social psychology

scientific study of social effects on people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors

Social psychology is the scientific study of how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, and implied presence of others, 'imagined' and 'implied presences' referring to the internalized social norms that humans are influenced by even when they are alone.Social psychologists typically explain human behavior as being a result of the relationship between mental state and social situation, studying the conditions under which thoughts, feelings, and behaviors occur and how these variables influence social interactions. Social psychology has bridged the gap between psychology and sociology to an extent, but a divide still exists between the two fields. Nevertheless, sociological approaches to psychology remain an important counterpart to conventional psychological research. In addition to the split between psychology and sociology, there is difference in emphasis between American and European social psychologists, as the former traditionally have focused more on the individual, whereas the latter have generally paid more attention to group-level phenomena.
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main subject: social psychology

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