Psychology is the study of human mind. Psychology is divided into two parts, namely research and practice. Research aims at improving knowledge on the subject by identifying the source of the problem while practice applies the knowledge that has been earned in solving real world problems.
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There are various methods of carrying out research in psychology. They vary depending on the subject in question. These methods include aptitude tests, interpretations and laboratory tests. Once the solution has been found, the results are applied in various disciplines say in human health, law and in extra curricular activities.
Social Psychology is a division within psychology that involves studying how groups of people behave. In lay man’s language, social psychology focuses on how situations affect their social behavior. This study is carried out by psychologists; people who study human behavior. The sociologist observes individual behavior. According to Myers (2010), human behavior varies from one person to another depending on their gender, race, class, ethnicity, and socialization.
Studies have found social class to be the most influential factor as to why people behave in a certain way. Social psychology is an area that uses scientific techniques to clarify how an individual’s acts, opinion, and feelings are influenced by the probable, definite, and indirect presence of other human beings. Psychology can further be divided into several branches. Other types of psychology include clinical psychology, general psychology, and sociology. Social psychology is very different from other types of psychology.
This is because it entails the use of scientific methods. Social psychology focuses on situations in a given social environment and interaction and their effects in an individual’s thoughts and feelings. Sociology and social psychology sound similar. Sociology is different from social psychology because it focuses on social behavior; social conduct affects social psychology directly (Myers, 2010).
Clinical psychology is the widest branch of psychology. In this discipline clinician’s research, diagnose and treat patients with mental and emotional issues. This is done in private clinics, public hospitals and institutions of higher education like polytechnics and universities. Sun (2008) defines clinical psychology as the study of individuals by either observation or experimentation with the aim of reforming the individual.
When researching in social psychology the psychologist should first find the subject to be studied. The psychologist should then peruse through books to see what has been written in the past concerning the same subject and establish whether there are still mysteries surrounding the subject at hand.
The psychologist should identify two principles that can be manipulated under observation. He/she should check across the board to figure out any relationship between the two principles. The psychologist must explain what each principle is using and how each principle was manipulated and tested. This is considered crucial because it helps to identify ways of manipulating a principle in the case study. The study can also be used for reference in future if the situation recurs.
The second stage is collection of data which may vary depending on the subject. There are various ways of collecting data for research; they include interviews, surveys, and experiments. The methods are then used to explain the various aspects of a given behavior. The psychologist should experiment the principles and give an outline of the components of each principle and the actual root of the two principles and their impact on each other (Sanderson, 2009).
The psychologist should then analyze his findings and give appropriate recommendations. These findings should be published and should include a summary on previous and current research findings and quote some of the participants who were subjected to that research and the method used to sect them.
All the principles used must be clearly explained and they include the methods that were used to collect data. Finally the psychologist should interpret the meaning of his findings. It should be noted that unless all the above mentioned steps are followed the psychologist’s recommendation will be irrelevant.
Myers, D.G. (2010.).Social Psychology. 10th Ed. New York: Mc-Graw Hill.
Sanderson, C. (2009). Social Psychology. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Sun, R. (2008.) The Cambridge Handbook of Computational psychology., New York: Cambridge University press.