Essay on Social Psychology Reflective

Submitted By gbbygreene
Words: 947
Pages: 4

The article written by Kenneth J. Gergen was interesting, but a little difficult to comprehend at first. It seems as though the question remains is that whether or not social psychology really is considered a science or just another way of analyzing and understanding human behavior and social interaction among people. It seems as though social psychology is constantly changing and that although the same methods are used often, the results vary each time over a span of several years or even decades. The way people interact with each other has changed dramatically over the years. The way men and women perceive one another have also greatly changed over the years. Many people believe that psychology as a whole is a primary focus on the individual. It seems that he wants people, in that I mean other psychologists, shouldn’t put so much emphasis on people’s behavior given the status quo, but they should look further into how our society might be altered in order to make that person’s life more enjoyable. I believe that regardless of what area of psychology you are involved in, it is important to look at all sides and environments of the person’s life, not just use the scientific methods we are sworn to know and use as a form of treatment. It seems as though he is arguing the fact that social psychology is in fact not a science entirely, but an inquiry of sorts that illustrates how human behavior has changed over time and that not one scientific method can be used or reused to indicate that all of our social behaviors and how we interact with one another are one and the same. I really thought a lot about one of Gergen’s statements he made that truly had me thinking about the role of social psychology as a whole and the purpose it has as its own branch of psychological science. He stated that, “It is the rare social psychologist whose values do not influence the subject of his research, his methods of observation, or the terms of description. (Gergen, 1973, p.311). But, don’t our values sometimes guide us into making decisions about ourselves and other people? Doesn’t it guide us as to how we live our lives and view ourselves every day? Our values can sometimes be biased and it is hard to put our values aside and look at the whole picture without already assuming we know the causes of the problem. We are human beings and our values do guide us as to how we can relate to one another and how we perceive one another and sometimes we based our values to whether that person is good enough to be part of our lives. I agree with his statement how rare it can truly be for a social psychologist or any psychologist for that matter to not let his or her values guide their research and how they treat their patients. What I think somewhat relates to Gergen’s thinking in his article is about how we should study social psychology in a historical approach instead of it just being pure scientific is by studying cultures in the way of cross-cultural research. As I saw in the Seventh Edition of Social Psychology, it states that many of the findings for social psychology are culture-dependent, not mainly based on scientific data. Cultures are universal in a sense that we all are a part of our own culture. There is not one culture that is one and the same. They each bring their own element as to how people live and interact with one