PSY301: Social Psychology Robin Friedman
April 22, 2013
Social Psychology has emerged as a critical perception of yourself and your environment. Having a better understanding of who you are as it relates to your surroundings helps identify who your in your own culture. In this paper I will make people familiar with social psychology principles. I will provide an overview of the field and explain the key principles associated with its practice. To better understand Social Psychology it is important to understand who we are as individuals. Self-discovery as it relates to Social Psychology is the initial key to a better understanding you and your environment. Self-concept, Self-awareness and self-schemas are the key factors in understanding who YOU are. Baumeister (1999) provides the following self concept definition: "the individual's belief about himself or herself, including the person's attributes and who and what the self is". This is important because without really knowing who we are as individuals it would be nearly impossible to know what direction to take in life or how to associate with other people. Many people may wander aimlessly, but still have purpose. Self-awareness plays an equally important role by comparing our behavior against our internal beliefs and using that as a moral compass. Without this “check” we may make the wrong decision in the direction we wish to go and end up engaged in something we would regret. Lastly we need to understand our Self-Schema. The term self-schema refers to the beliefs and ideas other people may have about who they are. These beliefs are used as a guide and help organize information processing, especially when the information is significant to the self. Schema is a derivative of Schematic or a map or set of detailed pieces making up the whole part. Self-schemas are the different pieces which make up the sum of who we are. Do I like jogging?, social drinking?, parties?, do I like to curl my hair , What kinds of clothes should I wear? …etc. all of these items help keep in focus the importance of who we are as individuals.
Other factors which guide us through the process of Social Psychology are Self-Acting, Self-Efficacy and Self Esteem. Self-Acting is a term used for people who are not influenced by outside factors. They tend to go through life without the need for outside influences because there is such a strong self awareness. A self-regulation or a daily affirmation helps keep ego in check and maintains a strong sense of direction. Building on the strong sense of direction is one aspect that may give us confidence is how we look at our self during this process. Self-Efficacy is the act of how we view ourselves relating to the tasks in front of us. The stronger the self efficacy the more favorable opinion we have of ourselves allowing more confidence to show through. This is directly related to our Self-Esteem. Self Esteem is a direct look at our confident selves and is directly related to our confidence is used. Self-esteem carries people through many different phases in life and is probably most important attribute when dealing with Social Psychology. The better the Self-Esteem the overall more positive image we carry of ourselves. This involves a person’s job, relationships, social settings and general outlook. When all these different aspect are combined we will see a very clear picture of who we are and how we see ourselves vs. society.
Learning about ourselves is an important part of who we are, what we do with that information relating to other is equally important. One of the aspects of viewing others is Attributions. Attributions is how we view ourselves and others. There are two types of Attributions, external and internal. When you make an internal attribution you blame personality, attitudes, or some other dispositional factor for the action. (Fenstra, 2011) An example would