manner. In an article on Psychology and Health, the researcher concludes that social influence could affect depending on the situation occurring, because of the influence, behavior varies on the situation. (Povey, et al., 2000) The study has found evidence that social influences impact negatively mostly as compared to the positive manner For example, Children these days demands PS4, Xbox, Tesla cars, and other branded gadgets from their parents as Christmas gifts because of the social influence of the wealthy kids. Ethical decisions connecting to social influence have an immense impact on research participants, research methodologies, ethical discipline, and general society. (Kimmel, 2017)

Social influences are further divided into obedience, conformity, compliance, and minority influences. For example; an action performing under the supervision figure of individual results in obedience, likewise; an action performed in a group is also a result of the conformity of social influence. However, work or action suggested to you by a social influence for any profit or request is compliance, and a group of doctors disagreeing to check some patients are the minority influences of social behavior. A research study of Concordia University concludes about the Asch-like paradigm study, the high cognitive load doesn’t increase the rates of conformity, however, they decrease the conformity rates as result the study isn’t statistically significant (Baker, K., 2019).

Social Behavior 

There are three types of social behavior, known as emotional behavior, violent behavior, and aggressive behavior. Actions, attributes, or behavioral aspects that are influenced by other individuals in a person’s life are known as social behavior. Social behavior encompasses interactions that occur among people such as mutualistic approach, conversational, parental, altruistic, aggressive, interactive, including sexual activities. Social behavior is solely dependent on actions taken by individuals in a group or a society. For example; if there is a top ranked company in the world but their unethical behavior takes a noteworthy toll on their organization by destructing their societal reputations, so it is necessary to be socially kinds with everyone not only for business purposes but also as a daily life practice in order to not hurt anyone by your actions. (Epley, et al, 2019) The cultural influences, ascends from the existence of humanity, impelling family, groups, and community that are then interceded with environmental influences by the physical properties. Various theories that examine and reflect social behavior, are social cognitive theory, transtheoretical model stages of change, the theory of planned behavior, and health belief model change. Critical analysis of two theories of social behavior is stated below:

Social Cognitive Theory A psychologist who was studying social behavior stated that in most cases the human behavior is learned through imitation, modeling, and observation (Rumjaun, et al., 2020) He was the creator of the social cognitive theory in which he modeled aggression in an experiment referring it to a “bobo doll” the results caused as a huge breakthrough for his career as the experiment demonstrated that the behavior of children reflect the behavior of the parents because children learn behavior from their parents. (Hollis, 2019) The result choked the parents and started an evaluation check-in parenting. There’s no doubt their children learn from their surroundings, social values, parental values, and environment, but the treatment they are perceiving can be altered through learning how to behave in front of the children, as they will absorb both, good or bad social influence. (Otaye-Ebede, et al, 2020)

  • Theory Of Planned Behavior 

Icek Ajzen gave the theory of planned behavior in 1985, in which Icek explains that It refers to apparent negative and positive consequences in engaging human behavior and evaluation of peoples belief because the intentions of behavior are determined in a combination of three key areas known as the subjective norms, human attitudes, and perceived behavioral control. Further, the theory has been extended by stating salient beliefs that are usually known as behavioral beliefs, control beliefs, and normative beliefs. A study suggested that normative beliefs play an important role in endorsing vigor conversation and have vital inferences. (Jachimowicz, 2018) For instance; if a society or family is expecting an individual to be an engineer because if he or she doesn’t meet up to their requirements he or she will know the consequences of the outcome, so a situation like this can influence a person to develop a negative or positive behavior towards them to observe the action or reaction of the happening. (Sun, 2019) Mostly a planned behavior results in negative implications, the causes of the planned behavior the societal pressure on individuals trying their hard to accomplish at their best. The development of planned behavior in a child or a grown individual can be prevented by being true to them, as a result, they don’t slip away in a bad direction. (Rahamanet al, 2019) A study suggests that trust tends to offset negative insight associated with a person’s expectations because of planned behavior theory. (Giampietri, et al., 2018)

Another study on human behavior has discovered that on the basics of social behavior 90% of the population of the world can be categorized into four simple personality categories, known as the pessimistic, optimistic, Trusting, and Envious. As a matter of fact, the most common personality category of humans is the most envious with a 30% increase, in comparison to the other four groups of personality categories. (Li, Y., 2019)


The study of social psychology makes it easier to understand the significance of understanding psychological behavior along with the scientific causes of various human behavior. The study reflects around the influences that social behavior embeds the society and to the lives of individuals, Understanding social psychology benefits humans in resolving numerous ethical, moral, and behavioral issues within the society. It doesn’t only help the upbringing of an infant but also helps in building a community reflecting positive behavioral traits. Most of all it helps to determine the behavior that could have a major impact or influence on the upcoming future and social dealings and growth perspective on a communal level.




Augoustinos, M., Walker, I. and Donaghue, N., 2014. Social cognition: An integrated introduction. Sage.

Baker, K., 2019. Conformity and Cognitive Load in an Asch-Like Paradigm Study.

Chowdhury, M., 2018. Emphasizing morals, values, ethics, and character education in science education and science teaching. MOJES: Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Sciences4(2), pp.1-16.

Epley, N. and Kumar, A., 2019. How to design an ethical organization. Harvard Business Review97(3), pp.144-150.

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Giampietri, E., Verneau, F., Del Giudice, T., Carfora, V. and Finco, A., 2018. A Theory of Planned behaviour perspective for investigating the role of trust in consumer purchasing decision related to short food supply chains. Food Quality and Preference64, pp.160-166.

Hollis, L.P., 2019. Lessons from Bandura’s Bobo Doll experiments: Leadership’s deliberate indifference exacerbates workplace bullying in higher education. Journal for the Study of Postsecondary and Tertiary Education4, pp.085-102.

Jachimowicz, J.M., Hauser, O.P., O’Brien, J.D., Sherman, E. and Galinsky, A.D., 2018. The critical role of second-order normative beliefs in predicting energy conservation. Nature Human Behaviour2(10), pp.757-764.

Kimmel, A.J., 2017. 2 CHAPTER Ethical Issues in Social Influence Research. The Oxford handbook of social influence, p.11.

Li, Y., 2019. Upward social comparison and depression in social network settings: The roles of envy and self-efficacy. Internet Research.

Otaye-Ebede, L., Shaffakat, S. and Foster, S., 2020. A multilevel model examining the relationships between workplace spirituality, ethical climate and outcomes: A social cognitive theory perspective. Journal of Business Ethics166(3), pp.611-626.

Povey, R., Conner, M., Sparks, P., James, R. and Shepherd, R., 2000. The theory of planned behaviour and healthy eating: Examining additive and moderating effects of social influence variables. Psychology & Health14(6), pp.991-1006.

Rahaman, H.S., Stouten, J. and Guo, L., 2019. Antecedents of ethical leadership: the theory of planned behavior. Leadership & Organization Development Journal.

Rumjaun, A. and Narod, F., 2020. Social Learning Theory—Albert Bandura. In Science Education in Theory and Practice (pp. 85-99). Springer, Cham.

Sun, W., 2019. Toward a theory of ethical consumer intention formation: re-extending the theory of planned behavior. AMS Review, pp.1-19.

Wood, W., 2017. Habit in personality and social psychology. Personality and social psychology review21(4), pp.389-403.