History and Development of Social Psychology

Sat, 12/24/2011 - 05:57 -- Umar Farooq

The historical development of social psychology can be kept in the following three categories.

Initial stage

Social psychology was mainly developed by sociologists, psychologists and cultural anthropologists.

Period of Emergence as an Independent Field 

As a rough first guess the years between 1908 and 1924 seem to qualify as a period in which it emerged as an independent field of study. Each of these dates represents years in which important texts containing the term social psychology in their titles were published.

Publications and Authors

  1. Medoughall wrote on social behavior and instincts in 1908.
  2. Allport published social behaviors in 1924.
  3. Kimble Young published two books on social psychology in 1924 and 1930.

Maturity Stage

With the publications of Kimble Young, Social Psychology started new life as new and interesting subjects and issues were brought under its study. The maturity stage can be divided into the following categories:

1930s Era

The following major development took place:

  1. Thursfon and Lickert introduced the scale for the measurement of attitude in 1932.
  2. In 1934 Moreno introduced the method of sociometery.
  3. In 1935 Muzaffar Sharif began the study of social norms
  4. In 1936 the first organization of psychologists “Society of Psychological Study of Social Issues” was founded. The basic principle of this organization was to use the principles of social psychology for the benefits of common people.

1940s to 1950s

After the Second World War it started its progress once again. During these decades the following developments took place.

  1. Important Focused Themes. One of the important themes especially in 1950 was the influence of groups and group membership on individual behavior. A second theme focused on the link between various personality traits and social behavior.
  2. Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. Perhaps the major event of this period was the development of the theory of cognitive dissonance.

1960s Era

During this period of time the major topics which attempts greater attention during this period were attraction, and love, aggression and violence, social perception and social exchange.

1970s Era

During this period the following things happened.

Social Cognitive and the Impact of Environmental Factors. Many new topics which received greater attention during 1970s were social cognition, attribution and the impact of environmental factors such as heat, noise and crowding upon social behavior, gender differences etc.

1980s  to 1990s Era

Application of Social Psychological Knowledge. During these decades emphasizes was laid on the application of socio-psychological knowledge. Many researchers were educated in order to see how the problems of daily life could be solved the rough. The principles of social psychology during these decades socio psychological principles were applied to health, education and trade etc.

Present Age

In the present stage we can see the following things took place in the field of soial psychology

  1. As a full-fledged subject. In present social psychology is considered as a full-fledged subject. This is contribution to the welfare of mankind. It contributes to other fields of knowledge as well.
  2. Advancement in Research Method. Social psychology in the field of research has advanced very much computer is a blessing in this regard and this subject is improving by leaps and bounds.