Zeryl Joy M. Fiscal
Arcler Education Inc
This book was written in the hope of familiarizing students with the expansive field of social psychology and all it encompasses. A major challenge, when introducing social psychology, is to try to convey a sense of belonging where this discipline fits with others which are closely related to social sciences, such as sociology, psychology, anthropology, and philosophy. This problem is addressed primarily in Chapter 1 where a definition of social psychology is presented, how it is interrelated to other social sciences is explained, and some of core social psychology topics and research areas are introduced. It is anticipated that after reading this introductory chapter, readers will not only be able to understand the overall concept of social psychology more clearly, but also that their curiosity will be aroused enough so that they will be enthusiastic to learn more about the discipline. Throughout the book, we have tried to present social psychology theories within the context of the ‘real world’. In every case, after presenting an explanation of social psychology theories, we have used examples to enable students to assess the degrees to which these theories are applicable, or non-applicable, to the social problems we face today. Chapters 2 and 3 present a review of the major social psychology perspectives, or approaches, in the light of which the reader will be able to better understand and evaluate the tendencies adopted by researchers and theorists of the discipline. Chapters 4 and 5 introduce and explain the notion of social cognition and the concept of the ‘Self’, two social psychology basics. Other important social psychology research areas and topics are discussed in chapters 6 and 7. We do not claim that these two chapters present an exhaustive list of all the topics that interest social psychologists today – far from it. Nevertheless, we hope that, by revealing the wide-ranging subjects that social psychology covers, these two chapters, in particular, will attract students to the discipline and peak their curiosity to further research and investigation of social psychology topics of interest to them. Chapter 8 is devoted to ‘Group Processes’, a subject that is relevant to the daily lives of all of us, and that we believe all readers will find quite useful and enlightening.Chapter 9 introduces the different research methods (observational, correlational and experimental) used by social psychologists to test their theories about how human behavior, thoughts and feelings are influenced by society and social interactions, indicating the limitations and advantages of each method. To illustrate how this works in practice, Chapter 10 describes a selected few of the more widely known social science experiments conducted since the inception of this fascinating discipline. The last two chapters of this book attempt to shed light on the practical applications of social psychology. Chapter 11 discusses conflict, competition, and cooperation from a social psychology viewpoint, and Chapter 12 presents examples of how social psychology can be applied to contemporary settings.We hope that this book will be of equal interest and benefit to students from across many cultures; wherever possible, we have tried to provide implications and point out differences and disparities related to cultural dissimilarities. Nevertheless, because social psychology studies and researches are still primarily based upon western cultural ideas, many examples (particularly of applied social psychology in healthcare, education and legal systems, discussed in chapter 12) are largely drawn from the U.S. and Europe. Readers from other cultures are invited to apply the principles, theories and experiments of social psychology they encounter all through the book to their own backgrounds and social settings – an exercise that we are certain will be both easy and enjoyable.
ZERYL JOY M. FISCAL is an Assistant Professor II and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of the Laguna State Polytechnic University, Siniloan Campus, Philippines. She earned her Bachelor in Behavioral Science at the University of Santo Tomas (UST), Philippines in 199 and completed her Master’s degree in Psychology at the Union College, Philippines in 2014. She has been Department Coordinator of International Affairs before her present designation as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition, she is currently the Adviser of a number of thesis-advisees in the field of Psychology for undergraduate students. For the enhancement of her professional growth, she has actively participated in various national and local education-related seminars and workshops. Moreover, she was invited to provide a lecture in Psychology to undergraduate students at the Thai Nguyen University -International Training and Development Center, Vietnam 2011.