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´╗┐The Social Psychologist: A Study Of Interactions


If you find yourself fascinated by watching how people interact with each other or how they interact with the environment around them, a career as a social psychologist may be just what you are looking for. A social psychologist is a professional in a specialized area of study within the general field of psychology that focuses on both group and individual responses to changes with human population in response to changes, either natural occurring or man-made.

A social psychologist may be either a sociologist or a psychologist, depending on the type of research and study that is being undertaken. In most cases the professional will be a psychologist that will study how a given change affects the behavior, thoughts and feeling of the individual, and then how that individual then changes interactions with others. This type of study is particularly important in organizational structure and changes as negative thoughts, behaviors or feeling towards a change can translate into huge dollar losses for the company in productivity. In addition social psychology is often used in marketing campaigns as well as other media type campaigns that are designed to cause a change in the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of a specific target group. In this case the emphasis is on the individual's change, less on getting a group to work as one.

In group studies most social psychologists will be sociologists, although psychologists may also be involved. These individuals are more focused on group dynamics and interactions and how different issues and changes cause an impact on how the group responds. These individuals do a considerable amount of work on how groups define themselves, group culture and even social inequity and how it affects groups. Leadership dynamics and developing effective leadership and team building skills are all concepts developed by social psychologists that have recently become more predominant in many of the business type classes and degrees.

In the United States a great number of professionals working as social psychologists are employed as consultants. Typically these individuals are called in to make determinations of changes in organizational structure, working with certain groups or even in identifying how change will cause changes within the workplace environment. They also may help to develop policy that prevents perceived discrimination and build up rather than break down the existing positive social structures of the company. In marketing the social psychologist may design research tests, determine consumer behavior and trends in the market as well as help marketers identify and target the audience they are trying to sell to.