Social Psychology in the new Millennium
As the Social Psychology tries to understand the individual’s thoughts and behaviors in social settings, the subject matter of Social Psychology goes on changing as the years passes by. Due to the tremendous changes happening, the present day human beings are well advanced in every sphere. The speedy growth found in every areas of human life, social psychology is found to incorporate the latest developments into its subject matter. This has led to the changing and formulating of new perspectives in the study of social psychology.
Mainly, cognitive perspective, application perspective, multicultural perspectives and evolutionary perspectives have become the focus of research on social psychology. Cognitive Perspective: Social psychology is the field that studies both social behavior and social thought. The definition reflects the fact that both social psychologist have always been interested in How individuals think about other person in social situations. Most social psychologist believes that how people act in various situations are strongly decided by their thoughts.
Social psychologists have attended to apply basic knowledge about memory, reasoning and decision making to various aspects of social thought and behavior. For instance, within this context, researchers have sought to determine whether prejudice stems from basic cognitive processes, at least in the part from our tending to remember only information consistent with stereotypes of various groups, or tendencies to process information about one’s own social group differently to about other social groups; secondly there has been growing interest in the question of how one process social information.
Multicultural Perspective: the field of Social Psychology has adopted an increasingly multicultural perspective, an approach that pays careful attention to the rate of culture and human diversity as factors that influences social behavior and social thought. Evolutionary Perspective: An important trend in the modern social psychology is the increasing influence of a biological or evolutionary perspective. Mueller and Mazur (1996) predicted that men who looked dominant would attain higher military rank in their careers than would men who would did not look dominant.
In general, studies conducted from the evolutionary perspective suggest that biological and genetic factors play some role in many aspects of social behavior. Application Perspective: A major theme in social psychology today is growing concern with the application of the knowledge gathered by social psychology. An increasing number of social psychologist have turned their attention to question concerning personal health, the legal process, social behavior in work settings, environmental issues and the study of entrepreneurship.
Therefore, we can say that, Speculation about social behavior and though has continued since antiquity, however, a scientifically oriented field of Social Psychology emerged only during the twentieth century. Once the subject got established it grew rapidly. And Social Psychology currently investigates every conceivable aspect of social behavior and social thought with the help of the cognitive, multicultural, evolutionary and applied perspectives.