Social Psychology Essay

1229 Words Aug 8th, 2001 5 Pages
Tuesday, Mar. 28, 2000

social psychology

Socialization The process by which personality is formed as the result of social influences is called socialization. Early research methods employed case studies of individuals and of individual societies (e.g., primitive tribes). Later research has made statistical comparisons of numbers of persons or of different societies; differences in child-rearing methods from one society to another, for example, have been shown to be related to the subsequent behaviour of the infants when they become adults. Such statistical approaches are limited, since
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Early research based on statistical analyses of social attitudes revealed correlations with such factors as radicalism-conservatism. Later research on consistency provided extensive laboratory evidence of consistency but little evidence of it in actual political behaviour (e.g., in attitudes on different political issues). Research on attitude change has studied the effects of the mass media, the optimum design of persuasive messages, the effects of motivational arousal, and the role of opinion leaders (e.g., teachers and ministers). Research has been carried out into the origins, functioning, and change of particular attitudes (e.g., racial, international, political, and religious), each of which is affected by special factors. Attitudes toward racial minority groups, for example, are affected by social conditions, such as the local housing, employment, and the political situation; political attitudes are affected by social class and age; and religious attitudes and beliefs strongly reflect such factors as inner personality conflict. Various specialties in

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