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How do you do Social Psychology?

social psychology, social psychology methods, research in psychology, social psychology methodology
How could I study these people?

Hello everyone, I hope that you're week is going well.

Today's post is on social psychology and sociocultural psychology methods.

This is an extract from my new book Sociocultural Psychology:

(It should be available for pre-order in the next week or two)

In this chapter, we’ll be investigating how social psychology is researched.

In social psychology, you can take two approaches to research.

Firstly, you can take the root of observations. This is where you observe behaviour in order to learn about it.

Secondly, you can take the empirical approach. This is where you take scientific methods can use them to examine behaviour.

Research process:

The first step to any good piece of social psychological research is to have a good research process.

The research process goes in the following way:

· You create your question. Like: what causes conformity?

· You develop a theory or refer to past theories to answer your question

· You develop an experiment and then you test your theory.

· If your theory isn’t supported then this leads to reduced confidence in theory so you can reject the theory or modify the theory taking you back to the develop experiment phrase.

· If your theory is supported then your confidence in the theory increases.

Overall, the stages of the research process are one big circular cycle as you try to answer your research question.

Tools of social psychology:

In social psychology, there is a wide range of research tools that social psychologists can use to study behaviour.


In short, qualitative research is when you create thick rich descriptions of text as your data instead of hard numbers.

Please see Research in Psychology for more information.

Some examples of qualitative research methods in social psychology include:

· Thematic analysis- you analyse the themes of a situation to find something.

· Conversational analysis- you analyse the conservation to find something.

· Narrative analysis- one way of doing this type of analysis is by analysing the patient’s narratives to discover the patient’s emotional state, unconscious thoughts and as a type of therapy.

· Discourse analysis- you analyse any discourse; written, spoken and more; to find something.

· Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA)


The opposite of Qualitative research is quantitative research, where you use hard factual numbers in your research data.

Some examples of this type of research include:

· Surveys and questionnaires

· Experiments

· Field experiments

· Archival experiments

· Observations

· Case study

Issues in social psychology:

In this last section, we’ll be looking at the many problems that social psychology has faced.

Firstly, social psychology and pretty much all social science fields are prone to sample bias because most psychology participants are from the western world and undergraduate psychology students. Meaning that you potentially cannot say the behaviour showed with these studies are universal as psychology undergraduate are a very small percentage of the human population.

In addition, in reason years social psychology has faced The Crisis where multiple famous research papers that have revolutionised the field and the world were found out to be falsified by the researchers.

Overall, these are only a small number of problems that social psychology faces but it must be remembered that it is only a very select few researchers that falsified data.

I hope that you've found this useful and please consider signing up for my mailing list to receive for FREE book and get more psychology news.

Have a great week everyone!

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