Understanding the Dynamics of Social Psychology

Understanding the Dynamics of Social Psychology

Group Discussion

In today’s busy world, society faces many pressures and challenges. The topic of mental health has gained popularity all over the world. Thus, Connections with other human has become a necessity. The society plays a significant role in making these connections. It allows individuals to express their thoughts and beliefs and reflects how it influences one environment and shapes the behavior of an individual. It is crucial to understand all these aspects of people at a psychological level. As a result, social psychology appears.

In this article, we will try to understand the dynamics of social psychology.

What Is Social Psychology?

Social psychology is a branch of psychology that shows the relationship between the individual and the social environment. It talks about how the person interacts with his society and how it influences their behavior. The knowledge of social psychology makes the individual seek ways that promote a healthy relationship between the person and their environment.

Also Read: The Psychology Behind Social Influence

What Are The Different Social Phenomena Of Social Psychology?

To gain more knowledge about social psychology, it is important to understand the different phenomena like conformity, obedience, prejudice, and group dynamics.


Conformity or trying to fit in is the social phenomenon where the person tends to change their beliefs and attitudes when under the influence of other broader societal norms. This may come in many forms like bullying, teasing, and criticising others. Several factors influence conformity like the size of the social group, what are the cultural values attached to it, and the unity of the group. Conformity is further divided into three types of conformity :

  1. Compliance: Compliance is when an individual changes their behavior and beliefs by getting under the influence of the other person or group. Generally, individuals accept this influence to avoid the punishments and gain rewards. This is a temporary change in the person’s behavior as it is present just for the acceptance by the other group.
  2. Internalization: It is the genuine acceptance of social norms. When an Individual brings a change in their perspective, behavior, and belief system because of the social norms. A person tends to make their own opinions as wrong and think others are right. This is a permanent change in their behavior as the person conforms in public as well as in private.
  3. Identification: This type of conformity is a combination of both compliance and internalination. As the individual accepting those beliefs from others as he thinks it right. But the reason behind accepting those behavioral beliefs is to be granted as a member of the social group. The behavior change is permanent and the purpose of changing it is the validation from another group. It is important to know why conformity occurs and what is the reason for it. Deutsch and Gerrad in 1955 suggested two reasons behind conformity normative or emotional social influence and informational or cognitive social influence.
Normative social influence ( emotional):

This type of social influence arises in an individual from the desire for social approval. It mainly works on the compliance factor, as the individual accepts the social group perspective in public but rejects it in private. This kind of conformity came into the picture just to avoid rejection from others.

Also Read: The Psychology Behind Confidence

Informational social influence (cognitive):

It occurs when individuals seek guidance from others whenever they are in an unclear situation. This leads individuals to agree with others’ behavior and belief systems and eventually accept them. This influence works on the principle of internalization.


Another important social phenomenon in social psychology is obedience. Though there is a very slight difference between obedience and conformity, it is important to know what obedience means. This social phenomenon happens when the individuals have to comply with the commands from the authoritative personalities. These could be anyone like the teacher, parents, elder siblings, seniors of your college, or boss.

Also Read: The Psychology Behind Power

Milgram Study of Obedience:

Obedience can be well understood through the Milgram study of obedience. The experimenter aims to see how far people can obey specific instructions from an authoritative personality even if it involves harmful things for the individuals. In the experiment, the individuals were made to sit on the chair with the electrodes and they were expected to learn words from the given set of pair of words and the teacher asked for those words from them. The teacher was told that if there is any mistake by the learner then shocks will be given to them. These shocks range from 15 volts to 450 volts. The learner has to purposely answer wrongly and as a result, the teachers would give them a shock. The results of the experiments were that two-thirds of the participants continued to the highest level i.e. 450.


Prejudice is an important area of study in social psychology. It covers all the preconceived negative attributes of other people like race, caste, religion gender. The roots of prejudice lie in unknown cultural influences. This can lead to a lack of opportunity for people. It stops the overall growth of a society. Therefore, it becomes important to understand the origin of these biases. There are certain ways by which we can overcome this social phenomenon. Lack of knowledge can really make this situation, therefore there should be a place for self-awareness and creating a safe environment for them.

Group Dynamics

Group dynamics makes us understand how people behave when they are in a social space. It also allows us to understand how leadership qualities and decision-making qualities come under this phenomenon. Group dynamics plays a crucial role in our society as it shapes people’s behaviors, and attitudes and emphasizes unity and solidarity. Groupthink comes under group dynamics, where a group of people desires harmony over critical thinking while making decisions. These groups can be divided into primary and non-primary groups. Primary groups usually consist of the smaller group, for eg the family, and friends. These groups have a great impact on individuals. People also spend most of their time in these groups, It is necessary to interact with each other in order to achieve a goal.

On the other hand, the non-primary groups contain more formal social groups or organizations. Here you dont have to interact with people necessarily to achieve a goal. Individuals can enter or exit these groups according to their emotionality factor. Group dynamics has an important application in our daily lives. As it brings out leadership qualities, engaging in teamwork, and organizational behavior.

What are the key concepts of social psychology?

Social Cognition

Social cognition involves all the cognitive abilities that make us perceive, interpret, and understand the social world. Empathy is a very important aspect of social cognition. It is important to put yourself in others’ shoes and understand their perspective. This aspect is crucial to empathizing with others and tackling complex social situations.

Another important aspect of society is the theory of mind. Cognitive abilities have an important role in order to understand social perspective and empathy. Understanding another point of view is the foundation of this theory. This theory helps to understand various psychological disorders like schizophrenia and autism. The theory of mind typically develops in early childhood and gradually matures over some time. Different social interactions help children influence their actions. Not only the social basis, but this theory has a role in understanding the neurological basis of the brain as well. The prefrontal cortex and temporoparietal junction are important to areas of mind to understand the theory of mind. These areas help to understand other mental beliefs.

Attitudes And Beliefs

Attitudes and beliefs are important areas of study in social psychology. Social psychology aims to see how these attitudes and belief systems are formed, and how they affect our behavior. Therefore, the formation of attitudes passes through many processes such as a person’s ability to socialize, and their culture. The combination of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral makes the individual attitude.

On the other hand, beliefs are the person’s descriptive thoughts about something that they hold. As a result of all the cultural influences, religion, personal philosophies, and thoughts, of person shapes one’s perspective within the society. Therefore, it becomes more important to understand the relationship between attitudes and beliefs within our diverse society as it provides the opportunity to gain deeper information about individual behavior and social norms.

Interpersonal Relationships

Last but not least, another important concept in the field of social psychology is interpersonal relationships. Interpersonal relationships are the relationships that are by shared two or more two people. These relationships can be between you and your family, your friends, loved ones, etc.

Interpersonal always plays a role in everyone’s lives, as it helps people to share the problems that they face in their daily lives, resulting in lowering the risk of depression and anxiety among people. Also decreases the risk of suicide as well and helps people to come out of their loneliness. Interpersonal relationships also cause people to be more empathetic towards others, being respectful towards and showing respect towards others.

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